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Employees often able to access sensitive data without authorisation

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Andrea Danti)

Approximately one in every seven employees has been able to access unauthorised company data within the past five years, using nothing but the tools provided to them by their employers.

This is according to a new report from asset disposal company DSA Connect, which believes these figures are cause for concern.

According to DSA Connect, sudden layoffs brought about by the pandemic will lead to a significant growth in disgruntled (former) employees. Such “increasingly aggrieved and angry” employees could, quite easily, turn against their former employers, the report argues.

In most cases (seven percent) employees managed to find their managers’ and co-workers’ salaries, private communication between the employers and clients (six percent) and personal financial details of their peers (four percent). In some cases, employees have also seen other people’s photos or health records.

“Our findings suggest many employers have serious lapses in their data security provision, leaving themselves open to various potential data breaches,” said Harry Benham, Chairman of DSA Connect.

“The cost of these can run into tens of thousands of pounds in the form of fines and lost business.  It can also cause huge damage to an organisation’s reputation and brand if news of a data breach becomes known.”

Despite the UK government’s furlough scheme, which was designed to help workers whose jobs were most at risk from Covid-19’s lockdown, fears remain that up to six million jobs might be lost when the scheme is withdrawn.