We all worry about the threats that external parties pose to our businesses, but too often we forget the damage that those inside the organisation can do. Alarm systems, CCTV and security all serve to keep people out, but what about those who are already on the inside and know how to get around these security measures?
Why is Internal Theft a Problem?
The threat of internal theft is in many ways far greater than the threat of theft from external parties. Your employees know the ins and outs of your organisation better than anyone else, and as such are far better positioned both to begin the process of internal theft, and to refine and continue it undetected over time. As a result, the potential losses are far greater.
Whether the perpetrator is stealing for immediate financial gain or in order to set up their own competing enterprise in future, your customer lists, pricing schedules and structures, product details, propriety software and perhaps even other employees could well be at risk.
Protecting from Internal Theft
The best way to protect from Internal Theft, is to ensure that protection of assets is an intrinsic part of your company culture. This can be achieved by introducing a better review process, improving existing safeguards, and most importantly communicating policies to staff, and securing their buy in by involving them in the process.
To truly protect yourself from the threat of Internal Theft, it’s important to understand the methods that employees may use. These could include but are not limited to:
• Diversion of business to a competitor or their own entity
• Sale of assets or services for cash with no receipt
• Under delivery of goods to a customer
• Replacement of genuine product or parts with substandard or counterfeit versions
• Amending asset records to reflect lower stock count so that the excess can be stolen
• Consorting with supplier to allow delivery of less than the stated quantity or product of poor quality
• Theft of product or material from the workplace
At Regents, we understand that one of the most groups most susceptible to involvement with Internal Theft, is middle management. This group not only has access to a great deal of company knowledge, but may not have been senior enough to establish complete loyalty to the brand. As such, they are often the most likely to strike out on their own.
Regents can help you to implement a policy that will help you to protect your assets from the inside out, through the engagement of these middle managers. We recommend a multi faced approach that deters such activity by making protection of assets part of the corporate culture, and promoting the fact that errant behaviour will be investigated, and in many cases followed by civil action.
To discuss any Internal Theft concerns you may have on a confidential basis, email firstname.lastname@example.org.