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It often seems that company loyalty has gone the way of the cassette tape. Businesses are increasingly being put at risk by employees who conspire with former co-workers to siphon out information or intellectual property to market to competitors or others with profit motives.

Misappropriated corporate data can be enormously profitable to the end user. People employed in positions with access to closely held information are typically aware of its uniqueness. When fired or otherwise separated from employment, the access these individuals had is usually shut off. However, this does not prevent them from recruiting their former colleagues. This is especially true if they have an axe to grind.

In one particular case handled by ResultQuest, a company terminated a contentious, highly-paid technician who, unknown to the employer, had a live-in girlfriend who remained employed by the firm. Under his guidance, she gained unauthorized access to a patented proprietary system and copied certain platforms. Using the data, the former employee launched his own successful business and was joined in short order by the girlfriend.

In another matter we investigated, a fired plant manager recruited his underling, a drinking buddy, to gain illicit access to computerized drawings of a patented machine that manufactured a specialized device for use in the petrochemical industry. He copied and delivered the drawings to the ex-manager, who then had a duplicate machine built. Shortly thereafter, he began manufacturing and marketing the same device.

In both instances, it became apparent that the companies did not implement failsafe constraints to prevent unauthorized entry to subsystems containing valuable trade secrets. Although our investigators developed information that assisted in the successful pursuit of litigation, tighter controls might have saved the trouble and expense.

If you have concerns regarding the security or theft of your intellectual property, we can assist by assessing and addressing these issues. Call the security specialists of ResultQuest at 713-781-9040.