More than one in three workers have said that they would be willing to sell their employer's secrets to a stranger. Some of the London commuters taking part in the survey said that they could be bribed with the cost of a good meal.
The question was put to 600 commuters at London railway stations last week. Thirty-seven percent of those questioned were wiling to part with company secrets for the right price.
Of those who could be corrupted, 63% said they would disclose sensitive data for £1 million; 10% would do it if their mortgage was paid off; 5% would do it for a holiday; 5% would do it for a new job; 4% for getting rid of their credit card debt; and 2% would do it "for a free slap-up meal."
The survey was conducted by researchers from Infosecurity Europe, an IT security event that takes place in London next week.
The types of information that the workers had access to included customer data bases (83%); business plans (72%); accounting systems (53%); human resources databases (51%); and IT admin passwords (37%).
Two thirds (68%) of employees think it is easy to sneak information out of their organisation and 88% of employees thought that the information that they had access to was valuable.
One third said they felt a lot less loyalty to their employers than a year ago, though 5% were more loyal as they felt they had job security.
Tamar Beck, Group Event Director for Infosecurity Europe, said that companies should not count on staff honesty to protect their assets.
"It’s down to an organisation to take steps to ensure their most valuable assets are locked down and protected, especially confidential customer data,” she said. “Criminals are very adept at finding the vulnerable workers who can be tempted into betraying their employers, therefore, organisations should ensure that they have trained their people to protect sensitive information and have adequate technology and processes in place to help them enforce security policies that comply with current regulation and legislation.”