Are Your Employees Stealing?

Employees Steal Your Company Secrets More Often Than You’d Think

employee theft

After several sales representatives left a global high-tech manufacturer, taking with them sales leads and other important data, the company – as well as observing companies – have started trying to look for the signs that they may, unexpectedly, be ripped off by their employees. The company hired several security analysts to look at the patterns of sales reps working on it’s cloud-based CRM system. After this, they matched them to patterns of those employees who had unexpectedly quit their jobs and exposed company information.

The abnormal behaviors found included one or all of these warning signs:

  • entering parts of the system where they don’t usually go
  • changing object information
  • deleting items
  • doing these, or any other abnormal activities, from home or during dead hours in the office

It was found that sales reps who had produced a spike in abnormal system activity between the 9th and 12th week of a financial quarter quit within the end of week 13. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015 there were 4.7 million total employee separations, and 2.7 million of these were voluntary separations initiated by the employee.

This can be a frightening thought when you consider the way we keep our valuable data stored in CRM systems, collaboration tools, and storage sites, and that it’s become easier than ever for those employees to leave the company with more than just their pay.

It can be even more frightening still, when you consider that half of all employees who left their posts in 2013 took company data with them, and 40 percent planned to use said data for their new job, claims a study by Symantec and the Ponemon Institute.

Work with what you’ve got

“You have to look at whatever data is available in their corporate environment, such as a human resources data source. If an employee has a termination date or is being terminated for any reason, then you have to look at that person’s system activities with increased scrutiny,” says Andras Cser, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research.

Get help monitoring third-party storage

“You can have solutions like CloudLock, BetterCloud and others that tie to APIs of a cloud service like Dropbox, Box or Salesforce,” Cser says. “If the solution sees that I’m downloading 300-times the usual data volume that I normally look at, then it can send an alert.”

Make stealing useless – Encrypt!

“Encrypt [sensitive] data so that if it’s taken off site, then it is no longer useful or viewable. Controls, monitoring, and data security on the inside can prevent bad things from happening,” Chiu says.

Automation can bring ease

If there are separate individuals responsible for managing programs like Google Apps or Box on their own, then those administrators have to ensure proper monitoring and controls. “That’s all the more reason for cloud security automation. If you have a monitoring framework doing this 24/7 in an automated fashion, then the enterprise has someone to watch their back.” Gupta says.

Don’t let employees get away with stealing sensitive information. Predict any potential theft before it occurs to save yourself time and money. Contact us at (888) 625-0062 or send us an email at [email protected] for more information.


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