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
Data Leak Week: Billions of Sensitive Files Exposed Online
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/10/2019
Lessons from the NSA: Know Your Assets
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  12/12/2019
4 Tips to Run Fast in the Face of Digital Transformation
Shane Buckley, President & Chief Operating Officer, Gigamon,  12/9/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-5252
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-14
There is an improper authentication vulnerability in Huawei smartphones (Y9, Honor 8X, Honor 9 Lite, Honor 9i, Y6 Pro). The applock does not perform a sufficient authentication in a rare condition. Successful exploit could allow the attacker to use the application locked by applock in an instant.
CVE-2019-5235
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-14
Some Huawei smart phones have a null pointer dereference vulnerability. An attacker crafts specific packets and sends to the affected product to exploit this vulnerability. Successful exploitation may cause the affected phone to be abnormal.
CVE-2019-5264
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
There is an information disclosure vulnerability in certain Huawei smartphones (Mate 10;Mate 10 Pro;Honor V10;Changxiang 7S;P-smart;Changxiang 8 Plus;Y9 2018;Honor 9 Lite;Honor 9i;Mate 9). The software does not properly handle certain information of applications locked by applock in a rare condition...
CVE-2019-5277
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
Huawei CloudUSM-EUA V600R006C10;V600R019C00 have an information leak vulnerability. Due to improper configuration, the attacker may cause information leak by successful exploitation.
CVE-2019-5254
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
Certain Huawei products (AP2000;IPS Module;NGFW Module;NIP6300;NIP6600;NIP6800;S5700;SVN5600;SVN5800;SVN5800-C;SeMG9811;Secospace AntiDDoS8000;Secospace USG6300;Secospace USG6500;Secospace USG6600;USG6000V;eSpace U1981) have an out-of-bounds read vulnerability. An attacker who logs in to the board m...