By Claire West

Small businesses are increasingly becoming the victims of data theft — and the perpetrators are most often ex-employees. The number of High Court cases relating to the theft of confidential information rose by 250% between 2010 and 2012.

In the majority of instances the victims were small businesses, and the perpetrators were employees who were leaving the company.

Raj Samani, VP, CTO for McAfee EMEA explains how small business owners can protect themselves from this internal threat:

“Employees play critical roles in protecting customer records, intellectual property and critical business data.

However, this report reveals that when employee relationships turn sour, or staff move on elsewhere, they can to use this knowledge and easy access to data to their own benefit.

“The growing working culture of remote access and bring your own device (BYOD) exacerbates this problem, creating an environment where companies cannot control how their data is being accessed, stored or shared.

“It is therefore essential that small business owners keep track of all devices that are attached to their network and block access as soon as the employment is terminated.

“Small business owners must protect themselves from this internal threat through the deployment of technology, and strong processes to identify and prevent former employees from walking out of the door with such important data.”