Employee theft can take many forms, not just stealing cash from the register or lifting product out the backdoor to an associate. In fact, in a recent article on American Express Open Forum, Barry Moltz lists several you might not have even considered, although he says they are common.
- Set up fake vendor accounts.
- Steal checks
- Falsify expense accounts.
- Buddy punching (timecards)
- Steal data
Most of these can be precluded through strict protocol and a system of checks and balances. If you suspect employee theft, can step in and bring the truth to light.
First, computer forensic examination reveals not just documentation to confirm wrongdoing, but also can identify groups of employees conspiring through email and other communications. Even if the employee deletes emails, a certified computer examiner has the digital forensics tools and software to retrieve data.
It has become common practice for employers to have computer forensics firms perform a computer forensic analysis on computers on a routine and regular basis. This is done not only to prevent employee dishonesty, but also to act as spyware detectors and spyware removal. Spyware detection and removal is increasingly important in manufacturing and research and design firms or any time confidentiality is a major priority. In those cases, employees can be unwitting accomplices simply by opening an email or attachment with spyware attached.
Second, computer data forensics recovery can provide exact dates and times when the computer was being used by someone. With that information, if there are security cameras in place, a person can be actually seen at the computer which provides very concrete evidence. Someone can log in as someone else, but if the date and time stamp is identical to the date and time on video, it is difficult to deny. So, having security cameras in place and working combined with a computer forensic investigation is another layer of security for your business.
Contact a computer forensic consultant at for other tips on keeping your business secure from the inside and out.
-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations