According to the latest Clearswift report, while 65 per cent of employees said they wouldn’t sell data for any price, there is a group of people who are willing to profit from selling something that “doesn’t belong to them“.It found that three per cent of employees would sell private information for as little as £100, rising to 18 per cent when made an offer of £1,000. The number of employees open to bribes increases to 35 per cent as the offer reaches £50,000. The information being sold can be worth millions of pounds, the report claimed. “A case in point of the true value of data is the recent Ashley Madison hack, where user data has been accessed by a member of the company, according to the site’s CEO; the effects of which have been monumental,” said Heath Davies, CEO of Clearswift. “The site announced earlier this year that it hoped to raise £130m in an IPO in London and it may have lost out on this opportunity – reducing the value of its entire business.” He further stressed that the attack may have burned a hole in its prospects and has already had a ripple effect on its sister sites Cougar Life and Established Men. The opportunity to sell valuable information is exacerbated by the ready access most employees have to it. Some 61 per cent of respondents said they had access to private customer data, 51 per cent to financial data such as company accounts or shareholder information, and 49 per cent to sensitive product information such as planned launches and patents. Attitudes to data security were also mixed, with only 29 per cent saying that company data was their personal responsibility, and 22 per cent saying they didn’t feel it was their responsibility at all.
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