Data theft risk posed by IT staff made redundant in economic downturn

A data security expert has called for senior IT staff made redundant as a result of the economic downturn to be placed on gardening leave to stop them walking off with potentially damaging information.

Greg Day, security analyst at software security specialist McAfee, told Personnel Today that employers should review their redundancy policies for staff who had access to key areas of the business.

“As soon as they give employees their notices, businesses need to make a judgement call,” said Day. “If they’re just a run-of-the-mill employee with little security clearance, it should be fine. But certainly as you move towards the power-users, there a discussion needed about gardening leave and perhaps even careful monitoring in the remaining time.”

A recent survey by software firm Cyber-Ark found nearly 90% of IT administrators would take sensitive information with them if they were made redundant, ranging from the customer database through to the chief executive’s personal information.

One-third said they would take the password list that grants access to sensitive information like financial reports, accounts, and HR records.

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