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Employees would whistleblow on colleagues and approve of strictly enforced policies

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A third of employees in the UK disclose confidential company information to friends and family.

A survey of 3,000 UK workers by LogRhythm found that 37 per cent of people have shared privileged company information with their friends and family. However only a quarter (26 per cent) would blow the whistle on their co-workers if they thought another employee was acting immorally or illegally.

When asked about how easy it was to access company secrets, 19 per cent reported that there was no policy restricting access to information on the company network, while a further 15 per cent said that while there was a policy, it was still possible for unauthorised people to access privileged content.

Almost two-thirds (63 per cent) favour strictly enforced policies to prevent unauthorised staff from accessing data, 60 per cent advocate disciplinary action for staff in breach of the rules and 52 per cent back the use of technology to monitor access to restricted files.

Ross Brewer, vice president and managing director of international markets at LogRhythm, said: “This research shows that there are many ways in which security breaches can occur, regardless of the insider's intentions.

“The willingness of employees to gossip about confidential information with their friends and families and even to deliberately disclose information to non-colleagues, shows that organisations should be very concerned about the information they make available to insiders.”

“Despite the readiness of some of those surveyed to reveal confidential information about their organisations, many of those same people also believe that stricter rules need to be enforced and are concerned about treatment of their own information. While stricter policies and disciplinary action may deter some staff, it is only by continually monitoring networks that organisations can detect anomalous activity and minimise the risks of leaks occurring in the first place.”

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