Intellectual property is the lifeblood of many businesses, and safeguarding it should be a top priority for all organizations. However, one company that learned this lesson the hard way is DuPont, which suffered a $400M loss due to an employee’s theft of intellectual property. Is there any way to prevent the incidents from happening?
The incident occurred when Gary Min, a research chemist at DuPont, downloaded approximately 22,000 abstracts from the company’s electronic data library and accessed over 16,700 documents. The information he accessed was unrelated to his job responsibilities and areas of expertise, and included DuPont’s primary technologies and products – some of which were still in the research and development phase.
Once DuPont discovered Min’s illicit activity, the company contacted the FBI, which conducted a search of Min’s home. The agents found DuPont documents stored on several computers, and a software erasure program was deleting information from one of Min’s computers as they entered the house. In addition, agents found garbage bags with shredded DuPont documents and remnants of the company’s documents in a fireplace, as well as additional DuPont documents located in a storage unit of an apartment.
Min’s actions resulted in a significant financial loss for DuPont, and he was sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined $30,000, in addition to a restitution order for $14,500.
This incident underscores the critical need for companies to prioritize intellectual property protection and take proactive measures to prevent insider threats. Insider threats can take many forms, including theft of intellectual property, sabotage, and unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information. While it is impossible to completely eliminate insider threats, companies can take steps to mitigate the risk and minimize the potential impact.
One key step is to implement robust security measures to protect intellectual property. This includes restricting access to sensitive information, monitoring employee activity, and implementing data loss prevention (DLP) solutions to prevent unauthorized disclosure of data.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect your sensitive information from insider threats and data breaches.
Our powerful DLP solutions can help safeguard your business and your clients’ privacy by detecting and preventing unauthorized access to sensitive data. With WiderWorld e-Locker