• 05/10/2007
    3:56 PM
  • Network Computing
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Study: 45% Of Workers Steal Data When Changing Jobs

With data heading out the door over remote connections or on thumb drives tucked away in pockets or bags, nearly half of IT workers blame poor security.

Historically, IT and security managers have focused on protecting the company network, and the information on it, from outside attackers. Over the last several years, though, an increasing amount of attention has fallen on the risk associated with a company's own employees -- the dreaded insider.

Some security professionals are even recommending that companies perform background checks on their IT workers, especially those who have access to key systems and applications.

Of the 45% of respondents who said they've taken data with them when they've left a job, some said they simply e-mailed data to a personal address. Others said they walked out the door with the data, usually on a peripheral storage device, tucked in a bag or pocket. Eighty-seven percent said they're allowed to use flash drives, while 69% can use external hard drives. Even MP3 players, which are used by 46% of respondents, can be used as external hard drives.

The study also showed that with so many admitting to taking data with them when they leave jobs, it's no surprise that 53% of respondents said they suspect their companies' intellectual property is being used by the competition. Among manufacturing employees, a whopping 71% said their competition has used their companies' intellectual property. Technology employees agree with this statement 63% of the time.

It's not clear how many people blame their own sticky fingers, but it's clear that many blame IT.

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