According to the September Concierge Report from MindStar Profiling & Security, the difference between industrial and economic espionage is subtle yet significant.
Industrial Espionage is spying between companies in the same industry and country. It's illegal because it entails taking privately held intellectual property and using it on behalf of your company instead. Industrial espionage is distinct from competitive intelligence which is the gathering of public data about another company to better understand the market/trends.
Economic Espionage is similar in practice and function, the difference is the intent and identity of the person behind the computer. These actors are generally representative of a nation state, trying to steal trade secrets or intellectual property on behalf of their country and to weaken another country by bringing this information into the former's commercial market.
Why is this important, you might ask? Knowing the individual and the intent behind an espionage attack is the only real way to mitigate attacks now and in the future.
Read further for case examples and detailed analysis here!