Half of employees would sell work passwords for a few bucks

Most companies value their security, with larger organisations spending millions of dollars every year to protect their networks and shield their secrets from the prying eyes of the outside world. But the weakest link in a network is often its users, with administrators and IT professionals across the world wearily working to ensure that the silly mistakes of users don’t have larger repercussions for the broader network infrastructure, or for the companies that they serve.

But even while a multibillion dollar global industry continues to grow around the need to establish and maintain robust corporate security, a startling new survey has revealed that most employees fail to understand the value of the role that they play in keeping their companies secure.

The Telegraph revealed that cloud security company, Ping Identity, conducted a survey of British workers, and found that 48% of those questioned would reveal their company password for just £5 GBP ($8 USD / €6 EUR) or less, with almost two-thirds of these having no problem revealing their corporate login details for only £1 ($1.60 / €1.20).

While almost half of those employees clearly place very little value on their business login details, a third of those surveyed said they would expect at least £50 ($80 / €60) to reveal their Facebook login details. Ping’s John Fontana noted this as a concern: “The fact that personal identity is being rated higher than corporate identity has worrying implications for the safety of a business’ intellectual property and brand reputation.”

Just 30% of those surveyed were adamant that they would never sell those details for any amount, but a third of all respondents confessed that they had already supplied their corporate login details to a third party.

In addition to staff selling their details for next to nothing, poor security practice is another failing to which respondents admitted, with 60% saying that they had written their passwords down. Last month, we reported on Trustwave’s 2012 Global Security Report, which found that ‘password’ and ‘password1’ were among the world’s most popular passwords currently in use.

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