Apple Inc. has warned its employees to stop leaking information.
Apple is one company that is quite secret about its product plans and it ensures that its product information and strategy does not go out. However in recent times, a Bloomberg reporter, Mark Gurman got hold of an internal memo by Apple that strictly warned internal employees about leaking internal information.
This incident at Apple Inc. just proves once again, that in many corporates the greatest threat of information theft and leakage (whether deliberately for gain or just innocuous communication) is caused by insiders such as employees, contractors or other close business partners.
Leaking critical information before a product launch can jeopardise marketing strategies and a setback that can result with competition coming up with counter plans that could derail the launch. Leaked information about a new product can negatively impact sales of the current model; give rival companies more time to begin on a competitive response and lead to fewer sales of that new product when it arrives.
According to the memo, the company caught 29 leakers during the year 2017 and of these 12 were arrested. The memo says that last month, Apple caught and fired an employee responsible for leaking details from an internal, confidential meeting about Apple’s software roadmap. “Hundreds of software engineers were in attendance, and thousands more within the organization received details of its proceedings. One person betrayed their trust,” reads the memo.
The employee who leaked the meeting information thought that he wouldn’t be caught. But Apple warned that the consequences of leaking information, can be as punitive as not only losing their jobs but also massive fines and jail times for network intrusion and theft of trade secrets, both classified as federal crimes.
The memo also advises employees not to fall trap to social engineering tactics – such as being befriended by media, press, analysts, bloggers to pry for any information on social media like twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
Leakers were identified through Apple’s Global Security digital forensics team and internal investigations culminated in them being fired out of the company.