Your Boss Is Leaking Company Data

Jan 08, 2014 at 2:09 PM ET

Think interns are to blame for accidentally leaking sensitive company data? Think again—it’s more than likely the boss.

According to a report released today from Stroz Friedberg, a computer forensics firm based in New York City, “senior managers are the worst information security offenders.”

Among the most absurd results of the 764-person study, the report noted that:

  • 87 percent of senior managers regularly upload work files to a personal email or cloud account (see sidebar –>)
  • 51 percent have taken files with them after leaving a job—twice as many as office workers in general
  • 58 percent have accidentally sent the wrong person sensitive information

Let me restate that: 58 percent percent of senior managers “have accidentally sent the wrong person sensitive information.”

“Senior management—those who often have high levels of access to valuable company information—admitted to partaking in risky behaviors most readily,” the authors note in the study. “When company information gets into the wrong hands—whether it’s due to a careless insider, a malicious insider, or a hacker—a business can lose the trust of its customers, partners, and investors, as well as its competitive advantages.”

If you’d like a tutorial in how accidental data leaks can affect a business, check out this beauty of an interactive bubble chat, which catalogs the world’s biggest data breaches. Apple, Facebook, AOL and even the state of Texas are guilty of accidentally leaking thousands of documents because of bad security procedures.

And it more than likely happened because a boss screwed up.