In this scenario, an enterprise's options are more passive in nature. If there is something/someone that the organization ise specifically worried about, then it needs to keep a sharp eye on the situation. For example, if the employee was working on a large bid or a specific project for a customer and his/her new firm shows up in the bidding for that contract, it can be assumed the employee was using that corporate data to get an edge. In many cases (but not always), this would be against the law. To be clear, it's hard to prove this kind of data theft in a court of law.
Taking the scenario a step further, the enterprise could preemptively sue the employee -- and the new employer -- alleging misappropriation of trade secrets. But again, without any firm or substantiated proof, it's unlikely the case would stand up in court.
- Learn about implementable policies to keep employees from leaking corporate information.
- How well do information leak prevention products really work? Read the security expert's response.
This was first published in May 2008