Employees Leak Corporate Data When Despised or Accused at the Office
The reasons that make employees leak corporate data out of revenge are rather personal than professional, according to a recent Iron Mountain study published by the French Global Security Magazine. If upset, one employee in ten would give away sensitive information, no matter if it is related to the incident or not.
Employees usually decide to share personal information with third-parties if they consider the company’s treatment unfair. 21% of the employees participating at the study are upset if the management accuses them of a mistake they didn’t make, followed by 19 per cent who hate being disregarded at the office.
“Whether you consider the culprits whistleblowers or unhappy and vindictive employees, one thing is certain: emotions are highly important when it comes to taking the decision of leaking confidential data that may damage the reputation of the former employer,” said Iron Mountain President Marc Delhaie.
“People take big risks when revealing such sensitive information. The guilty employee could end up being ridiculed or even sued, while the employer is exposed to a catastrophe in terms of image, and penalties, including legal, for not complying with the stricter rules of data protection.”
Revenge out of professional reasons comes further down the list: 15 per cent would leak corporate information when fired, 7 per cent – if their performance review is unsatisfying, and the same percentage – if they don’t get promoted or get a raise.
The study also showed that one in four disgruntled employees usually expresses discontent at the office. Almost the same numbers express their anger by sending e-mails to their friends and family, who may also carry on the word and damage the company’s reputation. According to the research, marketing employees are the most susceptible of searching for revenge by giving away confidential information. However, the management is more likely to leak corporate data by accident. 13% of directors take sensitive documents out of the office to consult them later.
The Iron Mountain study was conducted on office employees in Europe for a better understanding of the reasons why people use information to get revenge.