In previous blog posts we covered the in’s and out’s regarding employee’s stealing confidential company information (hyperlink) and the role of forensics after employee data theft has occurred (hyperlink). To provide some context, we discussed how having the most efficient and thorough internal policy or preventive measures in place can still result in employee data theft. It may be unsettling to realize that a resourceful and persistent employee may inevitably be able to steal Company data. The role of computer forensics is pivotal in helping to gather information and evidence about the perpetrator, which enables the employer to seek legal redress. Legal Remedies may include monetary damages or an injunction.
Unfortunately, many employers do not realize an employee has taken confidential information until weeks or months have passed and this will hinder any legal claim. As is the case in most legal settings, by altering the former employee’s computer it will diminish the value of the evidence uncovered and consequently prevent a successful claim. That is why digital forensics Corporation recommends preserving the digital contents of a former employee’s computer by making a forensics copy of the hard drive or mobile device. Should suspicions arise in the future concerning theft of confidential information or other potential causes of action, the evidence obtained from a forensic examination conducted on the hard drive “mirror” will be as credible in Court as if the original hard drive had been preserved and examined.
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.