Disgruntled employees that have access to systems that are necessary for the daily operation of the business can be a serious threat. Perhaps the most damaging way an employee can compromise the integrity of the organization is by stealing its intellectual property. Whether you own a small business or are part of a large corporation, you just can’t underestimate the value of your secret business information, product plans and not to forget, customer information.
Unfortunately, your own employees can steal valuable information from the organization for a variety of reasons. This might be vengeance or an attempt to gain a competitive business advantage. That’s right. Some employees steal data to start a competing organization or make personal financial gains. By monitoring your employee’s online activity, calls and text messages, you can reduce the risk of data theft.
It is quite clear that business secrets and internal trade information are the most frequently attacked assets. Trade and business secrets can include product designs, new service features, price lists, competitor analysis, customer data and anything that should be kept a secret.
If you analyze the data theft methods, you will be surprised to know that the intruders use organization infrastructure as a primary vehicle for getting the data out of the company. Employees might use corporate emails to first send data off to their personal email accounts and then use it. You should strongly consider email monitoring if a particular employee sends emails to suspect recipients.
Often employees prefer to send private data over calls and text messages rather than using common removable storage devices such as USBs and flash drives. Because USB devices have greater visibility, it makes it easier for fellow coworkers to spot the action if the intruder tries to copy data at once.
What can businesses do to prevent theft of intellectual property? Well, it’s always better to establish clear standards in defending against insider attacks. You need to ask yourself, "how do I figure out how to read someones text messages without them knowing?"Make sure you monitor email activity and keep a close eye on calls, and text messages. When considering network security, do watch out for suspicious email communication particularly ones that have attachments. You can easily identify suspicious email communication if the recipients are direct competitors or people who shouldn’t be receiving the email in the first place. You also need to monitor employee activity closely in events that might cause stress among employees such as downsizing, reorganization or change in management. The sudden change of events can possibly affect employee behavior in a negative way and heightened security becomes necessary.
The best part is that disgruntled employee monitoring is not strenuous or overbearing. Remember that even the hardest working employees can become angry and frustrated due to an unfortunate event or failure to meet an expectation. Maybe the employee felt that he or she was about to be promoted, but this didn’t simply happen. In this case, the employee might decide to harm or sabotage the organization by stealing intellectual data or modifying and deleting the data for the purpose of vengeance or personal gains. The employee can transfer the confidential data contained in servers via emails or text messages.
What’s important to note here is that an employee can carry out the damaging actions during the working hours making it difficult to identify. When you monitor emails, calls, text messages and use of social media, you can easily guess the primary reason behind the attack.
Monitoring employee activity allows the company to prevent intellectual property theft from happening in the first place. Remember you just can’t afford to ignore incidents involving sharing or copying of data if you really want to run a successful business.