Study Shows Employees Steal Corporate Data and Don’t Believe It’s Wrong

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Employees move intellectual property outside the company in all directions, and never clean it up. Sixty-two percent say it is acceptable to transfer work documents to personal computers, tablets, smartphones or online file sharing applications. The majority never delete the data they've moved because they do not see any harm in keeping it.

Half of employees who left or lost their jobs in the last 12 months kept confidential corporate data, according to a global survey from Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC), and 40 percent plan to use it in their new jobs. The results show that everyday employees' attitudes and beliefs about intellectual property (IP) theft are at odds with the vast majority of company policies.

Employees not only think it is acceptable to take and use IP when they leave a company, but also believe their companies do not care. Only 47 percent say their organization takes action when employees take sensitive information contrary to company policy and 68 percent say their organization does not take steps to ensure employees do not use confidential competitive information from third parties. Organizations are failing to create an environment and culture that promotes employees' responsibility and accountability in protecting IP.


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