A third of male office workers in the UK regularly share confidential company information with a colleague, compared to 23 per cent of women, according to Iron Mountain research. Men are also more likely to share personal information about their co-workers, with 21 per cent admitting to regularly sharing such information in the office. Women are more discreet, with only 15 per cent sharing private information about colleagues.
When it comes to where people source their information, 42 per cent of men are more likely to go straight to the top and seek out senior management to provide confidential company information. Women on the other hand, while still likely to turn to someone senior, are more likely than men to turn to colleagues in HR and to personal assistants.
Men may well be choosing the wrong person to turn to for their information. The study shows that employees in human resources and marketing top the office in indiscretion. Almost 64 per cent of those in HR and exactly half of those in marketing admit to having shared confidential information about the company, while 44 and 36 per cent respectively admit to having passed on private information about colleagues.
Paul Doody, vice president of sales and marketing at Iron Mountain Europe, said: “Sharing sensitive company information could have damaging consequences for the business if leaked to a competitor or into the public domain. Protecting information that is passed on to us is just as important as protecting sensitive electronic data and paper documents.”
After all, in today’s business environment, every employee has a role to play. Information security is as much about embedding a culture of information responsibility in the workplace as it is about data protection and the effective management of sensitive information.
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