Notable rise of in-house data theft recorded

The percentage of employees who steal data from their employers has jumped upwards according to a survey in which respondents were asked whether or not they would consider the theft of secrets in the event of being dismissed from their positions.

Over 1000 people took part in a survey conducted in the UK by Imperva and it was discovered that 70 per cent of those questioned had already planned to steal from their employers if they lost their job.

Twenty – seven per cent said that they were planning to take intellectual property owned by their employers while 17 per cent favoured the theft of customer details.

What is perhaps more worrying is that a majority of the respondents said that they had prepared in advance by storing the appropriated data on a personal device, in anticipation of potentially being put out of a job. Eighty – five per cent said that they had data on their home PCs which belonged to their employer, while 59 per cent said that they would plan to steal data in anticipation of a job change not just a straight forward dismissal.

Imperva’s Amichai Shulman, said that he does not believe the employees are acting maliciously but rather that, in their understanding, the termination of their employment entitles them to take ownership over any data which is in their possession.

Last year Cyber-Ark conducted a survey along the same lines as this and discovered that 48 per cent of those questioned would steal corporate data in they lost their job without warning and 39 per cent would take data they thought would be saleable to rivals, if they discovered that their position with their current employer was uncertain.

Cyber-Ark’s Mark Fullbrook, came out to respond after the publication of Imperva’s study and said that the protection of corporate data from employee exploitation is a difficult area because granting access to the data was necessary to ensure productivity and controlling privileges is difficult.

Mr Fullbrook also pointed to reductions in IT budgets as key in restricting a business’s ability to protect data.

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