11/19/2012 (press release: [email protected]) // North Hollywood, CA, USA // Andrew Scott
The good news about our computerized, mobile, virtual world is the wealth of information at our fingertips and the ease of communicating with thousands of people in an instant. The bad news is that a growing number of people with highly questionable intentions have access to all of your information and the capability to spread sensitive and potentially harmful info at will. The uptick in incidences of cyber stalking, intellectual property and identity theft, and all manner of digital scams and schemes comes as no surprise to global economic espionage and security expert Steve Lee, the Managing Partner of Steve Lee & Associates, who has now formed the Fraud Detective Agency.
The Fraud Detective Agency is a continuation of Lee’s more than 20 years on the frontlines of financial investigations, data security and white collar crime. Today, his company’s work encompasses the entire spectrum of business intelligence and security. “What we now offer companies is a holistic, 360-degree threat assessment so they can more effectively manage their risks,” Lee explains. “Working with former Special Forces, Special Ops, Secret Service and FBI personnel, the agency addresses not just information security and intellectual property protection but risk management and vulnerability assessment from every direction.”
Lee has noted an explosion in the use of the internet as a weapon by those who see an opportunity to attack executives and their companies. At times, those threats can escalate into actions that imperil lives and safety. “Cyber stalkers have become more emboldened because they believe they are exempt from consequences… and in many instances they’re right,” says Lee.
That’s where Lee and his financial and security SWAT team steps in. The ability to provide both virtual and physical defense for high-level clients whose operations, personnel and property are attractive targets for criminal activity, economic terrorism, or the actions of misguided individuals has become especially important as business grows ever more global. “The protection from various forms of cyber sabotage now goes hand in hand with military-style services. This includes monitoring security procedures for a private jet, ensuring the safety of business people working in areas where kidnapping is prevalent, or emergency extraction of personnel or assets,” says Lee, who works closely with law enforcement officials in helping to track and convict those responsible for crimes.
Increasingly, Lee finds that cyber attacks are replacing litigation as a way for individuals to strike out at companies. “It’s far easier to ruin a reputation and undermine credibility online,” he says citing the case of a CEO whose online virtual meetings provided a pathway for someone attempting to punish the company. “Suing someone is expensive and you may not win the case,” he says. “Here your chances for success are pretty high.”
Coupled with that is a rise in economic hacking designed to disrupt a competitor’s ability to conduct business. “We’re getting called in on activities related to the theft of processes, pricing plans, customer lists, and anything that would give a tactical advantage like messing with a rival’s order pages on the web,” says Lee. And particularly disturbing, he says is the sophisticated hacking into top global law firms—some of it sovereign-sponsored—that have become the informational channels for international deals and transactions.
While Lee doesn’t want to be the Grinch who stole Christmas, he also has words of caution for all consumers. Distracted holiday shoppers make easy targets. “Every year online shopping mushrooms and along with it fraudulent activities. In their rush to buy, people forget to check out if a website is safe and secure,” he warns. “Banking data is easily misdirected, phished and misappropriated.”
Using your mobile device to shop? A really bad idea. According to Lee, at this point there is no security on a mobile device. “Someone within 15 feet with a radio frequency device can easily take your data,” he says. “The data is being hauled around from cell tower to cell tower, providing a number of opportunities for interception.”
And worst of all, online banking. “There’s a tremendous price to pay for convenience,” Lee warns. “People don’t realize that every day there are breaches of the banking system, While consumers may only have $50 liability, it’s not worth the years and years of pain associated with identity theft.”
Steve Lee is a Certified Fraud Examiner, whose forensic investigations have won billions of dollars for clients in aerospace/defense, electronics, telecommunications, legal and financial services, pharmaceuticals, gaming, among other industries. Headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in New York, Chicago and London, his firm’s operations extend to more than 50 countries across the globe. A sought-after speaker on business intelligence and security, Lee has appeared on FOX Business News, CNN, CNBC and in multiple publications. For more information, visit http://www.fraud-detective.com, http://www.thefrauddetectiveagency.com, http://www.frauddetectiveagency.com or http://www.stevelee.com.