CD: To what extent are you seeing a rise in cyber related employee theft? Are today’s companies at greater risk of discovering their electronic data has been copied or stolen?

Coyne: Employee theft has ballooned in the last year in particular. This is likely to be due to a number of technical and commercial factors. Perhaps the biggest technical factor is the rise of cloud-based management systems which allow users to access data from anywhere provided they have the correct credentials. Partner this with the fact that essentially everyone is now connected to the internet via their mobile devices, and it is easy to see how a soon-to-be ex-employee could procure sensitive information for later use. It takes very little technical ability to access information in this way, and it is very difficult for firms to effectively protect against since the theft is being carried out by a ‘trusted’ source.

Sykes: Employee knowledge of forensic tools available to track down their misdemeanours is definitely lagging behind capabilities, and with mobile devices being the single highest means of stealing company data, ex-employees feel safe seemingly because they have the phone and we don’t. But in many cases locational data absolutely identifies the means by which company IP and data has been stolen. Combining this with more traditional cell site analysis and forensic data recovery and there are few opportunities to be assured of anonymity.

Jan-Mar 2016 issue

IT Group UK Ltd