Corporate Surveillance: Is Your Staff Stealing from You?
One of the most common forms of corporate theft is when assets are stolen by staff and sold to competitors or kept for individual use. As well as the theft of commercial and financial assets, corporate theft may also involve ‘corporate espionage’; the taking of sensitive information or data for malicious purposes. When inventory or intellectual property are stolen from within, you may need the services of a corporate surveillance expert to find out the details of what is going on.
What exactly is corporate surveillance? Let’s start with the definition of surveillance. According to Wikipedia, this is “the monitoring of behaviour, activities, or information.” So, corporate surveillance is the application of these techniques in a corporate or industrial setting, where internal surveillance is sometimes necessary to uncover employee theft or unauthorised sharing of trade secrets.
How Corporate Surveillance Can Prevent Theft
Each year, employee theft accounts for an estimated $1.5 billion in losses for Australian retailers. Unfortunately, it can be harder to detect stealing by employees than it is to uncover theft from external sources. If you suspect that someone in your company is stealing stock or sharing privileged information with your competitors, hiring a private investigator will help you answer the following questions:
- Who is stealing?
- What have they stolen?
- When did the theft take place?
- Where did it occur?
- Why did the theft occur?
- How were assets taken?
The question of motivation is often the easiest to answer. In most cases, corporate theft is committed for financial gain.
“How” might be more difficult to ascertain, particularly when it comes to digital crimes. Companies often focus on cybersecurity, implementing strategies to protect computers from hack attempts by outside operators. Unfortunately, computer access from within is often not so closely monitored. A resentful employee can cause major financial losses for a company by sharing goods and information with competitors, using the access credentials they already have.
A private detective can perform a security audit of your company, pinpointing areas that need to be more closely monitored. On-boarding protocols, access to secure areas, printer and copier use, and mobile phone policies are just a few of the elements that a skilled private investigator can help you fine-tune, giving you greater control of your business assets.
Other Steps to Take
Educating your employees about the risks and pitfalls of company theft is another proactive way to safeguard your business. In one case, an alert staff member at Apple noticed a engineer taking pictures with a mobile phone in a secure area. The employee reported it to management, leading to an investigation that revealed massive intellectual property theft.
Research and covert surveillance can often turn up the information you need about missing stock and data leaks. If necessary, our security professionals can conduct interviews with staff to find out more details. In an interview, an employee may remember a co-worker’s comment or behaviour that didn’t register in the moment but seems suspicious in hindsight.
At Truth Investigations, our licensed private detectives know the right questions to ask concerning corporate theft and can help you get the answers you need.
Truth Investigations serves corporations all over Australia and in several other countries. Our surveillance experts can help you find the evidence you need to prosecute theft of intellectual and physical assets. Contact us today for a confidential enquiry.