As many as 88 percent of IT workers would consider stealing valuable and sensitive company information if they were made redundant, according to a new survey.

Cyber-Ark's Trust, Security & Passwords survey revealed that a CEO's passwords, customer databases and research and development plans are among the information most likely to be taken by disgruntled employees.

Cyber-Ark also identified that one third of companies believe that industrial espionage and data leakage is commonplace with 25 percent of those surveyed admitting to having suffered from an incident of industrial espionage.

"Our advice is secure the most privileged data, and routinely change and manage passwords, so that if an employee's contract is terminated, whether sacked or made redundant, they can't maliciously play havoc inside the network or vindictively steal data for competitive or financial gain," said Udi Mokady - co-founder and CEO of Cyber-Ark.

When it comes to the security of sensitive data, Cyber-Ark also said 35 percent of those surveyed chose to send confidential information via email while just as many rely on couriers. A further 4 percent were quite happy to use the UK's postal service. One third of IT administrators also admitted to having written down passwords on a post-it note.

"You can install the best security systems in the world, but if your staff do not respect the information they are entrusted with, then the information will definitely go astray - just as the findings of this survey have illustrated." added Mokady.