Most business owners erroneously think cybercrime is limited to hackers based in China or Russia, but the evidence is overwhelming that disgruntled employees, both of your company and your vendors, can cause significant losses due to their knowledge of your organization and access to your data and systems. What damage can they do?

They leave with YOUR company’s files, client data and confidential information stored on personal devices, as well as retaining access to cloud applications, such as social media sites and file-sharing sites (Dropbox or OneDrive, for example) that your IT department doesn’t know about or forgets to change the password to.

In fact, according to an in-depth study conducted by Osterman Research, 69% of businesses experience data loss due to employee turnover and 87% of employees who leave take data with them. What do they do with that information? Sell it to competitors, BECOME a competitor or retain it to use at their next job.

They can steal money, inventory, trade secrets and client lists. There are dozens of sneaky ways employees steal, and it’s happening a LOT more than businesses care to admit. According to the website StatisticBrain, 75% of all employees have stolen from their employers at some point. From inventory theft to check and credit card fraud, your hard-earned money can easily be stolen over time in small amounts that you simply never catch or discover.

Here’s one of the most COMMON ways they steal: they waste HOURS of time on your dime to do personal errands, shop, play games, check social media feeds, gamble, read the news and a LONG list of non-work-related activities. Of course, YOU are paying them for a 40-hour week, but you might only be getting half of that. Then they complain about being “overwhelmed” and “overworked.” They tell you, “You need to hire more people!” so you do. All of this is a giant suck on profits if you allow it.

Further, if your IT company is not monitoring what employees do and limiting what sites they can visit, they could do things that put you in legal jeopardy, like downloading illegal music and video files, visiting adult content websites, gaming and gambling – all of these sites fall under HIGH RISK for viruses and phishing scams.

Another way an employee can burn you on the way out: they DELETE everything. They get fired or quit – but before they leave, they permanently delete ALL their e-mails and any critical files they can get their hands on. If you don’t have that data backed up, you lose it ALL. Even if you sue them and win, the legal costs, time wasted on the lawsuit and on recovering the data, not to mention the aggravation and distraction of dealing with it all, are all greater costs than what you might get awarded if you win the lawsuit, or what you might collect in damages.

You want ensure your company is protected against ransomware and breaches 24/7, no matter what causes them, employees included.  In my book, I cover how to work with your IT company to prevent any such attacks.  Get your copy here: