‘Frienemies’ at work – is your data safe?

If you have children or are young enough to remember back to your school days, the term “frenemy” might be familiar – the concept that someone inside your group of friends might be conspiring to turn on you – but what if that concept applies equally to the workplace?

While a term like “eneployee” or “employnemie” doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as smoothly, the idea that company insiders are plotting to pull a fast one on their business shouldn’t be ignored, according to a recent poll by Symantec Corp. The wrong turn they’re so willing to commit? Data theft. In fact, most don’t even consider it wrong with 56 per cent thinking using competitive trade secret information is not a crime.

The global survey also reveals that 40 per cent of employees that either left or lost their jobs in the past 12 months kept confidential data from their business and plan to use it in their next job. But companies are at least partly to blame for the data theft, with 68 per cent of employees saying their organization doesn’t take steps to protect corporate data.

While protecting sensitive company information is important, organizations shouldn’t overreact to the concept of employees stealing company data. Barring any employee smartphones from using the corporate network for fear of accessing sensitive data can be counterproductive because it harms productivity, for example.

A system that makes sense is an access management system that ensures only employees that need access to sensitive data are given access to it. This limits its exposure to the outside work and practicing automatic encryption on external devices can also help stem leaks.

Source | Symantec Blog

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