Check Point Software Technologies, developers of the ZoneAlarm security range, has announced the results of research which suggest that half of all staff will happily walk away from employment with competitive information about your business in their pockets. That they are walking straight into another job with it should be cause for concern to any employer worth his or her salt.
85% of employees questioned said that they could easily download useful information and data and take it with them when they moved job. This despite the fact that 75% of the companies they worked for having a competitive intelligence policy for departing staff. Perhaps the small matter of 75% of them not having a matching security policy to prevent data walking out of the door has something to do with the discrepancy?
At the heart of the problem would appear to be the fall in price and rise in capacity of USB memory sticks. The survey found that 33% of people store work data on a USB stick compared with just 14% using the company laptop. That’s 14% using the often highly secured company laptop compared to 33% using an USB stick that the company don’t even know exists let alone has applied any security thought to.
Of course, a USB stick is not only cheap and easy to carry, it’s also easy to lose. And if you take the top end of the market, a 16Gb capacity stick, that’s the equivalent of being able to carry 640 reams of paper around!
As Check Point spokesman Martin Allen points out “Companies spend millions on their security and just forget about the fact that millions of pounds worth of valuable data is “going walk about” on people’s key rings and a great deal are very happy to download information to take with them to their next job.”