Workers stealing data for competitive edge

The recession is creating camaraderie amongst workforces, at the expense of their employers, is the finding of a transatlantic survey. Carried out amongst 600 office workers in Canary Wharf London and Wall Street New York, 41% of workers have already taken sensitive data with them to their new position, whilst a third would pass on company information if it proved useful in getting friends or family a job.

Pilfering data has become endemic in our culture as 85% of people admit they know it’s illegal to download corporate information from their employer but almost half couldn’t stop themselves taking it with them with the majority admitting it could be useful in the future!

However, it would seem employers have only themselves to blame as they appear pretty lackadaisical when it comes to protecting their data from their employees with 57% of respondents stating that it’s become a lot easier to take sensitive information from under their bosses noses this year, up from 29% last year.

The survey entitled “the global recession and its effect on work ethics”, carried out for a second year by Cyber-Ark – found that almost half of the respondents 48% admit that if they were fired tomorrow they would take company information with them and 39% of people would download company/competitive information if they got wind that their job was at risk. Additionally a quarter of workers said that the recession has meant that they feel less loyal towards their employer.

Of those that plan to take competitive or sensitive corporate data, 64% will do so “just in case’ it were to prove useful or advantageous in the future, 27% would use it to negotiate their new position, while 20% plan to use it as a tool in their new job.

Top of the hit list is customer and contact details – 29%, then plans and proposals – 18%, with product information bringing up the rear – 11%. What is cause for alarm is the 13% of savvy pilferers who would take access and password codes as, with this information, they can still get into the network once they’ve left the company and continue downloading information and accessing whatever they want or need.

32% revealed that they would do their utmost to take a peek at the redundancy list to find out if their name was on it, choosing to bribe a mate in the HR department first – 43%, followed by using their own IT access rights to snoop around the network – 37%, and if this failed they would get a mate in the IT department to try and get the inside track – 30%!

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