Data Theft From Within – How To Protect Yourself

Reports of companies being hit by cyber-attacks and hacking attempts are on the rise, as security specialists work around the clock to find ways to protect sensitive data from these external attacks – when, actually, the real danger lurks within: data theft is most commonly committed by internal staff. According to Germany’s domestic intelligence service (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, short: BfV) 63 % of the companies affected state that sensitive data has been stolen from them by former or current employees.

This tends to occur most often when employees leave a company to join the competition. Most affected by theft are databases containing customer contacts, training materials, presentation documents and strategic papers. Example: When joining a new company, sales persons can boost their popularity at the new office if they are able to bring existing customer contacts to the new workplace and thus generate revenues quickly.
Interestingly, not all wrongdoers are aware that their actions are illegal. Many people believe that the work and contacts they acquired during their time at a company are their property – but this assumption is wrong! According to copyright law and the law against unfair competition, these actions are indeed considered criminal offences.

The question is: how can you avoid and prevent your employees from stealing data?

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Legal Actions

If you have proof that data was stolen, you can take legal action according to civil and/or criminal law. If the alleged thief is still employed at your company, you can issue a warning to them or, in particularly serious cases, give them a contractual or extraordinary notice of termination. As part of an interim injunction, you may assert claims for injunctive relief and surrender.
You can also claim damages, provided that you can produce evidence of the damage incurred. In most cases, however, this is extremely difficult to do. Ideally, you should determine the amount of damage claim that would arise at the occasion in the employment contract before anyone commences work.
As an employer, you should send a clear message to potential thieves and impersonators: Do not let data theft go unpunished!

How Can You Protect Your Company From lnternal Thieves?

So, how can you best prevent employees from stealing data? One measure would be to implement an efficient user and access rights management system.
An access management system like tenfold will allow you to control and track which employees have access to which data at any given time. No more complicated and risky access structures. Learn more about tenfold now – free of charge and without obligation.

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“Top 5 Risks in Access Management” –
held by Helmut Semmelmayer, tenfold Software GmbH

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By |2019-06-13T19:39:07+00:0007 / 05 / 2019|BLOG|

About the Author:

Helmut Semmelmayer
Helmut Semmelmayer has been Senior Manager Channel Sales at the software company tenfold since 2012. He is in charge of partner sales and product marketing and regularly blogs about issues and topics related to identity and access management.