What are they and when might you need them?
Corporate investigation services could be something you may not even have known to exist, let alone having a requirement to utilise them for your company. But if you suspect or know that something within your organisation has gone wrong, then it can be reassuring to have a firm of credible independent professionals to call on. So what is a corporate investigation, when might you need one and how will it be carried out? Moreover, what services should you expect from any company you might hire and how do you ensure you’re choosing the best one for your requirements?
One of the main responsibilities of the directors of a company is acting prudently to protect that company’s assets, for the benefit of its members as a whole. Directors must act in the best interests of its shareholders and protect their employees. They must also foster the company’s reputation for having high standards when it comes to business conduct. So as a director, if you suspect that there has been wrongdoing somewhere within your company, or there’s a threat from an internal or external source, then it’s your duty to investigate and reduce the risk to all interested parties. Perhaps you’ve seen evidence of theft on the premises, whether that’s financial, physical or of intellectual property. Maybe you are being sued by a former employee or a supplier. You could find that your computer systems have been hacked and the integrity of the data you store has been compromised. You need to get to the bottom of the problem and fast before things get out of hand. For that, you need corporate investigation services. But surely it’s better to keep it all in-house, rather than employ one of the corporate investigation companies on the market? Not necessarily. There are advantages to using independent corporate investigations firms to run the enquiry. Firstly, it prevents later accusations of conflicts of interest. Secondly, it shows that the matter is being taken seriously; this is reassuring to stakeholders who have an interest in the success of the company, and it’s a deterrent to anyone considering malfeasance in the future. Thirdly, professional corporate investigation specialists already have the skills and experience necessary to carry out such enquiries in a fast and efficient manner. After all, it’s in everyone’s interests to have the matter resolved as quickly as possible before the situation worsens and the company’s reputation is damaged beyond repair.
Why else should insider threat management be handled by the experts and how do they do it?
Companies with expertise in dealing with external risks or insider threat management have access to fully trained, experienced investigators. These individuals are proficient at examining corporate records and data to uncover discrepancies and they have the skills required to conduct interviews with staff members. They can closely analyse internal and external communications, whether on paper or a computer network and as new faces to the company they’re hired by, they can even carry out discreet enquiries to source information on a potential or actual threat to the business’ well-being. So what will the investigators be looking for when you hire them to assist your company? Essentially, four main areas need addressing. Firstly, analysing the nature of the threat: what has happened here? Secondly, they will look for who was responsible. Thirdly, they will uncover why the issue was allowed to happen and how it could have been prevented. And fourthly, they will determine the extent to which the incident has put the company at risk. A good corporate investigations service will also produce a report that offers a risk assessment detailing any other areas of vulnerability their operators have identified during their enquiries.
Whether you require a legal, a libel or a cyber investigation, look for expertise
The trick to dealing with a problem is to nip it in the bud as early as possible. Ironically, you will need to make a decision on which investigations firm to use at what is already a difficult and stressful time for your company. It’s easy to just pick the first name off the Internet to get the matter resolved as soon as you can. But like any important decision within your business, you should do as much research and due diligence as you can into the firm you’re thinking of hiring before you part with any money. So what should you look for? The first factor is obviously experience. You want the individuals you are trusting your firm’s reputation with to have the necessary background and skills. The best investigators have a police or intelligence services background. They’ll have a firm grasp of proper investigative techniques and rules like evidence gathering, and this will prove essential if the case ever has to go to court. Next, ensure the company has the right resources. A firm with plenty of background researchers, state-of-the-art analytical technology and up-to-date equipment, for instance, will be able to resolve your problem faster and with better information than a one-man-band. And finally, ask for relevant experience. If you need a cyber investigation into suspected embezzlement or a case of hacking or internet fraud for example, then you require a cyber investigation company or one that includes that speciality in its menu of services; we are one such company.