Date of Award


Document Type



Mathematics, Physics and Statistics


In today's modem workplace, information theft has become an increasingly significant problem. The ease of portability and distribution of computer files has been a valuable tool for businesses, but has also opened the door for dishonest individuals to steal these files and use the information for their own purposes. Hackers are a threat, as more and more businesses go online, but the biggest threat of information theft may actually come from within a company itself. In September 2002, a study was released by ASIS International, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce titled "Trends in Proprietary Information Loss."1 It sited former employees and on-site contractors as two of the most significant risk factors in proprietary information and intellectual property loss. The study also found that the risk area for information theft most commonly sited by companies was research and development, which would include program code developed within a company. Thus software developers, among many other types of employees, could certainly be a security risk to a company.