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Employees Biggest Threat to Corporate Secrets

Palisade Systems, of Ames Iowa has just conducted an audit of recent data theft cases. Palisade concluded that over 65% of corporate data theft cases were attributable to the companies’ own employees. Either through theft or mistake, these employees caused the loss of more corporate proprietary information than competitors, thieves and hackers combined. Patent applications, research and development activities, trademarks, trade secrets and other sensitive corporate data are all at risk from accidental or intentional acts of employees.

There are several steps you can take to limit your company’s risk of either accidental or intentional theft of data by your employees:

1) Employee application and interview documentation;
2) Benefit policies;
3) Employee handbook;
4) Postings all required material;
5) Employee discipline criteria;
6) Specific job descriptions;
7) Safety policies and operating procedures;
8) Pay scale practices;
9) Personnel files;
10) Performance evaluations;
11) Employee privacy issues;
12) Employee Termination;
13) Employee exit interviews.

Most importantly, the audit details the necessity of having appropriate termination procedures in place, including employee handbooks and exit interviews, before a termination becomes necessary. Well crafted termination procedures are probably the simplest and least costly way to prevent disgruntled employees from causing malicious damage to your company’s invaluable data.

Brett Trout

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