Close to Half of Employees Take Data When They Change Jobs, Survey Shows

May 22, 2007

Nearly half of professionals across a broad range of industries have taken data with them--anything from documents and lists to sales proposals and contracts--when they’ve left a job, according to the global “Information Security Survey on Internal Threats.” According to the survey, users don’t see their company’s IT security practices as obstacles to accessing data outside of their organization, with many employees taking company information when they change jobs. Additionally, the survey identifies inefficient business processes used when employees share sensitive electronic information with other co-workers or external partners.

The recent survey, conducted by online survey services provider Zoomerang and commissioned by enterprise rights management provider Liquid Machines, validates anecdotal evidence that corporations are not doing enough to control access to sensitive electronic information. The research showed that some 45% of respondents have taken data with them when they’ve left a job. While some have emailed data to a personal address, in many cases, they’ve had the ability to take vast amounts of data with them right from their desktops via peripheral storage devices. Eighty-seven percent of those surveyed are allowed to use flash drives, while 69% can use external hard drives. Even MP3 devices, in use by 46% of respondents, can be used as external hard drives. A Research Brief providing detailed information on the findings is available at the Liquid Machines website.