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Survey reveals ex-employees take data to new workplace

A new report published by Symantec Corp has some new figures that might unnerve many CIOs and IT managers out there.

The company, who conducted a global survey, has found that several ex-employees plan to use confidential data belonging to their previous employers at their new jobs.

The computer security firm’s report titled, “What’s Yours Is Mine: How Employees are Putting Your Intellectual Property at Risk,” finds that most employees aren’t worried about the security of corporate data and are just fine with stealing it.

More than half of the respondents (56 percent) do not feel it is wrong to use a rival firm's intellectual property, reported IT news website eWeek. The study also revealed that several firms fail to implement adequate measures to prevent data leaks.

Meanwhile, 68 percent of those surveyed said that their company does not have sufficient steps in place to prevent staff from using confidential corporate documents.

Here’s a closer look at the report’s findings:

— 50 percent of employees who left or lost their jobs in the last year have kept confidential corporate data, and 40 percent of them admitted to planning to use that content in their new jobs.

— 56 percent of employees don't believe it's a crime to use a competitor's trade secret information.

— 44 percent think that a software developer who develops source code for a company has some ownership in his or her work and inventions.

— 42 percent don't believe it's a crime to reuse those source codes, without permission, in projects for other companies.

One problem could be a simple lack of awareness or companies not being clear with employees about what their policies are.

For example, the researchers found that 62 percent of employees thought it was "acceptable to transfer work documents to personal computers, tablets, smartphones or online file sharing applications." Symantec added that most of them don't bother deleting the data because "they do not see any harm in keeping it."

Disturbing data news: Half of ex-employees walk off with corporate data, Symantec survey finds.

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Published February 13, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated February 12, 2013 at 6:03 pm)

Survey reveals ex-employees take data to new workplace

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