Survey: Employees Take Sensitive Data When They Leave

    Jan 26, 2016

    More than one in four employees takes and/or shares sensitive company data when leaving a job, according to a recent survey from secure communications solutions provider Biscom.

    Technology decision-makers take heed: Survey findings show that the technology a company implements plays a major role in employees’ decision to take company data. For example, tools like Dropbox, Google Drive, and e-mail, make it effortless to take files. 

    The survey also found:

    • 15% of respondents said they are more likely to take company data if they are fired or laid off than if they leave on their own.
    • Of those who take company data, 85% report they take material they have created themselves and don’t feel doing so is wrong.
    • Only 25% of respondents report taking data they did not create.
    • About 95% of respondents said that taking data they did not create was possible because their company either did not have policies or technology in place to prevent data stealing or it ignored its policies.

    “The survey’s results reveal employees as a big security hole,” John Lane, CISO of Biscom, said in a statement. “Companies can use this information to understand how they can protect their data. Whether it’s updating employee training, establishing stricter company policies to prevent data theft, or obtaining secure tools to store and track company data.”

    Although stealing data can result in significant security risks, most survey respondents reported that they didn’t view it as data theft. Despite the fact that they’re taking sensitive information, including company strategy documents, customer lists, and financial data, the report found that employees don’t consider their actions malicious or even wrong. The report concluded that this may be why data theft is so prevalent.


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