One in 12 workers would "happily" share sensitive corporate information with a friend at a rival company, and half of those surveyed say their company would never know if they swiped confidential data.
This is according to an annual poll by security company Websense. The survey of 100 employees in the United Kingdom showed that 51% polled thought it would be "very unlikely" their companies would realize or have the facilities to monitor whether critical data had been wrongly or accidentally distributed outside the company. And one in 10 admitted to accidentally sending out sensitive company information via e-mail.
And if those statistics don't scare your corporate security division, Websense suggests this one will: Some of the security incidents that employees fessed up to weren't accidental.
According to the survey, 52% admitted to trying to hack into a colleague's e-mail account, and 31% tried to guess the administrator's password for his PC. Another 21% confessed to trying to access protected files, including finance and human resources data.
"It is a real eye-opener to realize that so many U.K. employees are willing to put aside confidentiality agreements for friends," said Frank Coggrave, a regional director at Websense, in a written statement. "When you see that over half of the people surveyed had tried to hack into a colleague's e-mail account, this should start alarm bells ringing for many companies. Even if these actions are completely innocent, the implications are huge for companies leaving their data security to chance. There are so many potential holes in security that can expose an organization. Not taking proactive steps to secure confidential data can lead to extremely costly information leaks."