Staff with a grievance against their employer may target sensitive information in revenge.
Unfairly treated employees may consider stealing sensitive data from their bosses in revenge, research has revealed.
Resources spent on meeting ever more stringent data protection laws could be wasted if employers fail to address the risk from staff who believe they have been treated badly, according to the survey commissioned by Iron Mountain, a data storage provider.
The research collated from 1,000 officer workers around the UK suggests one in 10 employees motivated to get even because of a perceived injustice would take revenge by stealing confidential or sensitive information.
Nearly half of those, 45%, would steal valuable customer databases. Another 39% would take presentations, while 13% would thieve strategic plans. A further 9% say they would target company proposals and 7% would steal product or service roadmaps.
Workers were found most likely to take revenge when treated unkindly, 19%, or when held responsible for something that was not their fault, 21%.
Anne Best, VP of human resources at Iron Mountain Europe, said: "It is deeply worrying to see that senior employees are more likely to put the company at risk of a data breach and reputational damage by removing information from the office.
"Companies need to realise that responsibility for information security goes beyond guidelines and processes; it is also about improved people management and training.
"A culture that promotes respect for information should come from the top, with senior management leading by example."