Data theft top concern for US companies

11 May 2007

A recent study in the US found that 45pc of workers take company-owned data with them when changing jobs.

The study was carried out earlier this year by enterprise rights management company Liquid Machines on over 900 professionals.

Although traditionally most IT and security divisions within organisations spend most of their time keeping outside threats like hackers away from critical data, it seems that much of it is being smuggled away under their noses.

The study found that most workers weren’t worried about their companies’ IT security practices and have no problem walking out the door with a memory stick or laptop full of company data.

Of those polled who admitted to taking information when leaving a job, some said that they simply emailed the data to an outside email address.

Many ways of removing data are used, including flash drives and even MP3 players.

Some 53pc of the hundreds surveyed said they suspected that their companies’ confidential data was being used by the competition, while 63pc of those in the technology industry suspected that their intellectual property had already been used by competitors.

Although data smuggling may seem to be a legal issue or even a trust issue, many employees felt differently.

Some 42pc of all surveyed placed the blame on their IT department’s security, labelling it as “non-existent, not strong enough, the wrong type or too restrictive”.

By Marie Boran