Departing Employees More Likely to Take Company Data Than Office Supplies, Survey Shows
According to SailPoint's 2010 Market Pulse Survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 49 percent of U.S. workers admitted they would take some form of company property with them when leaving a position: 29 percent would take customer data, including contact information; 23 percent would take electronic files; 15 percent would take product information, including designs and plans; and 13 percent would take small office supplies. The online survey probed 1,594 full- and part-time employees and contractors in the United States and Great Britain about their attitudes toward accessing and viewing of company-owned data.
"Companies should be gravely concerned with these survey responses," says SailPoint spokesman Jackie Gilbert. “I believe the survey illustrates that many employees may not believe that taking company data is equivalent to stealing. It highlights what I call a 'moral grey area' around ownership of electronic data. We see this in the fact that there are more workers who are comfortable taking various forms of company data, such as customer contact information, than workers who would take a stapler. As frequently as employees move to competitive companies, these attitudes are major red flags for employers.”