The majority of staff think they have a right to take company data with them when they change jobs or are fired.
A survey conducted by data insecurity outfit Imperva found that 70 per cent of the poll's 1,000 respondents had clear plans to lift a company's customer records or intellectual property when they moved on, with more than half claiming to have personal ownership of the data in question.
Surprisingly, the figure falls slightly to 66 per cent if the employee thinks that he or she is about to get fired.
Nearly 80 per cent said that they didn't think their companies had a policy to remove or collect data from laptops and other mobile devices upon departure.
Some 85 per cent said they had copied valuable customer records or trade secrets to their home computers and personal mobile gadgets.
“It seems most employees have no deliberate intention to cause the company any damage. Rather, this survey indicates that most individuals leaving their jobs suddenly believe that they had rightful ownership to that data just by virtue of their corporate tenure," the report says.