1 in 12 employees would happily share sensitive information with friends at rival companies and over a fifth admit to attempting to access protected files
CHERTSEY, March 26, 2007 — Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBSN), a global leader in content security, today announced the results of its annual opinion poll on attitudes about handling company information. The survey of 100 employees in the UK found that over half believed their company would have no way of knowing whether they took or accidentally sent sensitive information outside the company. Furthermore, 1 in 12 employees would happily share sensitive information with friends at rival companies. With research showing each data loss incident can cost business up to US $14million*, this employee survey highlights the pitfalls companies face if they do not protect their confidential information.
The results highlight how endemic the problem is; it is not just about theft and disgruntled employees but can be nothing more than an employee not thinking before acting, despite innocent intentions. Over forty percent (actually 46%) openly admitted to allowing friends and family to use their company laptop – which allowed one-click access to their company’s sensitive information.
Some of the poll results** included:
• 51% polled felt it very unlikely their company would realise or have the facilities to monitor whether critical data had been wrongly or accidentally distributed outside the company
• 31% tried to guess the administrator’s password for their PC, with 21% having confessed to trying to access protected files, including Finance and HR data
• 65% sent potentially confidential information to insecure personal web mail accounts like Yahoo! and Hotmail to work from home
• 52% of employees admitted to trying to hack into a colleague’s email account
• 1 in 10 accidentally sent out sensitive company information via email
• 1 in 12 employees would happily share sensitive information with friends at rival companies
• 46% admitted to letting their friends and family use their company laptop
Commenting on the poll, Frank Coggrave, Regional Director for Western Europe at Websense said: “It is a real eye opener to realise that so many UK employees are willing to put aside confidentiality agreements for friends. When you see that over half of the people surveyed had tried to hack into a colleague’s email account, this should start alarm bells ringing for many companies. Even if these actions are completely innocent, the implications are huge for companies leaving their data security to chance. There are so many potential holes in security that can expose an organisation. Not taking proactive steps to secure confidential data can lead to extremely costly information leaks.”
About Websense, Inc.
Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBSN), protects more than 25 million employees from external and internal computer security threats. Using a combination of preemptive ThreatSeeker™ malicious content identification and categorisation technology and information leak prevention technology, Websense helps make computing safe and productive. Distributed through its global network of channel partners, Websense software helps organisations block malicious code, prevent the loss of confidential information and manage Internet and wireless access. For more information, visit www.websense.com.
* Lost Customer Information: What does a data breach cost companies, Ponemon Institute PGP Research Report, November 2005, p2
** Websense polled 100 individuals in a variety of industries to ascertain their attitudes on data leakage and ownership of data. The poll was carried out using Survey Monkey and was conducted online. More detailed responses from the survey are available upon request.
For more information contact:
Websense PR Team
Grant Butler Coomber
Tel: 020 8322 1922
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