35 Percent of Employees May Take Your Confidential Information

The Risks of Failing to Protect Confidential Information

Employees leaving your organization might be putting your business at risk.

That’s if they are like the 35 percent of employees who say it’s common to take company information with them when leaving a company.

This startling revelation comes from a new study (PDF) by tech giant Dell (NASDAQ:DVMT). The research has provided several other interesting insights too.

The Risks of Failing to Protect Confidential Information

Company Data at High Risk

The study found 72 percent of employees are willing to share sensitive, confidential or regulated company information under certain circumstances. The most cited circumstances are being directed to do so by management (43 percent) and sharing with a person authorized to receive it (37 percent).

But in most of these circumstances, the employee is independently making the decision on sharing information. That’s why employees often fall prey to cybercriminals who pose as trusted partners.

Data shows more than one in three employees (36 percent) will frequently open emails from unknown senders at work. This makes them extremely vulnerable to phishing attacks that allow cybercriminals to access unauthorized files.

Unsafe User Practices Expose Data to Cybercriminals

It’s disturbing to see how frequently employees engage in unsafe practices that increase phishing risks.

Forty five percent of employees, for example, admit to engaging in unsafe behaviors throughout the workday. These behaviors include using personal email accounts for work (49 percent), connecting to public WiFi to access confidential information (46 percent) and losing a company-issued device (17 percent).

Are You Doing Enough to Protect Your Data?

Former employees compromising confidential data of their previous employers is not a rare trend. Recently, Uber and Facebook were in both in the news after they were sued on the grounds that ex-executives stole trade secrets.

From a small business owner’s perspective, it is especially important for you to undertake necessary steps to fortify your corporate data. The first and foremost step is to have the right policies in place. Next, you must spread awareness about these policies by educating your employees.

A well-defined data security policy can help you avoid hassles later.

For the study, Dimensional Research conducted an online survey (commissioned by Dell Data Security) of 2,608 professionals across eight countries.

Confidential Photo via Shutterstock 1 Comment ▼

Shubhomita Bose Shubhomita Bose is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. She covers key studies and surveys about the small business market, along with general small business news. She draws on 8 years of experience in copywriting, marketing and communications, having worked extensively on creating content for small and medium sized enterprises.

One Reaction
  1. Having free access to information can make your employees use them for themselves. It is all a matter of putting up security measures to prevent this from happening.