Coronavirus and Your Money: Special Coverage
By Kerry Close
March 29, 2016
Raya Hristova—Getty Images/iStockphoto

If you’d sell your work password for the right offer, you’re not alone: A new survey found that 1 in 4 U.S. workers would compromise corporate security for cash.

Software vendor SailPoint found that 27% of American workers would sell their work passwords, making them the most willing nation in the world to part with that information, Quartz reported. That’s compared to 20% of workers worldwide who would do so. And that figure is up from last year, when one in seven employees said they’d be part with their passwords if the price were right.

The most loyal employees apparently work in the Netherlands and Australia; only 12% of workers in those nations say they would hand over their work passwords for cash.

The (somewhat) consolatory news for companies worried about corporate security is that most employees would require a sizable payoff to give up their passwords. Globally, workers said they would require a whopping $82,000 if they were ever to sell their passwords. In the U.S., workers would need $50,700 to betray their employers—just slightly below the median family income in 2014. The lowest amount that any of the 1,000 respondents said they’d sell their password for, however, was just $55.

French companies in particular should keep an eye on inside leaks; the average offer French workers would accept to sell their passwords amounted to just $1,822. But only 16% of French workers who would do it at all, below the global average.

Handing over your work password may be a slippery slope for many employees; two-thirds of employees said they used the same password for multiple applications. In any event, the damage may already be done: A third of workers said they had already shared their passwords with colleagues.

“It only takes one entry point out of hundreds of millions in a single enterprise for a hacker to gain access and cause a lot of damage,” SailPoint founder Kevin Cunning told Quartz.

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