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Conducted internal investigations of a fashion brand to identify insider threat

When a Competitor seemed to be one-step ahead of every decision this fashion brand made, from new product launches to new supplier partnerships, this client suspected foul play, but needed the evidence to prove, and stop it.

Threat & Vulnerability Assessment

In a company with global operations, employing close to 2,000 people, across offices and factories in three-countries, it was imperative that we determined whether the threat was internal, or external.

Once we had a deeper understanding of exactly what information the competitor had learned and profited from, we conduced a discreet, and comprehensive threat and vulnerability assessment of their technology systems, including cyber malware detection, and technical surveillance countermeasures at their offices to survey for any illicit covert surveillance devices such as cameras or microphones.

Our Associates even went as far as to review the policies and procedures this client had in place for its trash, from what they disposed of, and how, to where it goes after the fact; to determine any vulnerabilities in their security and brand integrity procedures.

Insider Threat Detection

Once the Threat & Vulnerability Assessment was complete, and suggestions had been made into how to improve their internal policies and procedures, it was determined that if their competitor was learning this information from our client, it was through an insider, who was either profiting from their act of espionage, or they meant malice for the company.

Through a process of elimination, based on who had access to the information that was leaked, we were able to reduce the list of potential suspects from close to 2,000 to just 18-people. We worked with Human Resources to assess whether any of the 18 employees had any reason to cause the business malice, such as recent disciplinary actions, and it was determined that there was no obvious reasons.

We then approached this from a different, more strategic direction. The 18-people worked in just four departments. With that in mind, we conducted a sting operation whereby one executive approached each department, and 'confided' in them about a disruptive, new strategy the company would be launching. Each department was told that it must remain confidential from the other departments, and each was told about four completely different strategies.

The result of this was swift. Within just six-days, the competitor brand had distributed a press release, announcing a new 'disruptive strategy' that was exactly the same as one that was told to just one of the four departments. We had now narrowed down the insider threat to just four people.

The Results

Inherent Risks' continued work identified an insider threat, and by isolating that threat, we were able to disrupt the competitor further by facilitating erroneous leaks over a period of six-weeks, causing financial losses to them, and enabling our client to recover both financially and reputationally. The insider threat was prevented from causing any further harm, and was subsequently fired.


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