What Happens to Sensitive Information When Employees Leave?

Confidential infoThe departure of employees may constitute a big security hole for company data. A recent survey showed that intellectual property theft is prevalent as former employees don’t feel like they’re committing a security breach, because they’re just taking what they consider “theirs”, or they’re simply ignoring company policies.

The survey highlighted that:

  • More than 1 in 4 respondents said they took data when leaving a company;
  • 15 percent of respondents said they are more likely to take company data if they are forced out of their job (fired or laid off), rather than leaving on their own;
  • Of those who take company data, 85 percent report they take material they have created themselves and don’t feel this is wrong;
  • While a majority takes their own documents, 25 percent of respondents report taking data that they did not create; and
  • About 95 percent of respondents said that taking data that they did not create was possible because either their company did not have policies or technology to prevent data stealing, or that if companies did have policies in place, they ignored them.

Companies need to be aware of the risks associated with employees transitioning over to new positions in a different company, sometimes a competitor, and make sure the security measures they implemented are strong enough to dissuade individuals from taking company data. The technology a company uses to prevent the use of sharing tools such as DropBox, GoogleDrive, even web based email can make a big difference in the long run.

Company data is easy to track if secure tools are in place. RVM Enterprises, Inc. developed a new product, the RVM TracerTM, which can be used as part of the exit interview process or as a tool to periodically check to see whether or not company documents have left with an employee.

Adopting effective procedures to address ESI issues can dramatically improve security awareness, risk assessment and treatment. RVM can help you determine how best to approach these important issues.