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Is Homeworking Increasing Risk for Sharing Trade Secrets?

Working from home in lockdown has been a brilliant opportunity for companies to innovate. Increased productivity at lower operating costs has boosted business, but for many companies enforced homeworking is a data security minefield. Every employer wishes for good employees to do an honest job, but so often this is just not the case.

Employees, now free to set their own hours and productivity levels, have been equally successful at finding new ways to make money, often at their employer’s expense. Online industries are booming, and a pending recession is highlighting the need for employees to have multiple streams of revenue in times of uncertainty. This mentality puts your business at risk, with expensive consequences and potentially devastating legal issues if GDPR is breached.

Job loss fears can lead to decreased employee loyalties for those on furlough, whilst ongoing boredom is motivating hardworking employees to seek new challenges. These factors, combined with opportunities and a renewed entrepreneurial spirit amongst employees, are key indicators in determining how your employees might compromise your business.

The 5 Data Protection Risks for Companies in Lockdown

  1. Stealing clients: when employees have access to your company database on their personal computers, they are free to harvest your existing client base to take to your competitors.
  2. Using trade secrets to win new employment: as future job security becomes uncertain many companies are seeing an opportunity to siphon skilled staff from competitors. Employees who are able to share trade secrets or have significant existing client relationships stand out in the job market.
  3. Moonlighting: without close monitoring at home the opportunists are more easily able to work on sideline projects, polish their CV and LinkedIn profile or start a competing freelance business.
  4. Selling data to third parties: lockdown has seen a global rise in phishing scams with personal data sold for unsolicited marketing.
  5. Misuse of confidential information: home working employees with access to sensitive information are able to use your client data more freely. This puts your business at risk of breaching GDPR which can lead to significant fines and severe financial losses.

Protecting Trade Secrets with Private Eye Surveillance

At Owl Investigations we understand how frustrating it can be when you suspect employees are sharing sensitive data or causing harm to your business. We’re here to get the answers you are looking for with a fully flexible private investigation service.

  • Bug sweeping: for listening devices and hidden cameras used to eavesdrop into confidential business meetings.
  • Undercover surveillance: our team of private investigation specialists can interrogate your staff and competitors with complete discretion to learn how your sensitive information is used and shared by your employees.
  • Employee surveillance: using GPS monitoring and personal tracking to investigate who your employees are meeting with on a regular basis.

Our highly trained private eye investigators are discreet, attentive to detail and client driven to help you get to the bottom of employee investigations in the best way to suit your unique business. Get in touch for a personal, no obligation quote.


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