Robinson Brog Leinwand Greene Genovese & Gluck, P.C. - New York City Business Litigation Attorneys

ARTICLES

Misappropriation of Company Data

by Ronald B. Goodman

A recent survey has indicated that insiders use information to obtain new jobs, starting their own business or for revenge.  People are worried about their jobs and they look to use the information of their employer to find new ones.  The survey shows that six out of every ten employees steal company data when they lose their job.

Of those: 65 percent took e-mail lists; 45 percent took non-financial business information; 39 percent took customer information, including contact lists; 35 percent took employee records; and 16 percent took financial information.

About 61 percent took data as paper documents or hard files, 53 percent burned the information onto a CD or DVD, and 42 percent downloaded it onto a USB memory stick.

The volatility of useful electronic evidence should always be of utmost importance to any business.  It is vitally important to identify every computer device, cell phone or PDA, external media device, such as, USB thumb drive, CDS and e-mail accounts and quarantine all of them until a computer forensic professional can be scheduled to preserve the electronic date for future examination.  All too often, employers make the mistake of redeploying an ex-employee’s computer and communication devices to other employees only making any future examination efforts all that more difficult.  It is a good practice for a business to refrain from conducting any investigation on their own which may lead to tainting the evidence.