Job-fearing workers admit they would steal data

Four out of 10 workers in the UK confess they would steal sensitive data if their jobs were at risk

Workers that are anxious about being laid off are prepared to steal corporate data on removable devices or bribe IT staff for information, a survey shows.

Four out of 10 workers in the UK confess they would steal sensitive data if they thought their jobs were at risk, the survey, which was conducted by security vendor Cyber-Ark, reveals. Some 71% of employees globally say they would steal sensitive data if they were fired suddenly.

The data would be used to take to their next employer or as a negotiating tool with their current bosses, the authors of the survey warn.

Rumours of looming job cuts would drive almost half of UK workers to use their privileged IT access rights to snoop around their company’s central network looking for the redundancy list.

Another quarter of workers say they would bribe someone in the IT department to find it.

Memory sticks were. because of their small size, ease of use and difficulty to trace, the medium favoured by staff who said they would steal data. But photocopying, emailing, recording to CD, online storage, online messenger programs and iPods were also channels through which staff say they might take data out from office systems.

Customer contact databases are the most likely files to be stolen, followed by strategic plans, product information and passwords. Employees are less interested in taking human resources and legal documents, according to the survey.

“Our advice is only allow access to sensitive information to those that really need it, lock it away in a digital vault and encrypt the really sensitive data,” says Adam Bosnian, VP at Cyber Ark.

Cyber-Ark surveyed 600 office workers in the UK, Netherlands and the US.

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