By: Nate Latessa, Vice President of Corporate Services
Intellectual property theft results mostly from insider threats or employees who feel entitled to information, which they maliciously sell to other corporations. They use their legitimate access to the organization’s network, database, and application to source the information. Common culprits for such thefts include current employees, third parties like partners, contractors, temporary workers, or employees who have suffered a layoff.
The motivation behind such insider threats varies, however, the most notable is usually financial gain or vengeance. Sometimes, it can occur due to employee negligence, which is a key factor for most incidences of intellectual property theft worldwide.
Risks Posed by Insider Threats and Intellectual Property Theft
It is easy for insiders to penetrate the organization since they have access to the information they require. For this reason alone, it’s one of the most difficult types of threats for organizations to detect. The results of a malicious insider can be catastrophic and often leads to substantial financial losses and loss of competitive advantage. Most organizations don’t learn about insider threats until months or years later after the damage has been done.
Insider Threat Warning Signs
To help prevent insider threats it’s critical to know the warning signs:
- Unusual download activity especially outside of normal working hours
- Downloading large amounts of data and storing it on portable devices
- Accessing data that they don’t normally access
- Requesting access to resources that aren’t required to do their job
- Employees who exhibit negative attitudes towards the company
- Disgruntled employees that are leaving the organization
- Increased email activity to personal accounts or email accounts outside the organization
- Unusual deletion activity or software that could be used to hide deletion activity
- Unusual amount of traffic to cloud storage platforms
Detecting Insider Threats and Intellectual Property Theft
These incidents are increasing, and companies must find ways to mitigate the threats. At Innovative Discovery, we have launched a state-of-the-art intellectual property theft analysis platform called AnalyzID. This new platform offers quick and in-depth forensic analysis of your existing or departing employees’ computers. AnalyzID will automatically flag suspicious activity in three main areas: evidence of covering tracks, user activity, and data exfiltration. It’s the fastest and most economical way to detect indicators of intellectual property theft. Contact us today for a free consultation or demo of the tool.