British directors on the (data) take, says survey


British directors on the (data) take, says survey

Almost a third of British directors are stealing confidential company information, according to a YouGov report.

According to the survey of 1,385 UK executives, 29% of company directors admitted taking confidential data with them when they left their companies, while 17% of middle managers admitted to nicking data.

The survey also suggested that data theft is becoming so widespread that it presents a growing national security problem, after 10% of respondents working in the government and military sector admitted deliberately sending documentation to unauthorised third parties.

The survey, on behalf of business software developer Hummingbird, claimed that UK businesses are fighting a losing battle against data theft: 67% of those contacted by YouGov believe that the ease of purloining corporate data made it impractical for employers to prevent theft.

Although the survey shows that currently employees are more likely to steal company training documentation (51%) and procedure manuals (48%) than financial information (18%) and client reports (14%), organisations still have to be more aware of their growing vulnerability to corporate espionage, the survey concluded.

Removable storage such as USB devices certainly facilitates data theft, which is why Centennial Software’s USB-limiting solution has merit. It’s morally, and lawfully, wrong to take something, ie, corporate data, with you to help you hit the ground running at a new company. But if a third of moral-less directors will nick confidential data, can you blame others further down the corporate ladder for doing the same?

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This was first published in September 2006


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