Intellectual Property Theft By Employee  

Every company or organization invests millions in research and development to improve existing technology or create a new technology.

Confidential information on technological knowledge, if leaked or sold to the rival organization, can easily result in huge losses for the company. It is certain that the technological knowledge is leaked stolen by dishonest employees and then sold to a rival company for monetary gains. Such a business related criminal activity is termed as intellectual property theft.

Intellectual property theft by an employee not only results in huge losses to the company but also helps the competitor to reap larger profits. There are many reasons for data theft. One reason can be careless management attitude. This is due to poor policy creation, communication and poor processes. Due to bad or careless management practices, most workers admit to theft of customer databases, business contacts, confidential documents and sales leads.

 There is no doubt that employees are a company’s greatest assets. But, the fact is that current and former employees are responsible for most thefts. In 2004, enterprises in the US suffered $250 billion loss on account of intellectual property theft. This figure is per the US Department of Justice.

Here are some facts on intellectual property theft:

A survey conducted by Ibas, a computer forensics specialist, revealed some startling trends. The survey questioned 400 business professionals in 2004 and came to the following conclusion:

About 30.4 percent admitted to taking information including confidential contact information and customer database.

A whopping 69.6 percent of business professionals have stolen some form of intellectual property from their bosses when quitting a job.

Surprisingly just 28.2 percent think that intellectual property theft is unacceptable while 58.7 percent think that taking intellectual property is acceptable. The employees who feel that intellectual property theft is okay feel that the theft is some form of insurance against being fired or being asked to leave.

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