More than 30 per cent of IT administrators believe information is passed to businesses competitors by staff, a survey has shown.

The survey, conducted by UK company Cyber Ark Software, is supported by computer investigations companies and many employers are now wisening up to data-loss through non-traditional means.

Chris Pallett, of Telford-based IT specialists Bespoke Computing, said: “It is now incredibly easy to send files home by email or USB, and the information could be available to staff but detrimental to the company in competitors hands.

“The information could range from something as simple as a customer list to take to your next job or as important as rates for clients and employers need to be aware of the risks.”

The survey, which spoke to over 400 IT administrators, reports that databases and research and development documents were the most-at-risk sensitive information.

Computer Forensics managing director Brian Eardley-Wilmot said the biggest culprits are usually ex and disgruntled employees.

He said: “Many companies are blissfully unaware of the risk they face when a disgruntled employee leaves the company. The risk is equally high across all departments and for large or small companies.

He added that databases are easy pickings as they can be copied and taken off site by users without being seen and that in over 10 years of conducting computer investigations it has been noted that if managers suspect data theft has occurred, 99 percent of the time they’re right.

If you are concerned about any of the issues highlighted, talk to your existing IT provider or contact Bespoke Computing on 0845 004 3025.