Corporate sabotage has long existed and some famous cases of it date back to as early as the 1700s when Père d’Entrecolles, a French man, spied on unique manufacturing techniques at a Chinese company which he later passed on to the French. Corporate sabotage still exists, and a very recent case involved Elon Musk who reported that one of his employees had sabotaged Tesla’s California plant amidst claims that there are organizations seeking to destabilise and destroy his company.
Some analysts are of the view that Elon Musk may be a bit obsessed with sabotage because he allegedly unearthed a similar sabotage ploy by a then Tesla employee who was giving out crucial company information back in 2008. Despite the views on Elon Musk, the fact is corporate sabotage has always been there, and it will probably be there in times to come, therefore the best thing to do is to search for ways to curb it. Below are some possible solutions to corporate sabotage.
Beef Up Information Security
Most, if not all cases of corporate sabotage have always involved information falling into the wrong hands, and its misuse leading to failures in corporate internal systems. It is therefore crucial to beef up the security of company information by having tough controls in place. If information controls were in place to require top authorisation to access certain levels of information, and the amount of sensitive information available to people below certain authority levels was restricted, the Tesla employee may not have had any information to bring out. It is also important to keep private information private, and if need be to keep it on a strict need-to-know basis. In the case of the Tesla case, more security checks may have detected the sabotage plans earlier.
Create Robust Governance Systems and Background Checks
This step involves making employees adhere to stringent company policies which include severe legal repercussions in the event of an employee maliciously sabotaging the company. A balance needs to be created though, to protect the employees in case of illegal conduct by the company as is the case with the protection of whistle-blowers. The Tesla 2008 sabotage case involved an employee trying to protect consumers, and this should be allowed.
Companies should also conduct extensive background checks on their employees paying close attention to any criminal records that may pose a threat to company objectives and values.
Cybercrime is on the rise and the damage attributed to it totalled in excess of US$3 trillion in 2015. Cyber attackers are on the prowl and they can play a large role in corporate sabotage. There is a need for investment in systems to deflect hackers, and the use of apps and systems that make the company susceptible to attack should be restricted.
Assess and Mitigate Risks in the System
Some risk that may aid in corporate sabotage may be inherent in the company system and it is crucial to be able to assess these risks. By evaluating the company’s systems and actively auditing any potential risks, it is possible to remove elements that may be used unfavourably by company personnel or other stakeholders to sabotage the company. It is also advisable to stay on top of the game by appraising thecompany for any potential risks that may arise in the future and setting up measures to mitigate them.