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When you think of crimes against businesses, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Most people automatically think of theft. Whether it is theft of merchandise/inventory, equipment, money or even intellectual property, this is the biggest crime perpetrated against businesses large and small around the globe. The unfortunate aspect of this is the form in which theft is perpetrated. There is physical theft whereby the criminal or criminals physically steal tangible property, usually to resell or redistribute for a profit. However, there is another form of theft that is even more disconcerting and this could be the most difficult of all to ‘fix.’

Could It Be an Inside Job?

Whenever a serious crime is committed against a business, especially if there are layers of physical or cyber security involved, the first thing someone with a criminal justice degree, such as a cop or detective, would ask is if it could be an inside job. According to an article published on ehow.com, employee theft is the biggest threat of all. This holds true for theft of physical property, as well as that of intellectual property, and also sensitive customer data.

What Motivates an Employee to Steal?

It doesn’t take having a bachelor’s degree in an online criminal justice program to understand what motivates an employee to steal. There are two main reasons, which are typically financial gain and retribution. For some reason that employee feels as though he or she has a valid grievance and the only way to get back at the employer is to steal something of value. This is often the case when an employee hacks a company’s computer system, stealing customer files. When word gets out, the ramifications are broad and far-reaching. The impact it has on future business is profound and that is exactly what this type of criminal is looking for.

Getting to the Root of Most Business Theft

While criminal justice deals with the actual investigation and/or prosecution of crime, criminology seeks to understand why. What led to this particular crime and are the findings in any way relevant going forward? Criminology is the psychological and sociological facets of crime and this is one of the best ways to prevent further incidents in the future. Sometimes it is even an irate customer or even a disconcerted peer that perpetrates a crime against a company, while other times it is just a random crime that serves no purpose other than to create problems for a business, no business in particular, just the one that is easiest to access.

Whether a business suffers a physical crime or a cybercrime, the ramifications can create more problems than you would imagine. Some businesses have even gone under due to theft and although a company is highly insured, the loss is irredeemable. Sometimes, insurance isn’t enough to cover the loss and other times the loss is so highly publicized that future business is impacted in a negative way. In either case, the most common types of crime are perpetrated from within and believe it or not, these are sometimes the hardest to solve.

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