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As the specter of layoffs looms large, so does the temptation to steal corporate secrets–making data security a high priority in risky times, industry watchers say. Fearful workers hope to trade confidential information for new jobs at competing organizations. Others pilfer out of spite. “Motivation is strong in recessionary times,” says Mark Lobel, a PricewaterhouseCoopers security expert. Strong motivation, combined with moral rationalization and easy access, are key factors spurring workers to snoop around for sensitive data, says Lobel. “You can’t do much about motivation and rationalization, but you can cut off access,” he says. He recommends clients do just that.

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