Job-fearing workers admit plans to steal corporate data

Workers that are anxious about being laid off are prepared to to steal corporate data on removable devices or bribe IT staff for information, a survey has revealed.

Four out of 10 workers in the UK confessed they would steal sensitive data if they thought their jobs were at risk, a survey has revealed. Some 71 percent of employees globally said they would steal sensitive data if they were fired suddenly, a survey by security vendor Cyber-Ark has revealed.

The data would be used to take to their next employer or as a negotiating tool with their current bosses, the authors of the survey warned.

Rumours of looming job cuts would drive almost half of UK workers to use their privileged IT access rights to snoop around their company's central network looking for the redundancy list. Another quarter of workers said they would bribe someone in the IT department to find it.

Memory sticks were the medium favoured by staff who said they would steal data, because of their small size, ease of use and difficulty to trace. But photocopying, emailing, recording to CD, online storage, online messenger programs and iPods were also channels through which staff said they might take data out from office systems.

Customer contact databases were the most likely files to be stolen, followed by strategic plans, product information and passwords. Employees were less interested in taking human resources and legal documents, according to the survey.

Adam Bosnian, VP at Cyber Ark, said: "Our advice is only allow access to sensitive information to those that really need it, lock it away in a digital vault and encrypt the really sensitive data."

Cyber-Ark surveyed 600 office workers in the UK, Netherlands and the US.

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