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Industrial Espionage and Counterfeiting

This is a course module on both MSc Cyber Security and Management and MSc Cyber Security Engineering.

This module is one of the eight modules required for the GCHQ Master's certification.


In modern economic development the most important asset is intellectual property. The value of this commodity has accelerated both the frequency and sophistication of espionage attacks and of counterfeiting. These may be directed by nation states or commercial organisations. The attack may be on the physical security of an organisation, on the staff, on the suppliers of the organisation or against the electronic infrastructures. In sophisticated attacks, combinations of all vectors may be employed.

In this module students will discover the motivations for industrial espionage, the methods of execution and the possible defences and countermeasures. This will include anti-counterfeiting technologies, track and trace, forensics, staff vetting and physical security.

There will be emphasis on cyber attacks and defences which will complement the other modules on the course.

Principal Learning Outcomes

  • analyse exposure to industrial espionage.
  • synthesise appropriate mitigation to industrial espionage exposure.
  • critically analyse exposure in products and services to counterfeiting
  • synthesise appropriate countermeasures to counterfeiting exposure in products and services

Other useful information

This module is delivered in an intensive one-week block of directed tuition (nominally 40 hours). Students will be based in the WMG Cyber Security Centre, with most taught sessions taking place in our specialist cyber security and forensics laboratory / classrooms.

Formal assessment for this module typically comprises:

  • a report, to be submitted after the taught module period (100%)

There are no pre-requisites for this module. Students who are choosing this module as part of a course other than MSc Cyber Security and Management are welcome to seek preparatory advice.

The MSc Cyber Security and Management course team regularly reviews the content provided here for currency and accuracy. Please do get in touch with any queries.Contact:

Please note: the details of this module are correct for the current year of study and may be subject to change for future years.