Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

5/10/2007
04:41 PM
50%
50%

Why Do Workers Steal Data?

I was fascinated by Sharon Gaudin's recent article reporting that 45% of professionals steal data when they leave their jobs. I couldn't help wondering why they do it. A desire to suck up to their new supervisors? A sense of grievance against the company that they're leaving? Or just because they can?

I was fascinated by Sharon Gaudin's recent article reporting that 45% of professionals steal data when they leave their jobs. I couldn't help wondering why they do it. A desire to suck up to their new supervisors? A sense of grievance against the company that they're leaving? Or just because they can?I'm afraid that I can understand the temptation in all three cases -- especially number three. I once deleted spyware data that a particularly obnoxious boss left on my PC because I was insulted that it had been installed without my knowledge -- and amazed at how badly it was hidden. It was a case -- probably typical of the situation in many workplaces -- where a badly implemented security system resulted in a system that was less, not more, secure.

In fact, a situation where employers and employees are in opposition to each other, rather than working together, is possibly one of the leading factors that can lead to data theft. At the end of the article, it is reported that "about 42% of respondents said their companies' security is non-existent, not strong enough, the wrong type, or too restrictive." It's likely that they had little to no input into the implementation of that security.

I'm certainly not arguing that nobody steals data from their workplace for financial gain or to get an "in" with a new company. (Or to foment a political coup.) But I would suspect, from what I've observed in my travels through the cubicles of various companies, that a lot of trouble could be avoided if employers invested in solid security products that prevented important company data from being unnecessarily copied -- without making it so restrictive that employees can't do their jobs.

One way to help keep information in-house is to make it possible for employees to go home and not be expected to continue their employment there. According to a Dice poll, 38% of IT professionals say they are "doing work related tasks all the time." I strongly suspect that they're trying to stay ahead in a very competitive work environment. In that kind of arena, the temptation to bring work home -- in the form of documents that probably shouldn't be moved off the main server -- can be nearly overwhelming. If workers feel encouraged to leave their work in the office, they'll leave the data in the office as well.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
HackerOne Drops Mobile Voting App Vendor Voatz
Dark Reading Staff 3/30/2020
Limited-Time Free Offers to Secure the Enterprise Amid COVID-19
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  3/31/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
6 Emerging Cyber Threats That Enterprises Face in 2020
This Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at six emerging cyber threats that enterprises could face in 2020. Download your copy today!
Flash Poll
State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
Data breaches and regulations have forced organizations to pay closer attention to the security incident response function. However, security leaders may be overestimating their ability to detect and respond to security incidents. Read this report to find out more.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-11542
PUBLISHED: 2020-04-04
3xLOGIC Infinias eIDC32 2.213 devices with Web 1.107 allow Authentication Bypass via CMD.HTM?CMD= because authentication depends on the client side's interpretation of the <KEY>MYKEY</KEY> substring.
CVE-2020-11533
PUBLISHED: 2020-04-04
Ivanti Workspace Control before 10.4.30.0, when SCCM integration is enabled, allows local users to obtain sensitive information (keying material).
CVE-2020-11529
PUBLISHED: 2020-04-04
Common/Grav.php in Grav before 1.6.23 has an Open Redirect.
CVE-2020-11527
PUBLISHED: 2020-04-04
In Zoho ManageEngine OpManager before 12.4.181, an unauthenticated remote attacker can send a specially crafted URI to read arbitrary files.
CVE-2020-11528
PUBLISHED: 2020-04-04
bit2spr 1992-06-07 has a stack-based buffer overflow (129-byte write) in conv_bitmap in bit2spr.c via a long line in a bitmap file.