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More than half of UK employees admit to stealing corporate data

Research finds £1,000 would be enough to tempt the trade of company secrets

One red employee under flashlight

Almost half of office employees in the UK say they would be willing to sell corporate information to a third party, according to research.

Deep Secure's The Price of Loyalty report found that insider threats were responsible for 28% of 2017's data breaches, up from 25% in 2016. These breaches included customer information, market information and company passwords for subscription services and storage systems.

Following research involving 1,500 office workers across the UK, it found that nearly half of those (45%) would consider selling corporate information for money if they were approached by a third party. What's more, as much as 59% of respondents admitted to taking company information from a corporate network or device, while 47% admitted supplying company data to a third party.

It also found that in some cases workers would require very little motivation to disclose sensitive data, with 25% of employees suggesting they would be open to selling data for as little as 1,000. In what could be a more damaging situation, one in 10 respondents said they would also sell intellectual property, such as product specifications, product code and patents, for 250 or less.

For Dan Turner, CEO of Deep Secure, the cost of employee loyalty is staggeringly low and a big reason for companies to have strong security measures throughout their business.

"With nearly half of all office workers admitting that they would sell their company and clients most sensitive and valuable information, the business risk is not only undisputable but immense in the age of GDPR where customers no longer tolerate data breaches," he said.

"Given the prevalent use of digital and cyber tactics to exfiltrate this information, it's critical that businesses invest in a security posture that will help them both detect and prevent company information from leaving the network."

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