“…employers should amend their employment manuals to assert that any authorization granted to an employee to access the company’s networks, files or data automatically ceases when the employee has been terminated, tenders a resignation or forms an intent to leave the employer for any reason — irrespective of whether the employer has actually blocked the employee’s access…”
“…employers should make clear in their employment handbooks, manuals and employment agreements that any authorization to access company data is granted only in furtherance of the employer’s business purposes. They should state explicitly that any other access is unauthorized. Such language has been cited by courts in several cases where employer CFAA claims have been allowed…”
“…employers must remain vigilant to retrieve laptop computers from employees immediately after an employee gives notice. They should also immediately change passwords and close remote access upon learning of an employee’s intention to leave the company…”
According to “A Statistical Analysis of Trade Secret Litigation in Federal Courts,” that was recently published in the Gonzaga Law Reform, the number of trade secret cases has grown “exponentially” in recent years. “Most alleged misappropriators are someone the trade secret owner knows,” the authors write. “Specifically, in over 85 percent of cases, the alleged misappropriator was either an employee or business partner.”
Cases of employee-related data theft more than doubled between 2006 and 2008, according to a study conducted by accounting and consulting firm KPMG. Based on its findings, the firm concluded that the number of such incidents is “almost certain” to increase further, especially in a difficult economic environment.