According to a study conducted by Traverse City-based Ponemon Institute and cyber-security software maker Symantec, more than half of employees who lost or left their jobs in 2008 took company data with them.
A shocking 59% of respondents claimed they had copied or e-mailed company data. Of those who admitted taking data, 61% had an unfavorable view of their former employers.
In many cases that data wound up at competitors’ offices. Almost 70% of respondents found new jobs after leaving their employers—and 67% of those workers reported using the data at their new jobs.
The data went out the door via CDs or DVDs (53%) and USB drives (42%), while some employees (38%) simply sent attachments to their private e-mail accounts.
The main problem appears to be lack of data security. More than 80% of respondents who took data claimed their employers never audited electronic documents or systems to see whether data had been stolen.