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November 24, 2009

41% of workers admit data theft

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by Darren Allan

A survey of workers in the financial hubs of the UK and US has revealed some surprising results.

Conducted by security experts Cyber-Ark, the survey of 600 office workers determined that 41% had taken data from an ex-employer to a new position.

And 26% admitted that if they were fired the next day, they would take sensitive company information with them.

Half of those people would take the data to help them secure a new job, or to use as a tool in their new position. The other half said it was “just in case” it might prove useful.

Such is the fear of not being able to get a new job in the current climate.

“While we are seeing glimmers of hope in the US economy, clearly employee confidence has been rocked,” commented Adam Bosnian, VP of Products and Strategy, Cyber-Ark Software.

“This survey shows that many workers are willing to do practically anything to ensure job security or make themselves more marketable – including committing a crime.”

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  1. As we can see in this case about data theft, one of the most difficult challenges is to protect intellectual property in companies. A company’s expertise and R&D output are at the very heart of its competitive advantage.

    Nevertheless the problem is that the company has to share knowledge with his employees as well as with externals. Lock confidential data behind firewall without access for externals doesn’t seems appropriate. Intellectual property must be accessible remotely to enable stakeholders to collaborate and to share documents and information in a comprehensively protected and secured way without any unauthorized access.

    Printing, saving and forwarding of documents must be prevented, avoiding data theft and leakage it is essential to track the whole document life cycle! Features like “tamper proof audit trails” and “Brainmarks” show who has stolen certain documents!

    Comment by Berit Anke — November 26, 2009 @ 2:46 am

  2. The recent stories surrounding data theft reinforce the need for companies to have a sound Information Assurance strategy. This needs to comprise of effective policy which is reinforced by technology. The correct controls need to be in place from the start – trying to put these in place after an employee has been sacked and stolen data is like bolting the barn door after the horse has bolted. Whenever an organisation hires a new employee, there needs to be education about the data policy, and continual reinforcement of this to ensure that employees are updated on any policy changes. Organisations need to make sure that strategies are in place across the entire employee lifecycle, and ensure that these are effectively communicated, so prevent potentially catastrophic data loss.

    Comment by Marc Hocking CTO Becrypt — November 27, 2009 @ 11:55 am

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