Britain is a nation of thieves when it comes to the workplace, especially where data is concerned, according to a recent report.
UK businesses are the victims of high levels of data theft by staff, including confidential documents, whole customer databases, business contacts and sales leads, says a report from IT security firm Prefix.
The majority of the 1,000 respondents admitted to stealing, but many do not perceive their actions as 'wrong'.
"Clearly, many employees do not see company theft as stealing and do not apply any 'moral brakes' to such activities," said Graeme Pitts-Drake, chief executive at Prefix.
"Naïve employers who continue to trust their staff blindly without relying on robust security measures are asking for trouble."
Headline findings from the Prefix Security Report include:
- 37 per cent of men believe it is acceptable to take database information and sales leads
- 49 per cent of 16-24 year-olds do not think that workplace theft is 'stealing'
- 73 per cent of graduate trainees admit to office theft
- 56 per cent believe that companies expect things 'to go walk-about'
Companies are especially vulnerable to internal data theft, according to the report, because 78 per cent of the workforce owns devices capable of downloading and storing data, such as USB memory sticks or media players.
Small firms in particular were shown to be at most risk of 'disappearing data'.
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