Friday, March 1, 2013

Mix-up in State Register Shocks 1,000 Business Owners

Mix-up in State Register Shocks 1,000 Business Owners
The tax authorities have put the change in business ownership down to a system crash during input of new data and data exchange with the Migration Service.
Businessman Roman Romachev suddenly discovered that four companies that he owns, including R-Techno, have been registered in a different name since January 31. The “new owner,” Moscow resident Alina Zhukova, was just as surprised when Romachev contacted her to give her the news. Her only recent encounter with official documents was obtaining a new passport.
According to the SPARK Interfax database of company reports, the change of ownership happened “after new data was input into the Unified State Register of Legal Entities by the state authority responsible for issuing identification documents for Russian citizens valid in Russia.”  The State Register is maintained by the Federal Taxation Service, while passports are issued by the Federal Migration Service.
Romachev’s inquiry to the taxation authority brought an unexpected response. The failure was caused by “a large amount of incorrect data on changes in passport details,” supplied by the migration service, Inna Miroshnikova, head of the service’s interregional inspectorate for centralized data processing, wrote in a letter. She said they stopped data processing and exchange with other official agencies on February 12 because of the problem.
Passport details are updated automatically in the State Register, based on the migration service data, a taxation service source explained. A bug in the migration service software caused a mix-up that affected about 1,000 companies. The migration service has already notified its colleagues about the problem.
However, a Federal Migration Service representative said he could not comment on a fault that happened at a different institution.
The taxation service is now verifying all the passport data received and the changes made to the State Register during the risk period, the source said, adding that all the errors will be corrected without involving the legal entities concerned.
The information on the State Register does not confirm ownership of equity shares and stocks, said Sergei Kazakov from the Sameta law firm. The State Register is a titular document that lists the actual owners of businesses and links to sources that may contain the same data. However, to sell shares you have to present a package of the requisite documents, which cannot be obtained based on an entry in the State Register.
This is not the first glitch to affect the State Register. In 2007, Vedomosti discovered that nine out of ten companies headed by Vladimir Bogdanov, director general of Surgutneftegas, had been erased. Their investments accounted for over 40 percent of the value of Surgutneftegas. The Federal Taxation Service did not respond to Vedomosti’s request, but the data was eventually restored.
RIA Novosti is not responsible for the content of outside sources.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Phone Rippers

Author: Roman Romachev — CEO, The Private Intelligence Company “R-Techno” FOR THREE YEARS THE US HAVE BEEN HOME TO A RATHER EDUCATING ANNUAL EVENT – A SOCIAL ENGINEERING CONTEST THAT WOULD PROBABLY BE A GOOD EVENT TO VISIT FOR TOP MANAGERS AND CHIEF SECURITY OFFICERS FROM LARGE RUSSIAN COMPANIES. Many companies today are obsessed with IT security while clearly underestimating the risk of confidential corporate data leakage caused by hacking via a regular phone call. Business intelligence professionals refer to this phenomenon as HUMINT - human intelligence. It is company’s own employees who often work as the weakest link in the security system developed by the company. The American social engineering contest is part of Defcon, a large hacker convention held in Las Vegas. The event has a rather civil focus: IT hackers probe IT security systems for their weak spots, social engineers hack large American corporations by engaging their employees in phone conversations and extracting corporate secrets from them. All of this happens in front of guests, some of whom rank rather high – among them are senior officials from the FBI, NSA, US Department of Defense and Department of Justice. What I think is interesting is that social engineers achieve their goal faster and more efficiently than their IT counterparts, and sometimes even help them out with tips for an efficient computer attack on the target company. The contest has a simple procedure. The organizers distribute a list of ten random organizations picked out of the Fortune 500 ranking, and a list of flags – the data that the competitors must obtain. Hackers have two weeks to choose their target, research it using publicly available data, analyze its weaknesses and develop a legend. During the contest they take their places in a transparent soundproof booth set on a stage, and have the phone number dialed for them, with the conversation audible through speakers to the audience to demonstrate the social engineering skills of the hacker. Each hacker has 20 minutes to collect as many points as possible. Many episodes of the latest contest held in June could be included into competitive intelligence anthologies. John Carruthers who chose to attack a Target store chain was first of the competitors to claim leadership. During the time allowed, he has interacted with several IT officers from the stores all over the country, posing as a systems administrator for a Target data center in Minnesota and asking why they hadn’t deployed an important patch to the company’s supplier software. While getting ready for the contest, John Carruthers noticed that in building its website, Target has unwittingly made public important corporate information – internal store IDs. They ended up included in the URL of the respective pages of all stores within the chain. And if the Target employees expressed any doubts whether they were actually talking to the systems administrator of their company, he would just quote their respective store ID and that was enough to make the ‘friend-or-foe’ system work to his advantage and make the further process go like clock-work. Engineers posing as analysts carrying out marketing research and journalists found the task to be more difficult. SOCIAL ENGINEERING IT’S AN AGE-OLD PHENOMENON, BUT ITS ‘HEROES’ USUALLY CHOOSE TO STAY IN THE SHADE. COMPETITORS OF THE SOCIAL ENGINEERING CONTEST ARE EXCEPTIONS. IN FACT, MOST OF THEM ARE PROFESSIONAL SECURITY SYSTEMS ‘AUDITORS’ WORKING FOR LARGE CORPORATIONS The championship of the contest has, for the second time, been claimed by Shane MacDougall who had impressively pulled to pieces the security system of the Wal-Mart store located in a Canadian town. Shane called the store manager and posed as a logistics executive from the Wal-Mart headquarter. He said that he was going to visit the town soon as he was selecting ‘pilot’ stores for a program that would be implementing a large government contract that was about to be awarded to Wal-Mart – but he wanted to clarify certain operating details on the phone. Falling for the legend, the store manager has started giving up the flags one by one, lightly and without a shadow of doubt, even blundering out many of the things he was not asked about: shift schedule, the OS and antivirus software installed in his office PC, name of the cleaning services provider, personnel compensation scheme, etc. Finally, MacDougall asked him to go to an external website and fill in a questionnaire there (“To help me get ready for the trip”, MacDougall said). The store manager was willing to do that as well; the only reason he couldn’t do it was because the corporate IT system has blocked the website recommended by the hacker. Following the successful hack, MacDougall told the CNNMoney reporters that his favorite target are sales employees: “As soon as they think there's money, common sense goes out the window”. The winning hacker went on to voice another important idea: “I see all these CIO that spend all this money on firewalls and stuff, and they spend zero dollars on awareness.” Social engineering is a very old phenomenon, but its ‘heroes’ usually choose to stay in the shade. Competitors of this social engineering contest are exceptions. In fact, most of them are professional security systems ‘auditors’ working for large corporations and are therefore interested in demonstrating their skills to the public. If I were to name a famous social engineer of America’s past who did not shy away from using the morally ambiguous methods to their advantage, the only name to come to mind would be the legendary editor of Chicago’s American Harry Romanoff. He managed to source almost all of his sensations via the phone, posing as the chief of police, or the governor, or the chief of a fire department. (History tells of a ‘Romanoff’s mistake’ he made when he called a house that was a crime scene where an investigation team was working. “This is Coroner O'Bannion. How many dead ones you got?” Harry asked. After a pause, the voice replies, “No, this is Coroner O'Bannion. Who the hell are you?”) The business community must realize that the work of social engineers of today is much easier: it’s easier to target an employee, to collect a dossier, to understand the professional and personal relations within a corporations, the hierarchy of its business divisions and its corporate culture. They have access to social networks where the majority of employees – from juniors to seniors – will have personal accounts. There they can take their time to interact with their target and learn their professional language to be able to talk the same language to the target. Other social engineers choose to not go the obvious way and do not try to obtain confidential information from the most obvious source in the company that possesses such information. It’s not necessary to target an IT officer to learn about IT security, or the accountant – to learn about the company’s finances. Classical example of business intelligence is to use a cleaning lady who removes waste paper from the waste basket in the CEO office. Such waste paper can be a source of commercially important information. Phone calls are an extremely convenient tool for a social engineer. As long as the information obtained is not used to the detriment of any particular person or the company, the social engineer bears no criminal responsibility: it’s not illegal to talk to someone. In this case, the other party of the discussion must be mindful of their responsibility. For example, if an accountant discloses, even if unwittingly, any data on the phone that then ends up in the possession of the company’s competitors, such an act can result in criminal prosecution under the Federal Law “On Trade Secrets”. IT IS THE COMPANY’S OWN EMPLOYEES THAT OFTEN WORK AS THE WEAK LINK IN THE CORPORATE SECURITY SYSTEM. THAT IS WHY IT IS CRUCIAL TO REMEMBER EVEN IN THIS IT-DRIVEN EPOCH THAT YOU COMPETITORS CAN USE HUMAN INTELLIGENCE TO GET TO YOU A rather typical situation: an accountant receives a call from a man claiming to be an official within a statistical agency and requests that the accountant replies to the inquiry sent out to the corporate mail. The document raises no suspicions as it is executed in accordance with all standards. There are different scenarios of what happens next. One accountant will probably reply to the inquiry and unwittingly send it to the company’s competitors. Another accountant will demand an original copy, call the agency to find out why they send their inquiries vie e-mail… Guess which scenario is the right one. It’s important to understand that technology-based security will not guarantee protection on its own. Apart from the expensive and complex IT systems, people working in a company should be responsible for the protection of its data. That is administrative security, which requires continuous awareness development. Any company must have written regulations on management of confidential information, and every new employee must sign a non-disclosure agreement when hired. There must be corporate trainings or seminars at least once a year. Company management must clearly state what constitutes confidential information and how it should be protected. Education is the way to prevent data leaks. Social networks have long become the place where black hackers carry out their ‘human research’. There have been instances when they made an account posing as a director general of a company and started actively networking with the employees, extracting the information they needed. Certainly this kind of hack will mostly work with the companies where the management is somewhat distanced from its employees, either it terms of geography or management hierarchy. In this case there’s no risk that the director will learn about his interaction with the employees online. Prudent management makes sure that its staff ignores the fake account by making the confirmed account of the director general known to it. And it works. But a hacker can just as easily create an account of the manager’s wife and to interact with everyone related to the company, thus gradually finding out more and more. So how can a company protect itself? The solution is to maintain the highest level of awareness within a company, ensuring that the staff has the general idea of who to hold correspondence with and what topics to discuss. Source: Published in Business Magazine Online, September 10, 2012.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Russian Amateur 'Web Detective' Interviewed on Successes in Finding Criminals

Russian Amateur 'Web Detective' Interviewed on Successes in FindingCriminals Material in the World News Connection is generally copyrighted by the source cited. Permission for use must be obtained from the copyright holder. Inquiries regarding use may be directed to NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. In the United States everybody knows about people once they have broken the law. If a gently smiling neighbor has served a sentence for rape, people are immediately warned: Bear this in mind, be careful. In Russia there might be drug dealers living in the next-door apartment -- the entire apartment block will know about it, but the neighborhood policeman will not have a clue. Our agencies are not coping with hunting down criminals, and so officials from the central Interpol bureau requested assistance from World Wide Web usersbecause "in our time it is possibly much simpler in some cases to find a criminal on the Internet than in real life." The success of Roman Romachev, who found eight individuals in four hours, exceeded all expectations. The Web detective talked to Moskovskiy Komsomolets reporters about his know-how. [Goncharova] Roman, why did you respond to the appeal from the international police force? [Romachev] I decided that it was interesting and that I could be useful because I have been professionally involved in business intelligence on the Net for seven years now. In four hours on a popular social network I found eight individuals on the international wanted list being hunted not only by Interpol but also by the Republic of Kazakhstan Financial Police and the Republic of Belarus State Control Committee. [Goncharova] But it is possible to "encrypt" yourself, to post a fake photo... [Romachev] I found not fakes -- that is, people who register under assumed names -- but real people on the wanted list. There were very good-quality photographs of them on the social networking site -- unlike the ones posted on the Interpol website and other law-enforcement agencies' sites. They openly identify their friends and constantly visit the site without fear of the law-enforcement agencies. I made screenshots from which it was clear that, for example, they were either "visiting" the social networking site at that moment or had been there the previous day. That means, it is not difficult to find these people. [Goncharova] What did you do with this dossier? [Romachev] I decided to send it on to the proper destination -- to the Russian National Central Interpol Bureau. Thanks to my long-standing FSB [Federal Security Service] connections and personal acquaintanceship with some high-ranking Interpol officers I made direct contact with the leader of the department that handles people on the international wanted list and talked about the situation. Particularly about the people that I had found. To begin with his response shocked me: He said that they had no such criminals on their database. We agreed to meet, and the following day I went to the National Central Interpol Bureau. I telephoned downstairs. He confirmed that, yes, such people were on the database. [Goncharova] What kind of people are we talking about? [Romachev] There are two criminals who are being hunted by Costa Rica for committing a murder. There is Mariya Kortina, who is being pursued by Interpol for the illegal acquisition, storage, and manufacture of narcotic substances and at the same time is relaxing on a beach in Spain with her family. And Konstantin Perepyatenko, who is being sought by Interpol on suspicion of crimes against the person's life and health, is currently living in Germany. [Goncharova] Have they been arrested? [Romachev] No. The site indicates that Mariya is living in Spain; as she has Russian citizenship, the criminal should be extradited to our country. But this is not happening for some totally unconvincing reason. Perepyatenko, however, has dual citizenship, and in accordance with the law Germany is not obliged to extradite him; plus he has now been sentenced to one year there for causing grievous bodily harm. There is a complex system of interactions between countries. In Russia the question of extraditing individuals who have committed a crime is generally under the jurisdiction of the General Prosecutor's Office. All of this is clear and obvious, but I was struck by something else. That Interpol had absolutely no interest in the information that I had collected. They were not interested in the high-quality photographs. And the officials' tone was condescending: Leave us in peace, they said, this is of no interest to us [Goncharova] But are you not afraid? These are serious people, the international police are not pursuing them just for the fun of it. [Romachev] There are definite fears. So I am not identifying the pages of the two citizens who are being pursued for murder. [Goncharova] If you found eight individuals in only four hours, so why can police officers not cope with this task? [Romachev] Our agencies are still very badly equipped. Many people simply do not know how to utilize modern technologies. I fussed like an old hen over the dossiers that I had collected. In this connection all civil initiatives in Russia encounter bureaucratic obstacles and passivity on the part of representatives of the law-enforcement agencies. [Goncharova] Did you look only on one social networking site? [Romachev] Yes. On it the owners of pages indicate their age -- this is convenient: Birth dates are indicated in police files. Although I do not rule out the possibility that quite a few other people are to be found on other social networks that are more popular, incidentally. [Goncharova] You said that, in addition to the criminals that you found for Interpol, there were also criminals from Kazakhstan and Belarus. Are these states' law-enforcement agencies interested in their whereabouts? [Romachev] In Belarus futile attempts were made to get through on the phone and convey the information. I asked a journalist acquaintance to obtain an official comment -- she was directed to the press service, where the telephones remained silent. But in terms of Kazakhstan things worked out very productively, you might say. The people there were very interested in my information. They started to telephone regularly and consult about how to put together a request to the social networking site and how to track down lawbreakers through their IP address. The representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan Financial Police begged me not to name the criminals because detective measures are currently in place, and he also promised that in the future he will approach me for assistance in tracking down other violators. [Goncharova] Are volunteer assistants' efforts rewarded in some way? [Romachev] Not in Russia. But in the United States the FBI pays a bounty for hunting down a criminal. If you remember the old westerns in which a substantial sum is offered for a criminal's head and a posse hunts him down, the situation nowadays has virtually not changed -- it is a lucrative business. There is a list on the FBI website of who is on the wanted list and how much will be paid for finding him. The FSB announced a reward for information about the suicide terrorists who blew up the Moscow metro, but this was a one-off action and, to the best my knowledge, this money has not been paid to anybody. [Goncharova] Roman, do you intend to continue your "headhunting" in the future? [Romachev] Yes, this process has engrossed me very strongly. As the saying goes, "there is no such thing as a former [silovik]," and so, even on ceasing to serve in FSB agencies, I am continuing to stand guard over the economic security of the state, trying to protect entrepreneurs from relationships with fraudsters. In the West this business is very profitable because it is actively supported by the state. Some 70% of intelligence bureaus work for the state on an outsourcing basis.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blabber is a godsend for Facebook

- I’ve been fired! – My friend Helen is crying on the phone. – For nothing!
- Is it really for nothing?
- The boss said that I’m wasting too much time in Facebook.

For not advanced users I’ll explain: Facebook is a social network, reminding a diary where you may take notes of everything that happens to you: some events, your impression… Your notes may be seen only by your friends – people whom you allow access to your notes.

I open Helen’s page and what do I see? Every hour and even more often,
the girl messages about everything that happens to her. She’s given a task to prepare a report – instead if doing that she is jotting in the Internet: “I was asked to write a report! Long and boring”. So, that not very hard for competitors to find out what is Helen’s department doing, the work schedule and, the most interesting thing, to learn staff characteristics first-hand.

Yet, Helen hit upon the idea of adding her immediate superior to a friend list! So she was pounding the keys of a typewriter and snitched on herself.

As revealed, not only Helen…

Excessive social activity in the World Wide Web may play a bad joke even with a successful career. Every third Russian firm has dealt with the information leak through the Internet (source: HeadHunter). Even though three of four companies have strict rules about confidential information. But how to refrain if Facebook and Twitter are “freezing” without news? (It is said that there is a Social Network addiction disorder – a person can’t take a step without informing the Internet about that momentous event!)

Besides losing the confidential information, superiors don’t like that employees are too busy with personal problems during the working hours, i.e., they are getting sloppy!

In 32% of organizations it is being watched intensely everything that goes out by e-mail or spread in social networks. Monitoring the employees’ blogs is provided in 24% of the organizations.

Theoretically, to leak information using work computer (or take it out on some other carrier) is not so easy. But when a person gets home, he or she may share thoughts in blog or a social network – and then the chances that the act will come unnoticed by his boss are increasing. Companies are becoming more and more afraid of putting some of their employees’ foot in their mouth.

- Social networks are good place for preliminary information gathering during business intelligence, - Roman Romachev, an expert, told “KP”. – There are no any graveyards, but it often becomes clear which side gets close. There are all conditions: more than a half of users are ready to write something about their job on the internet. For example, that a boss is not very good person. 30% of the respondents made a clear breast of making without any malice online notes containing inside information about their work. And women are more talkative – 37% of unauthorized information is spread by them.

And about 31% of workers are ready to snitch on their colleagues who lost their inhibitions.

The companies’ counterintelligence still lies behind in efficiency. Only 10% of organizations are applying educational measures to its too talkative employees.

But this is until the time comes… Dismissals of to talkative workers have already begun. Yet little by little – that’s not easy to find a corresponding article in a labor code. Further there will be more fun.


“You can’t hide in the Internet”, - says Yuri Virovets, HeadHunter’s President.

- Social Networks made the idea of a private life very smashing. People often reveal some information about themselves which state and financial organizations are trying to conceal. And that’s the problem – many people feel the difference between their private and professional life with difficulty. When person’s thoughts, ideas, actions become well known to everybody, and to the company where he works as well, the consequences may vary a lot: it may be both an immediate career rise and a quick firing.

There is no any recipe how to make peace between career and being open in social networks. The main thing is to remember that in Internet information doesn’t disappear. And you can’t hide behind a tricky nickname – it is very easy to reveal the real author. Internet is a public place and it is necessary to behave there according to your status in real life.


Nude prevents career

- Social networks reveal a lot of information about private live of employees of an organization, - says Timur Iosebashvili, director of, a site for jobseekers. – One big financial company didn’t hire a department director because HR department had found in the Internet his beach photos. It should seem, what is the problem? But these photos may be seen by everybody. And it means that they may be seen by partners or clients and it will impact on the company’s image.
To lesser mortals the requirements aren’t so strict. It is unlikely that someone will fire an accountant because of his or her photo in a swimsuit or even without it in the Net.

There is a statistics in the USA – 70% of commercial secrets may be charmed out. Frequently with the help of the Internet. Employers block the access to such internet-messengers as ICQ, G-Talk, Jabber, Yahoo IM, social networks (VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, and Facebook) and blogs to protect themselves somehow. Expense to that it makes a success in reducing the amount of leakage. But it is usual for people to communicate with each other and job – is one of the most popular themes for a conversation. Whether it is in-personal meeting or Internet communication, any information or opinion that an individual has, may be revealed voluntarily or involuntarily. Information doesn’t dissolve in Net, but accumulates, so sooner or later it may come to competititves’ hands.


If you have a blog – close it!

Last summer, Marketing and Advertising Director of Don Plaza congress-hotel Ekaterina Serebryakova lost her job. PR specialist and a journalist from Rostov thinks that the cause of the firing was a criticism of company and directors expressed in her blog. Notably, it is not only a hotel that suffered because of her severe remarks but also a company working on improving the image of whole Rostov region.

And in UK at the end of January Katie Furlong, Royal Bank of Scotland’s ex-consultant on debts, lost 6 thousand pounds (approximately 300 thousand rubles) because of her excessive sociability. She fell under the planned job cut and was going to receive solid redundancy payment. And she didn’t delay to write about it in Facebook. When the Bank governance found out about that, Katie was fired for another reason – for violations of the secrecy declaration. And no relief was paid.

Due diligence for Russian IPOs (business intelligence in IPO risk analisys)

Dear colleagus.

Russian stock market is one of the fastest growing on the world, but when investing in new facilities it is necessary to consider the following: road show, consolidated reporting and investment memorandum of the company are aimed at one purpose – to increase investment attractiveness of the company as much as possible and, as a result, to assign the highest price per share. Unfortunately, all isn’t gold that glitters, that’s why a potential investor should have an independent appraisal of the company. Business intelligence tools are more effective in investment attractiveness analyzing. The economic intelligence agency R-Techno helps potential investors to appraise asset risks of companies facing IPO. Analytical product in the output helps to appraise:
- Political risks;
- Reputation risks;
- Criminal risk and corruption risk;
- Lobbying channels (GR);
- Competitiveness if the company;
- Profiles of company’s key people;
- Financing and privatization history;
- Corporate conflicts and litigations, etc.

R-Techno’s specialists marked out from media reports 25 companies that are planning to enter IPO in 2011:
1. Nomos Bank
2. Rostelecom
3. Evroset
4. "Russian Trading System" Stock Exchange
6. Yandex
7. Digital Sky Technologies
8. JSC Freight One
9. Yug Rusi
10. KOKS Group
11. O’Key Group
12. Moscow Domodedovo Airport
13. Hydromashservice
14. Joint Stock Company Chelyabinsk Tube-Rolling Plant
15. Nord Gold
16. URALCHEM Holding P.L.C.
18. OJSC Polyus Gold
19. Polymetall
20. UTV Media
21. Profile-Re
22. ProfMedia
23. EuroSibEnergo
24. PhosAgro
25. PJSC EnergoMashinostroitelny Alliance

For more comfortable planning of an annual investment budget, R-Techno offers an annual subscription for 25 reports of the companies which have plans for Initial Public Offering, such as noted above, and any others on request. The subscription price depends on the necessary information and is discussed individually.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

NATO can use force to respond to hacker attacks

Marina Volkova

NATO countries have the right to use force to respond to hacker attacks on its computer networks. The announcement was made at a meeting comprising NATO experts, headed by the former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

The issue of computer security has been repeatedly discussed since April 2007, when the sites in Estonia were first attacked by hackers following the decision of the country’s government to dismantle a Soviet war memorial in Tallinn. Mr. Andrei Masalovich, an IT-expert for the Dialogue-Nauka company, comments:

"Estonia is a small country, where 95% of all payments go through the Internet. After the 2007 hacker attacks, the country was in chaos, and complained to its ‘elder’ colleagues in NATO. Then an idea emerged to set up a center outside Tallinn to fight cyber attacks. Estonia claims it to be one of the most influential centers of the kind worldwide."

The US will put the issue on the agenda of the next NATO summit in Portugal this November. Mr. Masalovich continues: "It has been quite difficult to detect the places from where the attacks are carried out. To avoid bigger problems, we must approve a legal code for the international cyber zone."

As thousands of cyber attacks are taking place each day, there is nothing surprising about the US taking this problem so seriously. The US government has been seeking new methods as well as additional sources of financing to fight hacker attacks. Director of the R-Techno agency, Roman Romachev, comments:

"The US is overestimating the cyber threat to receive more money from the budget which they need to set up a special body to monitor hacker attacks. I think we should not expect any missile attacks against hackers, otherwise nothing will be left on the planet."

It is hard to predict how the situation will unfold, because the threat we are talking about now may become real only a few years later. Remember the Caribbean crisis of the 1960s, which had been much spoken about long before it broke out. Taking into consideration the fact that the US has always sought leadership in all spheres, including information warfare, the news about their responsive measures against hackers can be viewed as a threat to global security. To avoid danger, the countries should join efforts to regulate cooperation in the cyber realm.

Russian Web services for foreigners

Marina Volkova

The Russian Web portal of public services is now available for foreigners. They can register in the member area using the series and the number of their migration card. After being registered, non-residents can give in electronic declarations to be allowed part-time residence and a residence permit in Russia.

By now, about 100 thousand people are already registered at the portal. But for their number to grow, large-scale expository work is needed – especially for foreigners who want to live and work in Russia. The main problem is probably that the procedure of registration is difficult even for Russians - in particular, there are two stages of the registration. Says the director of the “Strateg” agency and the author of the weblog of public services Ekaterina Aksyonova:

"The complicated procedure of registration stops some people – especially those who don’t realize all the profits of using this weblog. But in fact we offer a large scale of services – receiving a foreign passport, the Road Safety Inspectorate’s services and others.

One of the main profits of the portal is the security of information. Hackers are exhaustless in inventing new ways, and for a weblog with many services visited by many foreigners, a reliable defense is needed. Director General of the Russian agency of intelligence technologies “R-Techno” Roman Romachev says: "A portal of public services must be extremely safe. We need a constantly working system of safety."

People’s attitude to this weblog is a wide spectrum of opinions – from praise to sharp criticism. The critics say that it gives little explanation about how to use electronic services. Thus the main task of the project is teaching its clients how to use them. For example, the providers of such commercial Web services like booking air tickets or work with plastic cards have prepared their clients for several years – launching ad companies, explaining the preferences of Internet services and so on. From June 1, the portal has also a Cyrillic domain – госусулуги.рф.

Friday, May 8, 2009

R-Techno has launched new search gear – Webinsight

The main feature of this service – search in the invisible part of internet, i.e. docs of Federal Tax Agency, Federal Service of Law Enforcement, Pension Fund, Federal Anti-Monopoly Agency, Labor Inspection, EMERCOM, Arbitration Court, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Federal Security Agency, as well as docs of similar agencies of CIS countries, including Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Byelorussia. By mid April this search gear has processed 1800 docs, and contained information on 184670 Limited Liability Companies, 23248 – CJSC, 22141 – JSC!

Information includes:
— Tax debtors (companies) lists;
— Private businessmen – tax debtors;
— Alimony debtors list;
— Individual debtors on transportation tax;
— Disqualified persons list;
— List of companies registered on faked passports;
— Mass registration addresses list;
— List of companies registered on mass registration addresses;
— List of companies of mass founders;
— List of mass applicators;
— List of companies – debtors on salary payment;
— Lists of unconscientious suppliers of state enterprises;
— List of persons associated with terrorist activities;
— List of persons associated with money laundring;
— List of criminal suspects;
— List of invalid tax register numbers and legal entities registration numbers (INN and ORGN);
— List of cancelled liquor licenses;
— Lists of companies subject to enforced bankruptcy;
— International lists of FATF and other bodies: Denied Persons List, Investment Ban list, Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) list, Specially Designated Nationals List, The Consolidated List.

R-Techno team starting its work on this project, had in mind problems of its Clients who had to search numerous data bases and various internet sources to get information on their counterparts. That is why R-Techno decided to take a role of information integrator to make Clients’ life easier.

Under crisis condition such service becomes more valuable, because even simple check against papers of regulating bodies can considerably decrease company’s business risks, such as tax risk, foreign trade risk, counterpart fraud plots risk, etc. – says Roman Romachev.

WebInsight service is targeting staff of security companies, credit departments, information analysts, compliance-managers, detectives, auditors and financial controllers, accountants, procurement officers, reporters, officers of internal affairs ministry, etc.

"Documents presented in the system – are the files allocated by their moderators into the open access internet. But due to the complicated archives structure usually they are considered to be an invisible part of internet. There are several reasons for this situation: 1. documents are formatted or archived in soft ware not supported by search gears. 2. files are too big in size. 3. files are allocated without direct link, or in the “depth of a site”. 4. information could have a format of data base that could be found only upon a request, etc. Highly qualified experts of our company applied a lot of efforts to complete all these tasks in the deep waters of the net. Ordinary users could hardly do it, - says Elena Rogacheva, Deputy director of R-Techno. Web insight service could be found at:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Global Financial Crisis – time to be united!

At economic security market appeared a new alliance of Russian company R-Techno and Lithuanian company "BVS Info". The latter is well known to Baltic business as a professional risk preventing Team.

Expanding geography of information – analytic services – is a key to Clients’ success. “Baltic states, for a wonder, are among largest importers from Russia. Therefore information on business partners (intermediary, supplier) – is half of security of international trading deal.” - says President of R-Techno group Roman Romachev. Alexandrs Irgashevas, director of "BVS Info", also underlined importance of information on Russian counterparts for businessmen from Baltic states.

Friday, February 27, 2009

R-Techno congratulates our colleagues in the acquisition!

World-Check announces the acquisition of IntegraScreen's Enhanced Due Diligence Division

London, 04 February 2009. World-Check today announced the acquisition of IntegraScreen, a leading provider of due diligence services to corporations and governments worldwide.

With the addition of International Enhanced Due Diligence (IEDD) reports to its existing portfolio, World-Check is positioned to provide an end-to-end risk management service providing Know Your Customer (KYC) and Know Your Employee (KYE) identity authentication, reputation screening, customized country risk assessments and comprehensive due diligence reports for in-depth analysis, reporting and monitoring across multiple industries.

EDD reports are specifically designed to cater to market needs and provide KYC and business partner screening that meets Anti Money Laundering (AML), Anti Corruption and Counter Terrorist Financing (CFT) compliance obligations such as those required under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and the USA Patriot Act. Due diligence reports are essential when: conducting pre-merger and acquisition inquiries and pre-IPO research; entering into a new international joint venture; engaging a critical business partner in an emerging market; reviewing international hedge funds and implementing best practices for regulatory compliance and corporate governance.

Mr. Daniel Peak, Chief Executive Officer of World-Check said, "This acquisition was made possible through our continued success and ongoing quest to provide our clients with best-of-breed tools to cover all aspects of risk management. IntegraScreen's Due Diligence reporting service is a perfect addition to our existing product offerings, and will enable us to deliver enhanced value to clients who require 360 degree in-depth reporting before making essential business decisions. With offices in 19 locations across 10 countries and over 400 employees, our wider global research network and expanded coverage of emerging markets including the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe and Latin America will undoubtedly provide us with a leading competitive edge".

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Russian Innovations in Business Intelligence

Recently in a new sector of business intelligence there has been an unusual example of the state and business understanding, moreover, actual fulfillment of the state priorities at the private professional level.

Less than half a year ago Dmitry Medvedev, the First Vice-Premier at that time, defined four “I”-priorities to be concentrated on during next few years: institutions, infrastructure, innovations, and investments.

At the first sight it is hard to connect these priorities with a new sector of competitive intelligence. But they appeared to be closely related.

During several years one of the well-known Russian competitive intelligence experts Evgeniy Yuschuk has been reporting on the problem of professional internet usage for valuable information search. He is regularly giving problem-oriented workshops. Being a member of SCIP, he is constantly interchanging his experience with foreign colleagues. He alone, and in cooperation with other authors, has published a number of books in Russia.

One of his boos is titled "Internet Intelligence Manual" and is a kind of reference book on this topic. Author’s great experience and knowledge of the existing tools at that time let him describe real professional problem in detail. That was the question to think over for a person involved into business intelligence.

As it was expected, it appeared to be impossible to gather information about this professional. Intelligence agents do not always intend to be recognized. He is known to be registered at the Business intelligence forum online as “MOS.”

Closely monitoring online-search discussions he addressed a soft developer with questions compiled as a task to design absolutely new and specific functions on the basis of the developer’s program. “MOS” chose to be a tester. Actually, MOS found solutions for problems described by Yuschuk in his books and suggested a highly efficient developer to take part in their solving.

Alexey Mylnikov agreed to be a designer of the program with non-standard and non-existing functions. Being a student of Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, a designer in Soviet military defense bureaus and having a great creating desire Alexey started working on the project at once. Already in a month SiteSputnik had its first unique functions for information online search.

In other words, Mylnikov “taught” his program to search a number of objects in several languages simultaneously getting the most precise and full result as well as to find connections between the objects. That is, the program searches for a needle in a haystack without demanding constant presence of the user.

Every new version of the SiteSputnik is tested by “MOS” and assessed by Evgeniy Yuschuk who checks Mylnikov’s creation in his work. Thus, the product goes through the whole chain of procedures: from ideas to fulfillment and usage in work. That makes an innovation different from an invention.

Today the program is being discussed by many other professionals in business intelligence on several other professional forums. One professional group is taking part in working out product’s characteristics. Very often new ideas appear while discussing the product.

That is why their implementation finds customers at once and they are tried in real life with real tasks. Actually, the innovation product is being designed in an innovational way.

The notable part is that together with all new strategic priorities, professional traditions are also observed. In fact, design of absolutely new product is developed according to the classical principles of cooperation between intelligent agents and developers. According to them, agents give orders to scientists and laboratories to develop absolutely new products meeting their specific needs. The only difference is that state intelligent services make such products secret in comparison to business intelligence which does not.

Alexey Mylnikov, the developer:

Who and what purposes did you design SiteSputnik for? What reasons did you have?

The aim of the program design was to create a robot to shift rough information search online. What kind of user? As we see, among users there are market managers, teachers, managers, directors and of course, intelligent agents.

As for the reasons, for me it is very interesting. Developing process is closely related to users; very often new ideas appear while communicating online.

How useful was the experience of working together with intelligent agents?

Our cooperation influenced greatly the program development itself.

Great quantity of information they work with, high requirements for its accuracy and comprehensiveness demanded new qualities of the program.

Due to this cooperation SiteSputnik got a lot of useful, unique, and needed functions.

What are the difficulties in the program development and its prospects?

Despite the fact that only a part of numerous tasks has been fulfilled, I am satisfied with my performance and users are satisfied with the result. The financing problem is solved by selling the program itself. In the nearest future I plan to improve information search, analysis and monitoring tools.

“MOS”, the professional

What is the practical value of the program, its efficiency in your work?

Value is an economic notion, efficiency is a managerial one.

$ 30-100, which you spend once, are paid back very quickly.

The program saves time reducing duration of work in search-engines. It can fulfill several computer operators’ work because necessity for human presence is minimal.

The program makes work arrangements easier, it can fulfill tasks during non-working hours and results are presented by a report that does not really need editing.

Is it necessary to have special knowledge or skills to use the program?

It is not necessary. The program let a person not acquainted with search-engines peculiarities do almost professional search in Internet. However, if you have some special knowledge you can get the best, nearly the ideal results.

How often do you refer to developers and other professionals with specific orders?

Often, but we got the real result of cooperation with a developer for the first time.

Evgeniy Yuschuk, the expert:

Can you confirm that this program has unique functions not present anywhere else?

I do not know any counterparts, at least at such a low price. Besides, during usual search you have to wait for every site with results to open while SitSputnik let a professional do other things and return to the computer when the program downloads all necessary information. It saves the result into the build-in data base available for later research.

Is it fair to refer to cooperation of competitive intelligence agents and a developer as a special case of innovational activity in business intelligence?

I think so. The program has been created together with competitive intelligence agents from the very beginning. Everyone added something. For example, the universal language of requests making search online easier was built in the program by Alexey Mylnikov after he, me and some more members of the Business Intelligence Agents’ Forum had gathered in real life and drawn schemes of required SiteSputnik work.

Would you like to change anything in the program or add other functions?

Actually, we are constantly suggesting something. Alexey can start developing something at once, the rest he postpones. I can say definitely that professional community is working with the program testing it and giving tasks. I suppose, this is the reason of the program success.

It is evident that the innovation product can be used not only by business intelligence agents but other professionals using information from open resources without special training at that. It means that any community which work is based on Internet information can become a participant of creating a program meeting their needs.

No wonder, Evgeniy Yuschuk is going to introduce the new product to participants of the 2008 European Competitive Intelligence Summit, held 20-22 October, in Rome, Italy.

It is true that Russian professionals have a lot to be proud of.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

R-Techno in Switzerland

Michael Alkalay (Director of AySEC Services Ltd.) has been appointed as the representative of R-Techno in Switzerland.

Presentation "What is the business of companies providing competitive intelligence services at outsourcing basis?"

Yeugeniy Yuschuk issued a presentation based on real cases from R-Techno experience.
25 minutes. File 24 Mb.


Victor Ivanovich Tarusin has been appointed as R-Techno deputy general director on international projects.

R-Techno is a reliable partner!

“Interfax – AKI” agency increased credit rating of R-Techno company, keeping common assessment as “Company capable in time and in full to meet its obligation"

Duemarx – the best innovative product of 2008!

In 2008 R-Techno company detached a new line of business – marketing intelligence as separated brand – Duemarx. Due to its innovative product Duemarx gained respect and credibility with clients. Special interest to this product was ignited by Global financial crisis. Under crisis conditions demand for marketing intelligence has grown in times.

Duemarx activities could not be left unattended by Security market players and due to positive responses of the clients and market participants, it was nominated in the industry competition for the award “Appreciation of Security market 2008.” Among other serious participants the jury selected Duemarx as the winner in nomination “The best innovative product of the year.

Yelena Rogacheva, Duemarx General director says, “Business intelligence opens incredible opportunities for marketing research. Non standard approach provides higher authenticity and allows to get an insight view on the situation, supported by facts, but not only open sources information and expert opinion".

DUEMARX is the first marketing company at Russian market that combines technologies of due diligence and marketing. Its operation is based on technologies of economic intelligence in marketing researches. Successful combination of two technologies for the sake of one target has provided higher authenticity and to elaborate non standard approach to task execution.

Research on mobile content market. Analytic report on Russian market (VAS) in 2008

Duemarx Company has completed marketing research of Russian VAS market (mobile content) 2008.

R-Techno Company - has completed development of "it2b.bloginformer 3100+" system

"it2b.bloginformer 3100+" - automatic system of posts placement in blogs. Field of application:
— Combat blogging, information wars;
— Company services promoting;
— PR;
— SEO.

Russian market of computer games 2008

Duemarx successfully completed market research on Computer games market 2008.
Note. Special offer - 25000 RR!
Additional English version of the report - 5000 RR.

The best search solution for competitive intelligence in 2008

Expert Board of Internet project "Intelligence 2 business" approved as the best search soft ware for competitive intelligence in 2008 software designed by Alex Milnikov - SiteSputnik

Data base “Mass media in Russia 2008"

Within data bases serial “Invisible Internet” a new edition was issued “Mass media in Russia in 2008” . Base fields: Name of mass media, founders, contact details, license reg. number, etc.
— DB format - CronosPlus;
— Number of records – about 65000;
— Price – 1500 RR VAT 18% included.

Russian apple market in 2008

Duemarx has completed market research "Russian apple market in 2008". This research as all others conducted by Duemarx, is a symbiosis of classical market research and business intelligence. This fact has positively increase authenticity of information provided and create unique product!

Data bases “Invisible Internet"

In January 2009 in Data bases serial “Invisible internet” were issued the following information products:
- "Interpol search 2008"
- "Bankrupts in Byelorussia 2008"
- "US companies condemned in fraud in 2008"
- "Unconscionable suppliers FAS 2008"
- "Debtors in metal industry 2008"

Spy games (rus)

In times of turmoil “to run” a client becomes a decency...
Spy games

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

R-Techno has launched a new project Reserved Investment Fund

Reserved Investment Fund (Hedge Fund) using world wide intelligence network will collect and accumulate information on prospective investment projects.

R-Techno has established continuous investment projects inflow. Agents providing such input are entitled to remuneration. Our accumulated experience and intellectual capital as well as operational capabilities allow us to trace and to deselect fraud projects at “entrance gates”

R-Techno group President Roman Romachev considers that the very idea of using agents to get investment projects is not new, but so far nobody has implemented it properly. During active raider period in Russia such technologies were widely used by raiders. We have managed to channel this idea for the benefit of economic development. On the background of escalating financial crisis fund rising importance has been doubled. Continuous flow of projects provides unlimited choice to investors.”

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Company "R-Techno", leading agency of business intelligence, announces separation of marketing research direction in independent juridical company.

New company was called DUEMARX (briefly – Due Diligence and Marketing).

DUEMARX special feature is application of intelligence technologies in marketing. It leads to apearence in market of products which will have reliability, efficiency, non-traditional way to task solving.

Company DUEMARX is lead by Elena Rogacheva who till present moment occupied position of "R-Techno"general director deputy.

Among DUEMARX tasks are modern marketing products formation and elaboration for providing competitve advantages of the company.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

S2S - Screen to Screening

Launch of revolutionary on-line technology of staff monitoring (which got the name of S2S - Screen to Screening) is planned over the nearest time in Russia . Project creaters who prefer to be in shadow for a while gave rights to company "R-Techno" to promote the technology. The Technology is promissed to come to turning point in personnel consulting and business security providing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The role of competitive intelligence in biotech startups


Salvador Carlucci1, Anthony Page & David Finegold

Salvador Carlucci and Anthony Page are at HealthIQ, 770 The City Drive South, Suite 7400, Orange, California 92868, USA.

David Finegold is at the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, 535 Watson Drive, Claremont, California 91711, USA. e-mail:

Competitive intelligence (CI) gathering is essential to developing a biotech firm's business strategy, but few startups have sufficient support systems in place to do CI effectively. This article, the first of two on the topic, addresses why it is important and how to do it.

All biotech startups gather competitive intelligence (CI), although often they are not aware they are doing so. When a scientist attends a professional conference to learn about emerging technologies and who is working on them, when an employee stops at a rival's booth at a trade show to pick up information about their products, when a business development expert reads a market report, or even when an executive chats with a friend about trends in their industry, they are gathering CI. The problem is that in most biotech startups no one manages this flow of information, nor is it organized in a systematic way. As a consequence, the firm does not maximize the value of these critical resources.

In this article, the first of a two-part series, we will describe the types of competitive intelligence and the benefits for a small startup, and provide some examples of CI both working well and not. In the next article, we will provide guidelines on structuring a framework for collecting and providing CI to the people in one's company who need it, and we will examine the legal and ethical considerations of gathering CI.

Competitive intelligence defined

Competitive intelligence is often mistakenly thought of in a narrow way, as a means of gathering 'secret' information that can be used to gain advantage over competitors2. We adopt a much broader view of CI, defining it as the analytical process that transforms disaggregated market and competitor data into relevant strategic knowledge that can be readily put to use by all relevant members of the company. From this broader perspective, CI is closely related to other core management concepts such as strategic planning, business intelligence, market analysis and knowledge management.

Competitive intelligence is an ongoing process that is useful at all levels of an organization (see Box 1). It allows forward-thinking business leaders to clearly define the marketplace, to ask disciplined questions, and to receive timely and reliable answers to them. It also can help scientists learn about new technologies in the market that could greatly benefit the company by improving discovery platforms or by reducing manufacturing costs. In addition, CI can be used to keep an organization functioning well when key employees leave, by ensuring that they do not take all of their knowledge with them. And it can be used to train new employees so that they more quickly understand the firm's strategy and competitive marketplace and therefore become fully productive faster.

For all these reasons, CI done well can enhance a company's probability of success in the highly risky biotech environment by reducing uncertainty and improving investment decisions, whereas a failure to obtain CI can threaten a firm's survival (see Box 2).

What types of intelligence are needed?

To begin creating a CI system, a company must determine what knowledge it needs to set its strategy and operate its business. The specific types of knowledge needed and the priority placed on them will vary according to the company's market, but companies generally should have knowledge in at least nine different areas:

1. Intellectual property. Depending on the company's resources, one should do a comprehensive patent literature search at least once a year. When searching for patents, it is useful to start with the European Patent Office, which publishes all patent applications within 18 months of when they are filed, usually after one year, whereas the USPTO will not publish patents until 18 months after they are filed. This is valuable information, because most countries do not make a patent available to the public until it has been reviewed by the patent office.

2. Market need and size. Identifying target market segments will allow the company to know what markets competitors are planning to move into or are ignoring. During the long development periods required for most biotech products, the market needs and size will change. It is therefore vital to keep CI up to date by regularly consulting with key people, such as members of a carefully chosen Scientific Advisory Board and a broad sample of experts in the relevant fields. Networking at professional or industry conferences is a good way to do this.

3. Partnerships. By monitoring new technologies entering the market and in development, the company can identify possible partnerships with other companies and academic institutions. Scientific journal and patent literature searches along with professional conferences can all be potentially fruitful sources of new partners.

4. Competitive environment. It is important to continuously monitor the competition. Some players will drop out, while new, potentially disruptive technologies developed by small firms may enter the market that may not be readily apparent as competitors. The company has to be very expansive in thinking about the possible kinds of competitors. By attending conferences and examining relevant ads, the company can assess competitors' product strategies.

5. Marketing and distribution. By talking with distributors' and competitors' sales forces, the company can determine how competitors are getting their products to market. This information can help the company develop its own more efficient and targeted strategy for product marketing and distribution. The company can, for example, look at how much competitors spend on advertising or how big competitors' sales forces are to create benchmarks for its own goals and performance. Although most people will decline to talk to a "competitor," many will talk to their "peers" in other companies if the questions are asked in the right way.

6. Technology opportunities and risks. By reading the publications of competitors' scientists and their academic partners and talking with them at conferences, the company can identify the bottlenecks that competitors have encountered when developing similar technologies.

7. Regulatory and reimbursement issues. Surveying the regulatory agencies is one way to determine the current regulatory requirements and identify new issues that might affect the approval of a product or the way it is labeled and marketed. With a CI process one can examine the various factors in the regulatory environment and anticipate changes that may profoundly affect the enterprise.

8. Financing options. One of the most vital tasks for the leader of any startup is ensuring the resources that the firm needs to operate are available. CI can help determine which venture capitalists are investing in the firm's technology area and what organizations might be interested in acquiring those technologies. This data can better establish the value of a company during financing and can potentially strengthen a firm's negotiating position. In addition, CI can be used in examining merger and acquisition candidates, government grants and joint-venture partners that could provide alternative sources of funding, thereby increasing the firm's negotiation leverage.

9. Human capital. Salary surveys and analyses of job ads can provide important insights into competitors' staffing strategies. Likewise, recruiting agencies, while keeping their client information confidential, may be good sources for industry skill trends and the strategies of non-client firms. This kind of information can allow the company to determine the type of people it needs to succeed in a market niche and what it will take to attract and retain them.


Competitive intelligence is a vital part of creating a sound business strategy, and obtaining it effectively can bring multiple benefits to an organization. But small companies often do not have the expertise or systems in place to get the full value from CI. They must carefully identify their top CI priorities and the resources required to meet these specific intelligence needs, then track and control the allocation of resources to achieve these tasks. As the company grows, the CI function should also grow to maintain its competitive advantage and exploit the opportunities that CI provides.

Although broad organizational involvement is important for gaining the full value of CI, there should always be one person accountable for clearly establishing and communicating the CI development objectives. This person should be responsible for ensuring the CI process is gathering the necessary information and then distributing it to the right people. Those employees directly involved in CI data-gathering and analysis need good industry and technical knowledge, especially at the tactical level, and a solid understanding of secondary research. In addition, CI staff should have strong interpersonal, problem-solving, written and oral communication skills, because they will be collating information from both internal and external sources (see Box 3). They should also have a thorough knowledge of ethical and legal implications of their activities, which will be discussed in the next article in this series.

Top of pageReferences
Hodgson, J. The headache of knowledge management. Nat. Biotechnol. 19, BE44–BE46 (2001).
Nolan J. Confidential (HarperBusiness, New York, 1999).
Stewart, T.A. Intellectual Capital: The New Wealth Of Organizations (Doubleday/Currency, New York, 1997).
Ashton, W.B. & Klavans, R.A. Keeping Abreast of Science and Technology: Technical Intelligence for Businesses (Battelle Press, Columbus, Ohio, USA, 1997).

Box 1

-Identify opportunities and potential customers
-Gain competitive advantage by reducing reaction time
-Improve short- and long-term strategic planning
-Create company benchmarks and reveal how competitors do business
-Provide guidance on pricing, delivery, product development, outsourcing and clinical research decisions
-Anticipate changes in the regulatory and reimbursement environment that may profoundly affect the firm or its industry
-Identify emerging technologies and their potential impact on the competitive environment
-Assess merger and acquisitions candidates, joint-venture, academic and alliance partners
-Provide warning when key strategic assumptions are changing and prevent surprises

Box 2

Example 1: bad. Company A, a small biotech firm, had its strategy consulting firm do a limited CI study of the market for migraine medications to support projections that would be presented to potential investors. To conserve resources, the company focused on immediate competitors with similar compounds. As they were preparing for presentations, it was learned that a competitor product already on the market would be approved for this indication and would offer comparable efficacy at a fraction of the cost. The company's market had disappeared. Retrospective analysis revealed that this competitive development was the result of a large clinical trial program (with over 6,000 patients) that had been going on for the past two years and that could have been easily detected by a more thorough CI program. The company subsequently abandoned the indication, laid off large numbers of employees, and saw its stock price plunge and its financial support evaporate.

Example 2: better. Company B commissioned an in-depth CI study while its drug was in phase 2 clinical trials. The study confirmed that a major pharma company had a compound that was far ahead. This company already had a dominant position in the market, which would be very difficult for Company B to overcome without clearly superior efficacy. When interim phase 2 data showed that this was not the case, the company terminated development and avoiding sinking additional investment into a dead-end indication. The company estimates it saved at least $30 million.

Example 3: best. Company C directed CI efforts at their competitor's product development program. Systematic discussions with dozens of researchers on the likely safety and efficacy benefits of products in development revealed that the competitor was including novel safety endpoints in their clinical trial. The company concluded that the competitor intended to use the resulting data to make an enhanced safety claim. The company refined its own protocol to one-up the competitor and was able to make even stronger safety claims that effectively differentiated its product and created a substantial competitive advantage.

Box 3

Internal information. Company Y hired a CI provider to determine why they were losing major accounts to a competitor. As a first step, the CI firm reviewed the company's internal data, including e-mail correspondence from its own sales force reporting rumors they'd heard from customers. This correspondence included references to a sequence of activities that clearly indicated what had happened. Over a four-month period, different company sales reps reported: (i) competitor sales reps visited the customer, (ii) the customer requested information on Company Y's discounting policy, (iii) the competitor was using "a cost-effectiveness outcomes trial" as a marketing tool, and (iv) the competitor had initiated an "outcomes trial" at the account's facility. One month later the account switched to the competitor. These pieces were not assembled and analyzed because the company did not have any internal resources dedicated to systematically keeping an eye on competitor activity.

External information. A large pharmaceutical company conducted a CI assessment of a competitor's product marketing strategy for a synthetically produced compound in development. An analysis of financial information revealed that the competitor had purchased a large volume of agricultural futures in a particular flower. A review of the company's foreign marketing materials revealed that their product was being test-marketed in a European country using an "all-natural" direct-to-consumer (DTC) message. Finally, a personality profile of the senior marketing executive showed a history of innovative DTC campaigns. Based on this information, it was determined that the competitor intended to produce the compound using the more expensive natural production method in order to use the "all-natural" marketing position in the US market. The product's key market positioning strategy was thus identified 12 months before its scheduled US launch.

Creative thinking. While attending a symposium to collect intelligence, a CI analyst heard one of his client's trial investigators comment during his presentation that a particular treatment pathway (not the client's) was likely to be an area of "future development." On returning home, the analyst researched the speaker and found that he had an association with the president of a startup company focused on this pathway. This startup company was funded by a major rival and was working on a next-generation product to leapfrog the company's own product. Additional research revealed that this researcher also had an undisclosed financial relationship with the competing startup company.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Yuchchuk Evgeny Leonidovich master-class with theme “Effective usage of Internet in competitors intelligence”

On 24-25th of November 2007 Yuchchuk Evgeny Leonidovich master-class with theme “Effective usage of Internet in competitors intelligence” was realized by e-project “Intelligence technologies for business” ( 27 specialists visited the meeting and they estimated incontrovertible professionalism of course author. Combination of theoretical and practical parts was very good idea – all received knowledge were illustrated by examples right there. Thanks to all visitors are active forum of business intelligence participants training atmosphere was very friendly and warm which allowed not only to receive information but also to exchange experience with colleagues.

The following topics were viewed at training:
1. Information search in Internet;
2. Information wars planning and realization;
3. Monitoring realization;
4. Resistance to black PR;
5. Blogs role in competitors intelligence.

Furthermore this meeting started organization of professional community of business intelligence which in the closest future will devote itself to active forming of effectively acting partnership. Aim of it will be:
- business-intelligence promotion and development;
- professional standards forming;
- education programs elaboration and realization;
- experience exchange between partnership colleagues including international:
- providing with information of community participants, etc.

About master-class author

Yuchchuk Evgeny Leonidovich
- Member of Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP), author of following books: ”Marketing of risks and opportunities”, “Internet ntelligence: direction to activity”, “Blog: create and promote”.
- Associate professor of High Economy School – business-school of Institute of Economy of Ural branch of Russian academy of science, associate professor of Ural state technical university.
- Member of scientific school of regional competitiveness of Institute of Economy of Ural branch of Russian academy of science.
The only information source in internet which gives opportunity to communicate, meet and join security business experts, business intelligence professionals interesting in business risks management.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

About «R-Techno»

«R-Techno» specialization is solving economic security problems and competitive intelligence modern systems application. One of the primary aims is business activity risks minimization and prevention with providing for active information support.

Our company renders range of services:
-rival companies and partners competitive intelligence;
-preventing system to internal and external treats elaboration and creation;
-assistance to adjust relations between business partners;
-debts payback;
-candidates research for hiring;
-polygraph using for checking;
-mergers protection and document assistance for business purchase and sale;
-economic conflicts adjustment;
-modern software complexes for competitive intelligence application;
-software necessary for security providing installation;
-all questions business security seminars organization and realization.

Collaborating with us helps you:
-to decrease financial risks and thus increase revenue business;
-to reduce quantity of nonpayment;
-to provide for safe hiring;
-to avoid information leakage;
-to have unbiased your competitors and partners vision;
-to secure against unexpected partners' activity;
-to plan commercial activity safely;
-to make active decision to prevent merger;
-to recognize partners unreliability and failure beforehand and unfair competition.

Our company collaborates with some foreign business organizations. It permits to give you reliable information about physical and juridical organizations in Russia, in CIS, in foreign countries.Type and work quantity don't matter because the most significant thing for «R-Techno» is mutual respect, understanding and individual relations way. Thus we have next principles of working with clients:
-Aspiration for long business relations and creation suitable conditions for every client. We try to provide for full satisfaction of our clients.
-We don't sell our services, we solve true problems of our clients.
-Staff honesty and responsibility, competent resources planning, every stage of realization control, collaborating with clients' introducers provide for high quality results on time.
-We can promise confidentiality and observance agreement terms. Information which will be received won't be open for third people without client's written consent.

As answer to client's confidence we can promise professional and moral principles observation, honesty and decency.