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business counterintelligence (business CI)

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Business counterintelligence (business CI) is the collective efforts designed to protect an organization’s sensitive information from unauthorized access.

In a business context, intelligence is information that provides an organization with decision support and a strategic advantage. As a verb, to counter is to respond or react to something in an oppositional way; counterintelligence is information that can be used to defend something from an opposing or competing entity and the processes and tools used to detect, gather, analyze and apply that information.  

The terms business counterintelligence and competitive intelligence are sometimes used interchangeably but their intent is different. The focus of competitive intelligence is information gathering, while business counterintelligence is mostly concerned with protecting your information from such efforts on the part of other organizations. As such, business counterintelligence includes all the activities undertaken to limit the ability of competitors to gather actionable information about your company.

See an introduction to implementing business counterintelligence:

This was last updated in February 2015

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