Survey: U.K. workers could be tempted into selling company secrets

An Infosecurity Europe survey of 600 London commuters revealed that many employees would give up their precious company's data for the right price.

Ever since the start of the credit crunch, security people have been warning that workers could be tempted into crime. Now a survey of 600 London commuters appears to confirm those fears.

Asked whether they would consider selling their company secrets to a stranger, more than a third of the commuters (37%) said they would hand over the information -- if the price was right.

For 63% of that group, the price would need to be a million pounds, but others were more easily bribed. Ten percent of them would do it if their mortgage was paid off; 5% would do it for a paid holiday; 4% for clearing their credit card debt; and 5% for a new job. In 2% of cases, the promise of a slap-up meal would be enough to persuade them to hand over confidential information.

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But when asked about disclosing credit card information, higher standards prevailed, with 80% saying they would not reveal that kind of information at any price.

The survey found that employee loyalty has changed, too, with a third saying they felt a lot less loyalty to their employers than a year ago. But 5% maintained they were more loyal because they had job security.

The commuters, who were interviewed last week at a number of central London railway stations, claimed to have access to a variety of important information in their jobs, including customer databases (83%); business plans (72%); accounting systems (53%); human resources databases (51%); and IT administration passwords (37%).

The survey was carried out on behalf of Infosecurity Europe, which takes place in Earl's Court, London next week, April 28 to 30.

Visitors can pre-register for the conference online to avoid the onsite booking fee of £20.

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