A quarter of office workers would steal sensitive company data if they thought it would help a friend or family member secure a job, says Cyber-Ark Software.
Research by the data security firm also revealed that four out of ten office workers claimed they had already taken sensitive company data while USB flash memory drives were the media of choice for transporting data from the office.
Cyber-Ark also said that 26 per cent of those surveyed would be willing to steal company data if they were fired, while 24 per cent would take data if they heard rumours that their job was at risk. Furthermore, of those that said they would steal data, 28 per cent said they would use it to negotiate their new position.
Nearly a quarter said customer contact details would be the data they would steal. Eleven percent said they would take passwords.
"While there is no excuse for employees who are willing to compromise their ethics to save their job, much of the responsibility for protecting sensitive proprietary data falls on the employer," said Adam Bosnian, vice president of products and strategy, Cyber-Ark Software.
"Organisations must be willing to make improvements to how they monitor and control access to databases, networks and systems - even by those privileged users who have legitimate rights."