Intellectual property theft is growing and can be quite expensive for your business. Intellectual property may include, for example customer database, pricing and contracts lists, trade secrets, design and products being developed, details of how prices are calculated for various important customers etc.
The key risk area is when an employee has indicated that they wish to leave your employment. Unfortunately, some employees believe that they can enhance their value to a new employer or kick start their own business by stealing key intellectual property from your business. This can be done by emailing documentation to their home email address, downloading it onto a memory stick or photocopying it and removing it as a hard copy. In considering your risk strategies it’s a good idea to develop policies of limiting access to certain documentation to any employee so as to remove the temptation to illegally obtain copies of your business’ intellectual property. This can also be dealt with in an employee’s employment contract.