Thanks to the growth of this new digital age, more and more businesses’ operations are becoming digitalised in order to improve efficiency. This allows faster growth and better management, however, there is a pretty big downside to it too; how easy it is for employees to steal valuable company data such as client lists and operational ideas. Here, we take a look at what you can do as an employer to protect your information and avoid the potentially destructive consequences of employees stealing your digital assets.
Gardening Leave and Privileged Access Management
One of the most basic things that you must make sure you do is set up privileged access management, otherwise known as pam tools in order to only allow access to those employees who need confidential information in order to carry out their role, and who have therefore been deemed as trustworthy. Of course, it is possible for people to slip through the net, but this is an important step to take to for damage limitation.
Another tool that many employers who work with confidential information use is gardening leave. Gardening leave is when an employee hands in their notice and you ask them to leave immediately whilst still paying them, rather than them having to work through their notice period. This way, they cannot use this time to transfer any company data to a new employer. This doesn’t help if they have already done the damage, but it will certainly minimise the chances of it happening.
Furthermore, as part of your employee contract you can include a non-disclosure agreement. Non-disclosure agreements allow you to take legal action if an employee breaks the clause, therefore seeking compensation for any damage they might cause. This action can also bring attention to the fact their new employer may have benefitted from the theft of information, therefore having a destructive impact on their reputation and future success, as well as that of the perpetrator.
Another way to avoid employee data theft is by going straight to the source. Employees who steal from you are often only able to do so if they feel no emotional connection to the company. Some even do it as a result of anger they feel towards the company. In order to avoid these circumstances, it is important to make sure they feel valued and supported from the outset of their employment with you.
A focus on employee welfare can help you to nurture positive and loyal relationships with your employees, which in turn will minimise the chances of them developing resentment towards you, which could in turn to lead to aggressive actions such as data theft.
It is unfortunate that employee theft is something you have to prepare for as an employer, but there are things you can do to limit the potential damage it could cause. Firstly, make sure you insist on gardening leave when an employer hands in their notice, and install privileged access management so that only certain employees can access confidential information.
Make sure there is a non-disclosure element to your employee contract and look after your employees properly so that they do not build up resentment towards you. Theindependentcollective has more tips for employers such as how to make the most of data to make informed business decisions, if you’re looking for a helping hand.