Laid off or not - Workers may be stealing corporate crown jewels

Who is really watching this situation?There's an interesting article in CIO.

Who is really watching this situation?

There's an interesting article in CIO.com (and Network magazine). If you manage people, you really ought to check this one out as it describes the things people take from their employer on the way out the door. Things like customer lists, confidential data & memos, etc.

The stats were staggering and I was surprised to see that it wasn't just terminated employees who make off with company assets. Here's one soundbite from that article:

A survey of 945 individuals who were laid off, fired or quit their jobs in the past 12 months shows that 59% admitted to stealing company data and 67% used their former company's confidential information to leverage a new job.

Theft of corporate data remains a problem - a problem that more IT and HR professionals need to team up on to conquer. Even this week, I took a call from an HR executive who was dealing with a very serious version of this issue. I hear stories like this every year and the consequences of them are severe. I know of companies litigating against former employees. I know one firm whose former employee stole client records and used them at his new employer to harass a former client. That one alone cost a massive amount in attorney fees.

One thing I have learned in all of these circumstances is that statements in an employee handbook aren't enough. Great firms have identity management systems and managers who are really on top of employees and their use of corporate systems. I also know that companies with remote workers and/or lots of laptops are more at risk for data loss.

Read the article and ask yourself if you, your IT group and your HR department are doing enough on this issue.