Procurement · 6 November 2017

Are your employees maliciously leaking data to rival companies?

Vector illustration - Criminal succeeds hacking theft.
Half of workers are deleting sent messages to cover their tracks
Whilst most business owners are now well aware of the importance of security, many are unaware that one of the biggest threats comes from their own employees. Now, research has revealed that one in four UK workers have maliciously leaked business data in the past, purposely sharing private information with rival companies.

After polling over 2, 000 British office workers, software firm Egressuncovered the extent to which workplace email networks are misused by staff, and the danger this poses to businesses.. The quarter of employees who were intentionally leaking data outside of their company were typically passing it onto competitors or new or previous employers.

However, many employees did hold their hands up and admit sending emails to incorrect recipients as a result of human error. The most common cause for a misdirected email was rushing, but alcohol was found to be the reason for eight per cent of all those wrongly sent.

Auto-fill technology had also caused problems for businesses. Almost half of respondents saidauto-fill had selected the wrong email recipient from a list, and they had hit send before realising.

Read more:?Ten steps to prepare your business forgDPR

Almost 50 per cent of workers said theyd incorrectly received an email before, confirminghow frequently misdirected emailsland in the inbox of the wrong employee. Although they often contained rude or inappropriate messages, some saw confidential business information leave the company.

Worringly, almost one in ten accidentally leaked sensitive attachments such as bank details or customer information, seriously compromising both the customer and the business.

Whether innocently or deliberately, employees guilty of leaking data are going through measures to cover their tracks. Half of all survey respondents said they either had or would delete emails from their sent folder if they had sent information somewhere they shouldnt have.

Sounding the alarm for small business owners, Tony Pepper, Egree CEO and co-founder, said email was being ‘seriously misused? by Britain’s workforce.



Praseeda Nair is an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.