Business Litigation Alert: "IP Theft Goes Internal"

Employees Are Often the Source of Data Breaches

Companies are on high alert to the rising risk of IP theft from outside sources.

However, another real risk to a company's intellectual property is much closer to home: its own employees.

A recent study shows that one-third of corporate intellectual property theft actually involves inside employees, usually in collusion with outsiders who have offered a monetary bribe.

\With the threat of data theft coming at companies from all angles - both outside and inside - it is increasingly difficult to protect a company's most valued assets.

So how can a company secure its data from internal and external thieves?

  • Restrict Access – Make sure that employees only have access to sensitive data on a “need to know basis.” If it is not essential to the day-to-day function of their job, they do not need access.
  • Guard Login Information Carefully – Abusing access privileges and stealing login credentials are two of the most common ways employees improperly access information; therefore, protection of login credentials must be implemented at all levels.
  • Monitor Employee Access – Know who is accessing information, when, and from where. Build in checks and balances to ensure that only appropriate employees are accessing sensitive data.

The risk of data theft from either external or internal sources is not an issue that is going to fade away – it will only increase as technology advances.

However, implementing certain key steps to combat unauthorized access internally can keep many external threats at bay.

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