Employees know it's illegal to steal company data, but they're prepared to do it anyway. Companies know their employees are a chief threat to their data, but most aren't doing much about it.
These are the takeaways from two separate studies published today by security vendors Cyber-Ark and Actimize. Taken together, the studies paint a sobering picture of the state of trust and security within the corporate walls.
In its study, Cyber-Ark surveyed some 600 workers in the financial districts of New York and London and found that most workers are not shy about taking work home -- and keeping it for their own use.
Eighty-five percent of the respondents to the Cyber-Ark survey said they know it is illegal to download company data for personal use, but 41 percent said they already have taken sensitive data with them to a new position. About a third of respondents said they would share sensitive information with friends or family in order to help them land a job.
Almost half of the respondents (48 percent) admitted if they were fired tomorrow they would take company information with them, Cyber-Ark says. Thirty-nine percent of people would download company/competitive information if they got wind that their job were at risk. A quarter of workers said the recession has made them feel less loyal toward their employers.
Of those who plan to take competitive or sensitive corporate data, 64 percent said they would do so "just in case" the data might prove useful or advantageous in the future. Twenty-seven percent said they would use the data to negotiate their new position, while 20 percent plan to use it as a tool in their new job.
Customer and contact lists were the top priority for employees to steal, registering 29 percent of the respondents. Plans and proposals were next (18 percent), with product information bringing up the rear (11 percent). Thirteen percent of savvy thieves said they would take access and password codes so they could get into the network once they've left the company and continue downloading information and accessing data.