Would you believe a poll of IT pros that says 88 percent would steal corporate data if laid off from a company?


Apparently IT is filled with some larcenous, revengeful people. At least that’s the conclusion you’d come to if you put much stock into a recent survey featured on PC World. According to that survey of 100 IT pros, 88 percent of IT administrators admitted they would take corporate secrets (like CEO passwords, the customer database, research and development plans, financial reports, merge and acquisition plans and the company’s list of privileged passwords) if they were suddenly laid off. Eighty-eight percent. I just don’t buy it.

At this point, you just have to step back and take a look at who conducted the survey that is being cited: Cyber-Ark Software, “the leader in securing and managing privileged identities and highly sensitive information.” My first thought is that, yes, if I were a company specializing in security solutions, I might also choose as my marketing strategy striking fear in the hearts of the people who hold the corporate purse strings. I can’t find any data that reveals who the survey respondents were. Were they inmates at the white collar crime division at Sing Sing? Card-carrying members of Future Felons of America?

Spin has long been a weapon used by companies looking to make a profit off a product. One of the sneakiest ways of doing this is for a company to conduct a survey and then use the “results” to bolster a need for its product. And eventually some media outlet will report it as news.

I could be wrong. Grand larceny could be the standard mind-set of IT pros the world over, but I doubt it.

Let’s take our own poll and see what we find out.