Viewpoint: The Risk of Information Compromise
and Approaches to Prevention
, L.P. Ettkin
, D.J. Morris
Sesquicentennial Endowed Chair of Business and Technology, Dalton State College, 213 North College Drive,
Dalton, GA 30720-3797, USA
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, College of Business #6156, 615 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga,
TN 37403, USA
Gale Corporation, North Highlands, CA, USA
Accepted 22 September 2000
With the growing popularity of competitive intelligence, few ®rms consider the opposite side of
data collection Ð defensive intelligence (DI). This viewpoint article addresses the reasons for
information compromise and lack of control measures in organizations. Speci®c sources of vulner-
ability to counter intelligence are outlined and ways to secure operations are presented. Finally
strategies for employing proactive measures for DI are suggested as a way to ensure the long-
term prosperity of an organization. q 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Information compromise; Competitive intelligence; Defensive intelligence
The exponential growth of globalization and the prominence of information technolo-
gies (IT) have been catalysts to both legal and illegal information compromise. Compe-
titive intelligence (CI) units are now deeply rooted in many US and international ®rms and
serve one primary objective: the systematic thievery of your company's competitive
competencies. With the race to develop internal CI units, ®rms have made the costly
mistake of neglecting the other side of data collection, counter or defensive intelligence
(DI). When evaluating safeguarding information, consider this: bank robbers net about
Journal of Strategic Information Systems 9 (2000) 5±15
0963-8687/00/$ - see front matter q 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
* Corresponding author. Tel.: 11-706-272-2600; fax: 11-706-272-4525.
E-mail addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org (M.M. Helms), email@example.com (L.P. Ettkin),
firstname.lastname@example.org (D.J. Morris).