insider threat employee spyware

If you work on a company computer, they’re probably watching you… But it’s probably not for the reason you think.

When the pandemic hit, and nearly everyone had to work from home, there were plenty of stories about companies monitoring employees to make sure they were being productive while working from home. More recently, however, studies have found that employees who know they are being monitored for productivity are actually more likely to break the rules. As more companies get comfortable with employees working from home – and measuring them based on what they get accomplished – fewer employers are concerned about productivity.

But that hasn’t stopped them from monitoring employee activity. So why are companies monitoring employees’ activities on their work computers?

Information Security

In a digital economy, data is perhaps the most valuable commodity. When you hear about a company getting hacked… what do cybercriminals take? DATA. Cybercriminals usually use the data to try to steal your accounts, identity, or money, which is why companies are getting hit with bigger and bigger fines and lawsuits related to data breaches. So you can understand why they are increasingly concerned about employee and customer information.

Unfortunately, there are too many cases where an employee was the one who either accidentally, or intentionally shared or took sensitive data outside of the company’s network. Protecting that information and making sure it’s handled correctly is one of the main reasons employers monitor employees. They have to keep an eye on the data, because it’s both a valuable asset and a huge risk if it falls into the wrong hands.

Another big reason why companies keep tabs on their employees’ computers:

Intellectual Property Protection

This includes ideas, products, and processes they’ve developed, and they usually give companies an advantage over competitors – making it one of the big reasons they’re successful.

Companies’ biggest concerns are their secrets, especially business strategies and plans for new products, because in the hands of a competitor, it could cost them millions – even billions –  in potential profits. The FBI has estimated that China alone steals nearly 600 Billion in intellectual property from companies in the United States each year, amounting to Trillions of dollars in losses to the U.S. economy over the last ten years.

If you have access to business strategies, future plans, or other critical documents, the company is probably watching to make sure those documents aren’t being emailed out or saved to a cloud or USB drive. They’re more concerned with what you do with that information, not how much time you spend looking at social media.

The reasons companies are watching is to make sure their company and customer data stays secure and doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, and as an employee, shouldn’t it be reassuring your employer is doing what it should to keep growing.

Share this information with coworkers and friends to help them understand why their companies might be monitoring them.

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