As the recession has eaten away at job security and employee confidence, network management and data security have become a more critical concern than ever, according to a study by Cyber-Ark Software.

The survey of U.S. workers found that 41 percent of employees have taken sensitive information with them to a new position, 26 percent would pass on sensitive information to family and friends if it would help them get a job, and 52 percent would steal data "just in case" it could prove useful in the future.

Customer and contact details, as well as access and password codes, were the most popular targets of data theft.

Perhaps more importantly, 60 percent of survey respondents said that it is easy to take information from their employers, indicating the critical need for better network management and data security measures.

"[M]uch of the responsibility for protecting sensitive proprietary data falls on the employer," said Adam Bosnian, vice president of products and strategy for Cyber-Ark Software. "Organizations must be willing to make improvements to how they monitor and control access to databases, networks and systems - even by those privileged users who have legitimate rights."

A recent survey from Ernst & Young echoed these results, finding that 75 percent of businesses are concerned about IT sabotage from recently fired or laid-off employees.

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