To protect against incidents of sabotage to organization data (i.e. destruction, modification or removal of exclusive information), organizations should make a routine of following certain key steps to ensure the company information is safe. Venezia Investigations has presented 5 very essential steps to safeguarding a company’s exclusive information.
Sad to say for employers, employees frequently attempt to acquire work product with them when they depart, even under friendly circumstances. To prevent situations of sabotage to organization data (i.e. destruction, alteration or removal of proprietary information), organizations should make a Security Plan to help safeguard their hard fought private information and trade secrets.
Below, Venezia Investigations outlines a basic Security Plan that could help protect organizations.
- Eliminate Employee Accessibility – Immediately
Employees who depart ought to have their passwords revoked immediately upon their departure – ideally on their final working day of employment. Taking a extended time to secure this phase could become an expensive slip-up if the employee leaves only to obtain the company’s information to eradicate or steal from a remote site. Research has shown that it is fairly common for employees to share passwords, which could potentially lead to illegal access. Disabling the password may prevent other unauthorized personnel (who could still be working for the company but may not formerly have access to certain delicate data) from obtaining confidential data. Because of the occurrence of password sharing in corporate America, it may also make sense to force a company-wide password change on a frequent interval; including the day access is suspended from an employee.
- Maintain Data on Employee Accessibility
With information stored in a wide range of security levels and locations across the network, access privileges are numerous. To leave the margin for error as close to zero as possible, it is recommended for a company to maintain a document that lists each employee’s access to the company’s information systems. The company is then in a position to disable all of the access rights, limiting the error of leaving any access codes untouched. Having a manager make sure that all access rights are disabled with a checklist that has to be signed for confirmation is another measure to take to guarantee safekeeping of proprietary information.
- Execute Departure Interviews
Businesses that did not possess the understanding to have employees sign a non-compete or non-disclosure understanding in the original employment stages should conduct exit interviews to remind the employees that company information is confidential and should not be exposed to an outsider. Of course, this practice should be caused by a company policy already in place about the prohibition of disclosing company information to outsiders or competitors.
- Safekeeping or Imaging Hard Drives
Continued use of the computer involves risk of changing file dates of creation, adjustment, access or removal. Also, any of the following activities could alter proof of an employee’s fraudulent activities or theft of corporate electronic property: turning computer on/off, entering new data, loading new software, compressing data, defragmentation of disk’s and moving data from one system to another. it may be good measure for businesses to keep the hard drive(s) of any employee who has access to delicate information when they leave. This practice will ensure that actions on the computer are not accidentally erased and should there be a need to investigate a suspect’s hard drive for debatable activities, the evidence would not have been tampered with by anyone else.
Another alternative is to image the employee’s hard drive. Computer forensics experts can obtain a “mirror-image” of a hard drive and organizations can keep a copy of the imaged drive for a period of time. This resource will allow continued usage of the original hard drive and still afford employers a copy of the original. If there is a need for electronic evidence discovery in the future, a computer forensics expert can perform the investigation on the imaged drive.
- When An Employee Is Suspected Of Foul Play
When an employee who has left the company is suspected of foul play, (i.e. stealing company data, deleting files, sharing information with outsiders), the initial thing to do is to turn off the suspect’s computer. Activities that occurred on the computer can be traced but the chances of finding evidence could be restricted by continued usage of the computer. Companies should hire a computer forensics professional, like Venezia Investigative Services, who is certified in the latest EnCase forensics software, to discover evidence on the computer that could prove that the employee did indeed perform illegal activities on the computer.
It is essential to hire third-party experts like Venezia Investigative Services rather than using the internal IT department personnel because that way they can ensure that the evidence is handled appropriately. Computer forensics experts can maintain a proper chain of custody, avoid data spoliation and authenticate the evidence. Additionally, an important factor to consider is that, unlike internal IT staff, third-party experts do not usually know the suspect personally, reducing the risk of them sabotaging the hard drive to help or to incriminate the suspect.
Venezia Investigative Services has the tools and experience to perform logical, physical, file system and password extraction of data from digital devices. By the incorporating the latest hardware and software technologies, Venezia Investigative Services has one of the most thorough capabilities for computer and mobile device investigations in the industry – with the ability to image thousands of computers, tablets, mobile phones, smartphones and portable GPS devices, and all major mobile OS: iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia, Symbian, Windows Mobile and Palm.
Venezia Investigative Services Computer Forensic Investigators follow the trail and decipher the information regardless of whether the evidence is digital, such as electronically stored information found on computers, tablets, mobile phones or other devices or if the investigation requires traditional private investigative services. Venezia Investigative tools and techniques include surveillance, undercover work and detailed record searches. The final product helps our clients gain a deeper understanding of what has happened or what is occurring. The gained clarity and discovery of truth allows our clients to quickly respond and recover.
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