Following news that hardware giant Mitre 10 has been accused of espionage, an SME lawyer has revealed the common dirty tactics being increasingly used by and against smaller businesses.
When asked if allegations of corporate or industrial espionage like those made against Mitre 10 occur in the SME sector, Ian Aldridge of Progressive Legal said it was not something he had witnessed – although there are multiple other methods of business wrongdoing that are causing legal disputes.
“[It is] more of the ex-employees stealing client lists, allegations of businesses clicking on other businesses' AdWords hundreds and hundreds of time to cost their competitors money on advertising, registration of trademarks by competitors to frustrate and confuse the market, competitors leaving fake reviews on other businesses' public social media profiles etc.” Mr Aldridge told My Business.
“It’s commercial warfare out there sometimes, and we’re starting to see SMEs being subject to more attack by other SMEs … it’s not just reserved for the big guys now.”
Unfortunately, Mr Aldridge said such tactics involving SMEs targeting one another are only going to become more prevalent.
“People are getting smarter and of course the bad guys are using the knowledge and IT tools to hurt and injure their opponents, knowing full well it’s extremely difficult to track this type of industrial espionage,” he said.
“I see this as becoming more and more common as smaller businesses start to have tools that previously only the larger players had access to.”