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People would sell company data for £100

A significant percentage of employees has access to the company's intellectual property (IP), is not aware of the risks involving its loss, and would be prepared to sell it, a new survey has shown.

The survey, conducted by the UK information security company Clearswift, questioned 4,000 employees around the UK, US, Gemany and Australia about the data they have access to and how they value it.

The results are like this: 44 per cent have access to sensitive IP, and 35 per cent said they have access to data only their managers should be able to see.

The survey has also shown that employees wouldn't mind selling the data, too. To make things worse, the data would go for as low as £100. Eighteen per cent of employees valued the data at £1,000, while 29 per cent said £10,000 was the right price for the data.

Clearswift explained employees are often unclear on what constitutes company IP and what is and is not confidential, causing confusion and leaving busineses open to hacks.

“The value of a company’s IP is frequently misunderstood," Heath Davies, CEO at Clearswift. "First off, IP comes in many guises and it’s essential for organisations to recognise ‘what’ their IP is; where it exists and who has access to it. IP is often a company’s most prized possession, if it were to fall into a competitor’s hands, or even unauthorised hands, it could cause immense financial damage to a company, or as in the case of the recent attempted US naval espionage charge, potentially result in dire effects."

He added it's amazing so many people who don't need the information still have access to it and even more worrying they don't understand the risks of it leaking or being lost.