Departing Workers Don't Leave Empty-handed: Study

by CXOtoday Staff    Feb 25, 2009

A survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute and Symantec states that more than half ex-employees admitted to stealing confidential company information, such as customer contact lists, employee records, email lists, and non financial records. The study surveyed employees who lost or left a job in 2008.

Of respondents who admitted to taking company data, 61% also reported having an unfavorable view of their former employer. Symantec said this showed that there was a need for better data loss prevention policies and technologies in organizations. Although respondents were spread across many different industries, the highest percentage of survey responses came from the financial services industry.

A vengeful employee is always a cause for concern, but in these times when layoffs are a common occurrence across the globe, maybe its time for companies to give data protection a serious thought.

Additional findings:

* 53% of respondents downloaded information onto a CD or DVD, 42% onto a USB drive and 38% sent attachments to a personal e-mail account.

* 79% of respondents took data without an employer’s permission.

* 82% of respondents said their employers did not perform an audit or review of paper or electronic documents before the respondent left his/her job.

* 24% of respondents had access to their employer’s computer system or network after their departure from the company.