McAfee Inc. announced in their 2009 findings that the global recession is putting vital company information at greater risk than ever before. As the global recession continues, desperate job seekers are stealing valuable corporate data, which may be seen as desirable by potential future employers.

When times are difficult, employees that are laid off are more likely to steal valuable and sensitive company information, and even delete them. Even business partners who split during these tough times are likely to steal valuable company information and may even delete them as a form of sabotage

While precautions can be taken to protect their data and prevent potential opportunistic thefts and sabotage, sometimes valuable company information is stolen or deletedWith more instances of IT data theft, firms specializing in computer forensic services such as investigation of data theft and recovering deleted data are highly in demand

In this time of looming economic recession, companies are advised to exercise immense caution when dismissing who have access to valuable company information.  In McAfee’s 2009 findings, security experts warned that the global recession could place vital company information at greater risk than ever.  Employees that are laid off are likely to steal valuable company information when given the opportunity, especially when it may help them secure positions with their future employers.

In the first such case brought before the courts of Singapore last year in 2008, seven ex-Citibank employees were sued with breaching client confidentiality when they moved over to UBS and took along sensitive customer information with them. Eventually, the Singapore government charged these seven under its Computer Misuse and Banking Acts when an email containing personal data that was misappropriated surfaced.

In an annual survey conducted at Infosecurity 2008 –  Europe’s largest IT security event, 88% of IT administrators indicated that, if laid off tomorrow, they would steal valuable and sensitive company information including CEO’s passwords, customer databases, R&D plans, financial reports, and company’s list of passwords to unlock access to most of the information on the company’s network.

“Companies in Singapore are still not aware that when employees are told to leave the company, they often still have access to valuable and sensitive information using their passwords. This means they have the opportunity to vindictively steal data for competitive gains or even maliciously delete data to wreck havoc on your operations”, says Felix Chang – managing director of Adroit Data Recovery Centre, a company that also specializes in computer forensics.

Dismissed employees are just one side of the story. During times of economic downturn, companies also have to contend with partners and directors who resign or leave due to differences or board conflicts. Such scenarios present the perfect opportunity for data theft and sabotage. The departing party could very well steal the entire customer database, or even delete entire blocks of data to wreck havoc as a parting gift. In this digital age, all it takes is one click of a button to do destroy years of valuable information, as opposed to the classic method of manually burning papers and files. 

With more instances of IT data theft, firms specializing in computer forensic services such as investigation of data theft and recovering deleted data are highly in demand. Companies such as Adroit Data Recovery Centre (ADRC) offers specialized techniques to uncover evidences related to data theft, or intentional deletion of sensitive or confidential information.

In the event that you suspect potential data theft or malicious data deletion, companies are advised NOT to do anything to the suspected hardware, and immediately contact a computer forensics specialist for assistance. Here are some golden rules that companies should observe:

Do not power on the computer

This will change the last boot up time, which may result in evidence loss. Moreover, many items in the cache may be eliminated.

Do not modify files or even browse through them

Although the action may seem harmless, you are actually changing the timestamp of the files as you browse through them, resulting in evidence loss.

Contact a computer forensics specialist

Without following proper procedures, evidences acquired may not be permissible in Court. It is therefore important to ensure that forensic investigation is carried out by forensic specialists with proper training and experience.

For more information on computer forensics services or to request for a free consultation, you may visit

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