Sensitive Corporate Information and the Ex-Employee

First it was stealing office supplies, and now this.

Software firm Check Point Software Technologies claims that widespread access to technology has made it far too easy, and far too tempting, for employees to download competitive information.

Based on a survey of 200 IT professionals, the results indicate that almost half of workers would use their notice period to download useful information and data to take with them to their next job.

Check Point estimates, unfortunately, almost 75% of companies have no security plan in place to stop such actions.

Despite an overwhelming percentage of companies having the bark (i.e., written policies against workers distributing company information), companies seem to lack much bite.

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In fact, 85% of employees admitted they could easily download competitive information and take it with them.

The survey notes that 81% of workers have taken files from work to use at home. The preferred method, at 33%, is using pocket-sized USB sticks, but 14% use laptops to store data.

While companies spend millions on their security, they are forgetting that “valuable data is ‘going walkabout’ on people’s key rings, and a great deal are very happy to download information to take with them to their next job,” explains Martin Allen, a Check Point spokesperson.

The company advises educating staff on the security/legal implications of downloading sensitive information, creating a security policy for all staff to sign, and encrypting all USB sticks that are connected. In addition, if you have sensitive information you do not want downloaded, block end-points on computers with efficient and cost-effective software.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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