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How companies can prevent employees from stealing their intellectual property

Employee theft is a pervasive problem among U.S. businesses, eroding income and leading sometimes to a company's demise.

  1. Identify & Analyze

    A major threat to employers

  2. Evaluate & Implement

    Detective work needed to uncover theft

  3. Monitor & Adjust

    Ongoing vigilance key to protection

When times get tough, employees may be tempted to steal from their employers, as was evidenced by the uptick in employee theft and dishonesty that occurred during the most recent economic downturn. ›› More


Whether it's a loss of client lists, source code or the recipe for a company's “secret sauce,” the theft of intellectual property by employees is on the rise, costing U.S. businesses billions in lost income and profits. ›› More


Trade secrets and other types of intellectual property often are considered “intangible property” by insurance underwriters, so employee theft of such property is rarely covered, experts say. ›› More



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ACFE 2012 Report to the Nations

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) 2012 Report to the Nations examines the extent of employee theft, what kinds of companies are most likely to fall prey to it and who are most likely to become perpetrators of such crimes.


Hot lines for employees to report colleagues are perhaps an employer's best way to detect occupational fraud within organizations, experts say. ›› More


When a midsize business owner or executive suspects one or more of the company's employees is stealing, the first call made often is to the wrong authorities, experts say. ›› More



Editor's Picks: Online Solutions & Resources

Data mining slashes theft

A new study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis finds that that information technology monitoring is strikingly effective in reducing theft and fraud among employees, especially in the restaurant industry.

Fraud prevention

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants offers advice on the creation and use of internal controls that can uncover, and possibly even prevent, employee theft and fraud.


Ben Beeson, a London-based partner who leads the global technology and privacy practice at Lockton Cos. L.L.C., provides guidelines for using risk management to prevent intellectual property theft. ›› More


Despite experiencing median occupational fraud losses of $140,000 each year and with more than 20% of victim organizations losing $1 million or more, many midsize companies are either uninsured or underinsured for employee theft risks, experts say. ›› More


Preventive measures and best practices can help an organization defend against occupational crime. And a crime insurance policy may be the only source of recovery in the event of a loss. Christopher J. Giovino of Dempsey Partners L.L.C. discusses some ways organizations can defend themselves, recover losses, and bring perpetrators to justice. ›› More



Editor's Picks: Online Solutions & Resources

Common Misconceptions About the Prevention of Occupational Fraud

This blog post by Bethesda, Md.-based forensic accounting firm Bond Beebe debunks some of the common myths employers believe about preventing employee theft.