If you own, run or manage a business, no matter how small or large, corporate investigations are a service you should understand. You should also have a corporate investigator or investigative service you trust. Otherwise, your company may be at risk, both internally and externally.
Put succinctly, a corporate investigation, or industrial investigation, is any investigation into a business or organisation to identify and prove wrongdoing perpetrated by management, employees or third parties on behalf of the organisation. Essentially, it’s the act of determining if the organisation or someone within the organisation is committing an unlawful act. This can include checking if employees are stealing or misusing company resources, or the company is committing fraud.
Is a Corporate Investigation the Same as Corporate Espionage?
Corporate espionage, or industrial espionage, is not the same as an industrial investigation. Industrial espionage is the act of spying or stealing important or valuable data and information from a company, like proprietary secrets. However, a corporate investigation can help you uncover evidence of corporate espionage.
Why Is Corporate Investigation Important in a Company?
Corporate investigations are an important way that you can protect your business from a variety of threats. This can include preventing the loss or theft of proprietary information and trade secrets, such as how products are made; avoiding the breach or compromise of customer or company information, like customer contact details; and preventing the abuse or misuse of your company’s network and resources, like accessing client data for private purposes, which can in turn lead to liability issues. Failure to manage or avoid these issues can then negatively affect your company’s reputation, which can severely impact your success.
Corporate investigations can also ensure that you are making accurate and informed business decisions by conducting background and due diligence checks on individuals or entities. For example, you can confirm that a potential business partner or new employee is legitimate and does not have a criminal history.
You may choose to engage corporate investigation services if you suspect that unlawful activity is occurring within your organisation. However, many businesses are realising the importance of preventive and proactive investigations to avoid any potential issues. This is becoming more common as corporate hacking cases become more prevalent with technological advances.
Who Can Conduct Them?
Technically, a person can become a corporate investigator if they have undertaken a course or traineeship in investigations and possess the appropriate licence. However, if you are serious about a corporate investigation, you will need an expert who can effectively conduct and manage an investigation, as well as secure admissible evidence of wrongdoing if the matter needs to go to court.
Additionally, some businesses may choose to conduct internal investigations using their own staff members. However, this can be ineffective due to lack of training, technology and the potential for mismanagement, plus it is illegal to conduct an investigative service without the appropriate licence. Therefore, we believe corporate investigations should only be conducted by trained, experienced professionals outside of your organisation and therefore with no conflicts of interest.
How Are They Conducted?
Each investigation is different and therefore will be conducted in its own unique way. Nonetheless, there are key methods that may be implemented to uncover desired information and evidence. These include:
- Research into a business or individual, also known as due diligence when considering signing a contract with the entity or individual
- Digital forensics, like auditing employee computer usage
- Counter intelligence sweeps or TSCM (technical counter surveillance measures) to check an area has not been bugged
- Surveillance, such as following an employee to confirm the legitimacy of a workers’ compensation claim
Do I Need a Corporate Investigation?
As the adage goes, it is better to be safe than sorry, particularly if you are dealing with a large-scale organisation or significant amounts of money. A successful investigation can protect your company’s assets and reputation, and allow you to make informed decisions for its future.
Who Should I Choose?
The team at NSI Global Counter Intelligence can conduct corporate investigations, as well as other comprehensive counter intelligence and surveillance services to ensure your company’s security has not been compromised. Our experienced team uses state-of-the-art technology and methods used by governments across the world to identify and document the information you need. Talk to us today.