Workers will steal data 'to help a friend find a job'

A third of workers in will steal company data to help a friend find a job, says a study by IT security firm Cyber-Ark.

Carried out amongst 600 office workers in Canary Wharf in London, and Wall Street in New York, 41 per cent of workers have already taken sensitive data with them to their new position, while 33 per cent would pass on company information if it proved useful in getting friends or family a job.

Entitled ‘Global recession and its effect on work ethics’, the survey found that 48 per cent of respondents admit that if they were fired they would take company information with them, and 39 per cent of people would download company/competitive information if they had advanced notice that their job was at risk.

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

Top of the data filch hit list is customer and contact details (29 per cent), then plans and proposals (18 per cent), with product information last (11 per cent). Thirteen per cent of data pilferers would take access and password codes as, with this information, they can still access the network once they have left the company.

Pilfering data has become endemic in our culture as 85 per cent of people admit they know it is 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. Fifty-seven per cent of respondents claim that it’s become easier to take sensitive information from under their bosses noses this year, up from 29 per cent in 2008.

In terms of transiting the data away, the tool of choice most people would use to download information onto remains a USB or memory stick, with hardcopy print outs second, followed by emailing it to a personal external email account

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