A recent survey revealed that 59% of workers who were laid off, fired or quit their jobs in the last 12 months, admitted to stealing company data. Many ex-employees are taking information from their organization to help them find new jobs and make them more valuable to competition and other organizations.
With the downturn in the economy and layoffs affecting millions of people nation-wide, organizations must realize employees can easily carry out paper documents, CDs, DVDs, USB memory sticks or simply send documents to personal e-mail accounts before exiting, so it is critical for organizations to communicate acceptable and unacceptable actions to all employees and make sure all employees have acknowledged responsibility for acceptable and unacceptable actions.
Shockingly, the survey also showed 24% of ex-employees still have access to their former employer’s computer systems.
Organizations need to utilize lessons learned from these surveys to more effectively:
- Develop clearly-defined data protection policies and procedures
- Disable account login credentials immediately and monitor access
- Ensure all employees have acknowledged organizational controls and objectives
- Aggressively enforce organizational controls with employees and ex-employees
More importantly, organizations need to establish a “culture of trust”. If employees respect the organization they work for, they are much less likely to steal information from that organization. By empowering and engaging employees, management can inspire trust and loyalty to ensure better results.
As this dangerous trend of employee data theft increases with the recession, what is your organization doing to address these risks and inspire trust among your employees?