Employee sabotage is a serious issue for any business. It can take many different forms, but the goal is always the same: to harm the company in some way. Employees may try to damage company property steal or delete important data, or even spread rumors or lies about the company in an attempt to ruin its reputation.
In May of 2021, a woman in Brooklyn, New York was fired from her job at the credit union. Two days later she accessed the union's network file server and deleted 21.3 gigabytes of data, including over 20,000 files and 3,500 directories. She also went on to delete files related to mortgage loan applications and anti-ransomware protection software, according to Newsweek.
How did this happen, you ask? A request was put in for the IT department to disable the former employee's network access but they failed to do so. In less than an hour, she wreaked $10,000 worth of damage to the credit union. And she did it all from the comfort of her own home through remote access to the company's server.
Not only did the company spend thousands of dollars trying to recover and restore the deleted data, but they also had a PR nightmare on their hands while trying to reassure clients whose data had been compromised. An incident like this surely cost them current and future clients.
What is employee sabotage and why should I be worried about it?
Employee sabotage is when an employee deliberately harms their company or its data. This can include deleting files, leaking confidential information, or even vandalizing property.
There are several reasons why you should be worried about employee sabotage. Firstly, it can be very costly for your business. Secondly, it can seriously damage your company's reputation. And finally, it can compromise your data security.
What are the different types of employee sabotage?
There are different types of employee sabotage, but some of the most common include:
- Destroying or altering company data
- Sabotaging company equipment
- Spreading rumors or gossiping about the company or its employees
- Stealing company property or data
- Undermining the authority of company leadership
- deliberately causing accidents or safety hazards
- Making false or inflammatory statements about the company on social media or other forums
While some of these activities may seem like harmless pranks, they can have serious consequences for businesses. For example, data destruction can lead to costly downtime and data loss, while safety hazards can put other employees at risk.
There are several reasons why employees may engage in sabotage. They may be disgruntled with their job and want to get back at the company. They may be angry about changes that have been made in the company, or they may simply be trying to cause trouble. Whatever the reason, employee sabotage can be costly and damaging to any business.
What are some steps I can take to protect my business from employee sabotage?
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to protect your business from employee sabotage. The most important is to have a strong security policy in place and make sure all employees are aware of it. You should also regularly monitor your systems for signs of tampering, and have a plan in place for dealing with a data breach. Here are a few more steps businesses can take to protect themselves from employee sabotage:
- Create and enforce clear policies against sabotage and other forms of misconduct.
- Conduct background checks on all new employees.
- Implement security measures to protect company data and property.
- Foster a culture of transparency and open communication.
- Be quick to address any incidents of employee misconduct.
By taking these steps, businesses can help deter employees from engaging in sabotage and other forms of misconduct. Additionally, if an incident does occur, businesses will be better prepared to deal with it.
How to create a policy against employee sabotage
When creating a policy for employee sabotage, it is important to make sure all employees are aware of it. In order to do this, you should include the policy in your employee handbook and have all employees sign a document stating that they have read and understand the policy.
Some things you should include in your policy against employee sabotage are:
- What is considered to be employee sabotage
- The consequences of engaging in employee sabotage
- How to report any suspicious behavior
- What will happen to the employee if they are caught sabotaging the company
By having a clear and concise policy against employee sabotage, you can help protect your business from the damaging effects of this behavior. If you feel overwhelmed with creating a policy that will help prevent employees from sabotaging company data, it is worthwhile to consider outsourcing this task and other security measures to a mature managed service provider (MSP).
An MSP can help your business create security policies that will deter employees from engaging in sabotage. They will work with you to create a policy that is clear and concise, and of which all employees will be aware. Additionally, MSPs can help you monitor your systems for signs of tampering, and they will have a plan in place for dealing with a data breach.
Security measures you can put in place to protect your data from being stolen or deleted
Here are a few tips for how to protect your business and its data:
- Make sure all employees have access to only the information they need to do their job.
- Restrict access to sensitive company data. If possible, limit the amount of employees who have access to sensitive data. This will make it more difficult for anyone to deliberately damage or steal the data.
- Install security software on company computers and network. This will help to protect your data from being accessed or stolen by unauthorized individuals. Use security measures, such as passwords and firewalls, to protect your data from unauthorized access.
- Regularly back up your data. This will help ensure that if any data is lost or damaged, you will still have a copy of it that you can restore.
What should I do if an employee sabotages my small business data?
If you believe that an employee is purposely sabotaging your small business data, it is important to take action immediately. Here are a few steps you can take:
- Remove the employee's access to all systems immediately.
- Investigate the situation: It is important to try and find out why the employee may be sabotaging the data. Talk to the employee: If you have a strong suspicion that an employee is responsible for sabotaging the data, it is important to talk to them about it. This can help clear the air and may help you figure out what is going on.
- If a data breach has occurred, implement the steps on your data back-up and recovery plan. Work to inform your PR or communications department to craft a company statement to inform clients of the data breach and how it may affect their privacy.
When it comes to protecting your business and its data from employee sabotage, having a clear and concise policy is key. By including information on what is considered to be employee sabotage, the consequences of engaging this type of behavior, and how to report any suspicious activity, you can help protect your company from potential damage. Additionally, installing security software and regularly backing up your data are important measures you can take to help safeguard your business information. If an employee does manage to sabotage your data, it is important to act quickly and decisively to mitigate the damage.