How employee monitoring software could have prevented the expensive and embarrassing 1MDB scandal

It’s been a tough month for Goldman Sachs. The bank is engulfed in the 1MDB scandal that has sunk its stock price and significantly damaged its prestigious status in the financial sector. It’s a lurid tale with all the accouterments and trappings of wealth, greed, bribery, and criminality.

1MDB is a complicated crime involving several countries and many bad actors. For Goldman Sachs, the involvement is more specific. It’s clear that Goldman Sachs played a prominent role in defrauding a Malaysian government investment fund of billions of dollars, and now the bank is trying to pick up the pieces and repair the damage.  

It won’t be an easy job.

Goldman Sachs responded by firing Tim Leissner, the lead banker for the 1MBD project who, as Bloomberg reports, admitted to bribery and fraud to enhance profits for the bank and for himself. However, new accusations have been thrown around as members of the financial institution point fingers at one another. Meanwhile, government agencies are attempting to recoup losses from the looted government fund.

Unfortunately, it’s evident that the bank has little idea what truly happened, and they lack the digital forensic evidence that could make this an open and shut case.

However, don’t feel too sorry for the big bank. Although they are striving to implement employee monitoring software in the wake of the 1MDB scandal, the bank could have prevented this debacle by implementing it long ago.

Indeed, capable employee monitoring software would have provided valuable oversight to help deter employees from going off the rails, and, when it was needed, the software’s forensic capabilities would have allowed investigators to understand what happened and who is responsible.

For example, the best employee monitoring software can establish rules that monitor user behavior and activity. When abnormal behavior occurs, IT administrators can receive a warning notifying them to a potential problem while equipping them with the tools to stop specific events before they cause a bigger headache. Any malicious, illegal, or inappropriate action is captured and flagged, providing an intricate deterrent and warning system that can stop incidents, like the one engulfing Goldman Sachs, from ever fully materializing.

Of course, if misuse or criminality does occur, employee monitoring software provides the digital forensics to quickly identify anyone responsible, ensuring that accountability is swift, accurate, and complete. Hearsay is inherently difficult to corroborate, but recorded screen captures are indisputable, providing real-time or historical evidence of an employee’s online digital activity.

Goldman’s involvement in the 1MBD scandal should be a warning to other organizations operating because the consequences for malfeasance can be incredibly steep. By deploying the proper technology, companies can guard against the next scandal, which both protects their brand and their employees from the cascading consequences of inaction. Therefore, monitoring, auditing, and forensic capabilities should be a top priority for organizations operating in regulated industries like the financial sector.

Goldman Sachs was late learning this lesson, but it can be an instructive moment for everyone else, and it means that now is the perfect time to make sure that your company isn’t the next to endure an embarrassing and expensive scandal like 1MBD.