Employee Data Theft Foiled

Case Studies

Employee Data Theft Foiled

Outcome

Manufacturing company saves designs from competitor

Situation

  • A manufacturing company was finishing the development of an innovative new product that had taken years of research and millions of dollars to complete.
  • One day, a disgruntled engineer employed by the company abruptly resigned and walked off the job. As he was walking out the door, he commented about going to work for the company’s biggest competitor.
  • The company’s IT team noticed a spike in bandwidth indicating a large amount of data was being transferred the day before the engineer resigned.
  • The IT team notified management who became concerned because the engineer had been working on the new product and had access to the intellectual property data.

Impact

  • If the disgruntled employee stole the intellectual property for the new product and took it to a rival company then it would eliminate any competitive advantage they had. All of the time, money and effort put into developing the innovative new product would be wasted.

Resolution

  • TCDI’s computer forensics team preserved and analyzed the engineer’s company laptop and uncovered evidence that DropBox had been installed on the laptop three days prior to the resignation.
  • Further analysis indicated that the research and development documentation for the new product had been uploaded to a personal DropBox account, a clear violation of company policy.
  • This analysis provided sufficient evidence to subpoena the employee’s home devices and cloud storage and seek a temporary restraining order.
  • Analysis of the employee’s home computers and cloud storage revealed the company files had been copied there. The former employee agreed to have the company data wiped from his personal devices and cloud accounts.  Furthermore, he agreed not to work for the company’s competitors for a period of time and seek employment in an unrelated industry.
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