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Firms, employees hold different views on data ethics, ownership

IT leaders and employees differ on data ethics and ownership and the root causes of insider breaches, according to a report by security vendor Egress.

The company commissioned research firm Opinion Matters to survey more than 250 U.S.- and U.K.-based IT leaders (CIOs, CTOs, CISOs, and IT directors), and more than 2,000 U.S.-and U.K.-based employees. It found that 79 percent of IT leaders think employees have put company data at risk accidentally in the last 12 months, and 61 percent think they have done so maliciously.

Thirty percent of IT leaders think data is being leaked to harm the organization, and 28 percent think employees leak data for financial gain.

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A large majority of the employees surveyed (92 percent) said they haven’t accidentally broken company data sharing policy in the last 12 months, and 91 percent said they haven’t done so intentionally.

Most IT leaders (60 percent) think their organization will suffer an accidental insider breach in the next 12 months, and nearly half think their organization will suffer a malicious insider breach.

Nearly 30 percent of the employees surveyed think they have ownership of the data they have worked on, and 55 percent of the employees who intentionally shared data against company rules said their organization didn’t provide them with the tools needed to share sensitive information securely.

The results highlight a perception gap between IT leaders and employees over the likelihood of insider breaches, according to the report, and this is a major challenge for businesses.

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