In a previous post we addressed the underlying issues and harm caused by an ex-employee stealing confidential company information. We discussed that having internal policies in place to prevent data theft which often entails fostering an environment where employees have limited access to confidential data from their initial hire date. The unsettling reality that cannot be overlooked, however, is that even with the implementation of a thorough policy, a resourceful and persistent employee will inevitably be able to steal Company data. Rather than allowing an atmosphere of paranoia to kick in and envelop your Company, the best method to approach this scenario is to rely on forensics examiners to help demonstrate that the ex-employee took information without consent which will undeniably cause harm to the company.
Ultimately, in this context what you don’t know can hurt you. Professional assistance ensures a greater likelihood of not only effective data theft prevention, but also assessing the damage after the fact with the goal of bringing the ex-employee to *justice (*tune into future posts for legal recourse against an ex-employee). Computer forensics experts can locate evidence of an employee’s improper conduct using specialized software, hardware and techniques.
In simpler times, a devious employee would have to devote countless hours and energy into stealing pertinent information from their Company. In the current technologically driven age where nearly all Company files (financial statements, trade secrets) are stored electronically, one can never be absolutely certain if employees are secretly stealing company information. Electronic documents are easy to copy and are naturally more prone to theft than old fashioned hard-copy documents. In prior posts we discussed the importance of limiting access to confidential Company information by creating passwords and other various precautionary measures, which is certainly a good starting point.
However, consider just one scenario where technology affords an employee the opportunity to take data electronically from a company by utilizing a USB device. The device can be slipped into a computer stealthily, can hold vast amounts of data, and does not require an intricate operation to undertake. This is merely one example but it demonstrates not only the ease with which electronic documents can be stolen, but also the quantity that can be taken in a brief time span.
The myriad of reasons an employee may be motivated to take confidential company information can range anywhere from the employee doing so inadvertently to an employee intending to derive personal gain by exploiting a trade secret. Whatever the reason may be, it has become evident that every company should implement internal policies to protect themselves not only after a data theft has occurred but also by taking preventive measures. Legal Evidence Corporation has experience implementing policies and technology necessary to protect Company data.