Employees willing to sell private data for a Caribbean holiday

Clearswift's new research shows that for £5,000, 25 percent of 4,000 polled employees in the UK, Germany, US and Australia would sell company patents, financial records and credit card details risking their job and criminal convictions. This is the cost of a family Caribbean holiday or less than three months of the average UK monthly salary.

Some employees are open to bribing for just £100. One third of them would sell the information if the price were right.

Patents and other intellectual property have been targets of certain companies and even governments for a long time. Competitors benefit from this type of information such as when contracts are ending. Criminals can use private information to steal money or bribe employees.

“Whilst people are generally taking security more seriously - 65 percent of employees said they wouldn't sell data for any price – there is still a significant group of people who are willing to profit from selling something that doesn't belong to them. This information can be worth millions of pounds,” says Heath Davies, chief executive at Clearswift.

According to Davies, the recent Ashley Madison hack is a great case in point of the true value of data, where a member of their business accessed user data. He also points out that it is not good business to live in fear of your employees, since most can be trusted. Understanding where problems come from along with advances in technology “really changes the game”.