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UK Employees ‘Would Sell Corporate Data For £100’

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Clearswift survey finds many workers also don’t realise that losing critical data could affect their company

British companies could be at risk from employees selling on confidential data, with some willing to go as low as just £100, according to new figures.

A study by British security firm Clearswift found that 35 percent of employees would sell company information for the right price, with three percent saying they would consider a deal for £100, 18 percent at £1,000 and 29 percent at £10,000.

Meanwhile, 12 percent of employees had lost or misplaced a company device containing sensitive corporate data.

Insecure?

Internet Theft © davidevison - FotoliaThe figures should be particularly worrying for some businesses as the survey also revealed that many workers are being trusted with corporate data than ever before.

44 percent of respondents say they have access to such sensitive IP, with 35 percent also saying they have access to organisation’ information that is above their pay grade.

Despite this responsibility, however, only 39 percent of UK employees recognise that intellectual property (IP) could damage their company if leaked, revealing a potentially disastrous attitude to security among many workers.

Only 53 percent thought financial data such as accounts would cause considerable damage to their company if leaked or somehow compromised. Customer data, e.g. contact details, came in at 50 percent, information on employee salaries and medical records at 45 percent and payment and credit card details at 39 percent.

“The value of a company’s IP is frequently misunderstood,” said 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. It is incredible that so many survey respondents say they have access to such information, yet so few seem to realise its value”.

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