Scenario: A large meat processing company (part of a large holding group) is operating in the red because of business problems. The company hires an individual to turn the business around. Soon the company is doing substantially better, and offers to give this individual a large interest in the company to put operations back in the black.
Before long, the FBI indicts the individual on numerous counts of wire fraud, tax evasion, and other white-collar crimes all relating to his position at the meat packing company. The company's principals also discover that the individual has been embezzling from the company, misusing corporate funds, and employing family members who really didn't work there.
The individual is convicted and sent to federal prison. Upon getting out, he sues the meat company, claiming that he is still entitled to his share of the stock.
During the course of the civil trial, the meat company becomes concerned because the opposition always seems one step ahead. These suspicions continue for some time. Finally, the company brings in a countermeasures sweep team.
The meat company's attorneys have been using a hotel suite as a "war room" to prepare witnesses and go over case strategy. The sweep team finds a transmitter.
Nonetheless, the individual wins his suit to the tune of $7.9 million. The meat company counter-sues to recover the lost funds the individual embezzled.
Next, the United States Attorney convenes an investigatory grand jury to look into the matter. The FBI locates a witness who claims to have direct information that this individual has previously eavesdropped on telephone conversations and spied on employees. But when this witness arrives at court, obviously distraught, she recants her statement to the FBI - and refuses to testify.
The meat company and its parent holding company have suffered not only the initial cash loss from embezzlement and misuse of funds $3.5 million worth but also hundreds of thousands in legal fees, the time and business cost of handling court-related matters, and finally a judgment against them for $7.9 million! The company should have considered the services and consulting of a professional TSCM firm early on. They waited. Law firms involved in significant litigation should always consider TSCM services for themselves and their clients. This case is not that rare. However, it's one of the few cases that can be discussed due to the fact that it was made public through the courts and the media.
A firm that performs an inadequate or incomplete sweep could miss a serious communications compromise, allowing leaks and infringements to continue and leaving you with a false sense of security. All the while, they're taking more of your money for their inferior services.
A less than reputable firm could plant devices, compromise your communications systems or simply steal from you under the premise of doing legitimate work. Later, they could sell your information to a competitor or discuss your vulnerabilities with a would-be "spy."
Utilizing the wrong TSCM firm could jeopardize your position within your company and your management's position with stockholders and investors but that's not all. It could destroy the business.
TSCM professionals carry tens of thousands of dollars worth of extremely sophisticated, precisely calibrated technology. You want that equipment to be current and well-maintained with engineers who have the professional experience and continual training to counteract the threats you face. Your company secrets are a dangerous place to cut corners.
Cell Phone Forensics
Hidden Video Cameras
Residue Drug Testing
More about what to look for in a TSCM firm
Example TSCM scenario
Newt Gingrich and the Unsecured Cell Phone
What to do when you suspect you are being spied on