Employees admit they would sell their company password for the right price


Here’s a cheery finding from the latest SailPoint Market Pulse survey: 14% of the 1000 respondents admitted they would give their work password to a third party organisation if the price was right.

Remarkably, 1% said they’d happily pass over their details for anywhere between £100 and £250. The average, however, for UK respondents was £47,105, while in the US it was £161,534 ($243,592).

The findings also revealed a marked difference between the younger and older workforce in whether their heads could get turned. Only 70% of 18-25 year olds said they would never sell their password, compared with 79% of 26-35 year olds, 90% at 36-45, 95% at 46-55 and 97% over 55.

A study from Intermedia back in August found nine out of 10 employees who leave companies still retain passwords for corporate applications, such as Facebook, Salesforce and PayPal. The SailPoint survey showed that’s not all they take with them, either:

  • A quarter of respondents (24%) said it was either ‘likely’ or ‘extremely likely’ they would take at least one document they’d been working on at their company if they left tomorrow
  • 27% admitted they’d take office supplies with them, such as pens, pencils and notebooks
  • Yet only two thirds (68%) of respondents said their employer had official policy on taking intellectual property. 59% said it was forbidden, while 9% said items could be negotiated. Just over half (52%) said they had policy in place for taking physical inventory

Perhaps both employers and employees are at fault for data breaches, therefore. Password reuse was also seen as a pain point. 56% of respondents admitted to daily password reuse of some description, while 14% said they used one password for every application.

This publication has banged the drum on several occasions over the insecurity of passwords, not just for employee offboarding but for malicious attacks in general. Identity and access management (IAM) is on its way, as evinced by its importance in Ovum’s matrix of enterprise mobility management (EMM) vendors, yet is still immature.

“The fact is that password reuse poses a significant risk to any organisation – but the good news is that there are solutions that can quickly address the problem,” said Kevin Cunningham, president and founder of SailPoint.

Would you sell your own password if the price was right?

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