Forget about the paper clips, Post-It notes and disposable pens. The stuff that most workers steal from their employers is far more valuable and, frighteningly, much more difficult to secure than the stash stored in the office supply closet.
As eSecurity Planet reports, a new survey by Harris interactive on behalf of security software firm SailPoint found that most workers would have no qualms about lifting corporate data such as customer lists or contact information from their companies’ data networks.
In fact, more people would say they would be less inclined to steal a stapler than to download and share vital company data with a new employer or a competitor.
Facing increased scrutiny and oversight from both customers and regulators, companies of all sizes are looking for security applications and procedures — be it file-monitoring tools or mandatory security training sessions — to keep their employees in line.
A new study conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of security software vendor SailPoint found that 49 percent of American workers would have no problem stealing corporate data including customer lists, product plans and other key intellectual property if they were leaving their current position for a new job.
In fact, according to the survey of almost 1,600 American and British workers, 29 percent and 23 percent, respectively, said they would take customer data and contact information while only 13 percent and 22 percent, respectively, would swipe small office supplies like pens, folders and staplers.
“Companies should be gravely concerned with these survey responses,” Jackie Gilbert, SailPoint’s vice president of marketing and co-founder, said in the report. “I believe the survey illustrates that many employees may not believe that taking company data is equivalent to stealing. It highlights what I call a ‘moral grey area’ around ownership of electronic data.”