Protecting Data from Employee Data Theft

Businesses typically improve their web security to defend their data from hackers and therefore often forget to consider protecting data from employees. While most companies have a reason to trust their employees, there is a considerable risk of data theft, especially for businesses with a large workforce. Even if just 1% of employees would consider stealing company information, if a company has 100 employees, there is a good chance they have experienced employee data theft.

But with recent studies and surveys, there is no need to guess the amount of employees that steal data or the amount of companies that are oblivious to the fact. A survey by LogRhythm reported that of the 1000 respondents, 440 employers said that they trust their employees enough not to steal company data. In addition, 37% responded in a pragmatic fashion, admitting that their employees might steal data or access confidential documents, but they would “like to think not.”

Supplementing the evidence for misplaced employer trust is separate research that confirms the suspicions of the practical employers. Earlier this year, Symantec and the Ponemon released a study saying that of their 3,500 workers, about half regularly sent business documents in emails to their personal accounts. In addition, about a third of respondents said they moved work documents to unapproved file sharing apps and 40% moved work files to their smartphones or tablets.

The high amount of employee data theft is most likely due to the lack of network security of their companies. According to the LogRhythm survey, 16% of respondents didn’t have data access security systems and 28% did not enforce the security systems they had in place.

Employees have to understand that the work documents they are sharing are not their property. For employers who experience data theft, this is most likely the first thing they will need to get across. But clearly this is not enough to protect their confidential data and therefore companies should consider better network security and data protection services that will stop such behavior.

If you are interested in network security or data protection, please contact us today.

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