Recession Encourages Ex-Employees To Take Away Company Data

As global economic downturn takes its toll in the guise of losses and layoffs, a survey released on Monday revealed that a majority of exiting employees are taking their companies’ confidential information along with them.

The survey, conducted by the security company Symantec in collaboration with Ponemon Institute, included 950 individuals who lost their jobs during last one year, out of which 59 percent admitted to lifting crucial customer data, like contact lists, from their firms once they exited from their jobs.

The workers who lost their jobs during the past one year lifted a variety of crucial information, including e-mail lists, customer details, employee records, and non-financial information, the survey said.

Incidentally, these spiteful workers use the data to obtain a new job, start business of their own, or to take revenge from the company, the study added.

In addition, the study claimed that a majority of these information theft incidents could have been evaded had the firms employed enhanced data-loss prevention measures, as around 82 percent of the individuals surveyed stated that their ex-company didn’t perform a document check before they left their jobs.

Citing the gravity of the issue, Larry Ponemon, founder and chairman of the Ponemon Institute, said in a statement, “The survey's findings should sound the alarm across all industries: Your sensitive data is walking out the door with your employees”.

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Our Comments

The Insider threat is an unwelcome reality that could impact many companies during this recession and push them over the edge. There are many reasons why ex-employees do this and it is not necessarily out of malice. Some might use it to get a new job while others might simply have forgotten that they had data on their personal computers or storage devices.

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