November 22nd, 2017.

New figures have shown High Court cases against employees stealing confidential data from their employers increased by 25 per cent from 2015 to 2016. A number of factors have contributed towards this rise, including using technology that makes it easier to access data and increasing staff turnover.

Whilst the figure is lower than it was in 2009 where a high number of redundancies led to 95 cases that year, any increase should be viewed as significant by employers and they should be seeking to proactively manage their employees to stop a data loss.

Well drafted company policies should be introduced and fully implemented. These policies should cover all the different areas that are susceptible to data loss, from a policy on handling confidential data to an email and mobile phone policy. These policies should inform staff of their obligation to keep data safe, set out the rules for handling data, outline how to avoid a data breach and the potential consequences of employee theft. If any specific company rules are in place, for example, prohibiting the sending of emails to personal email addresses, these must be outlined clearly in the policies......

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