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THE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & LifestyleTHE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & Lifestyle

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Business

Apple’s Preventative Measures Against Leaks of Corporate Secrets

3d illustration of a chrome Apple logo resting in a pool of dark liquid on a gray reflective surface 3d illustration of a chrome Apple logo resting in a pool of dark liquid on a gray reflective surface
3d illustration of a chrome Apple logo resting in a pool of dark liquid on a gray reflective surface 3d illustration of a chrome Apple logo resting in a pool of dark liquid on a gray reflective surface

Apple goes to great lengths to prevent leaks and ensure any information regarding their products remain concealed. Their methods include hiring NSA, FBI and secret service experts on a global scale to ensure that only Apple is privy to its product information. But considering the value of future products and how they are made leads to continuous efforts to discover what Apple’s next big hit is. Doing so results in a lucrative exchange given the right buyer.

While Apple is safe at home in the U.S. its interests are at larger risk internationally, with a large source of leaks originating from supply chain partners in places including China. The most valuable items that can be sold are parts of new products followed by information on what Apple is working on, both readily available in supply factories where the new products are being built. Apple is certainly aware of the risk involved, resulting in constant screening of 2.7 million people per day Apple and its manufacturing partners find necessary to undertake. Despite such rigorous preventative measures being in place, corporate secrets are still able to be smuggled out due to the creativity of leakers.

Parts are making their way out of factories in various ways, from being stashed in bras to being flushed out into sewer system for later collection. Black market dealers entice factory workers into attaining parts or photos offering top dollar rates, including up to a year’s salary worth. The reason the supply chain is such a prominent target is the nature of partnership, and Apple’s responsibility or lack thereof over supply chain workers. As long as the workers receive fair wage compensation for the work they provide based on local laws, Apple is not obligated nor has it the direct power to direct the employees working under their partners. While product discretion is certainly enforced, as evidenced by the millions of screenings per day, it is up to the manufacturer to organize worker salaries. This indirect relation makes supply chain workers vulnerable to offers that encourage the stealing of parts at Apple’s expense.

Part of being an employee involves agreeing to participate and reinforce a company’s culture. Apple takes its product reveals seriously, considering the financial detriments that can occur should parts or information of a product be leaked. Competitors, counterfeit makers and the press all gain a significant advantage even if only one subject has access to the leaked information, because Apple is then put in a disadvantaged position that can only serve to benefit others. When parts are leaked, it is not just the reveal and the surprise that is lost, but the competitive edge that Apple holds is also lost. This highlights why parts of products are so valuable, beyond the parts themselves, because the research and logistics involved are benefitting others at no major cost.

However, Apple’s global security team have had an impact on reducing corporate espionage in their supply chain to the point that security leaks will be more common on Apple’s campus than its cumulative international supply chain. The methods involved include inserting members of the global security team into product teams to prevent leaks, and, failing that, identify the source of the leaks. Like the leakers, members of the security team are also required to think creatively, resulting in what has been described as a trench warfare over corporate secrets. The protection of its secrets are so vital, that Apple are willing to continue hiring experts in order to prevent leaks of corporate secrets of any sort. One thing that is certain, Apple does not appreciate having its secrets revealed.

Featured Image via Flickr/C_osett


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