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Senior managers are ignoring the internal risks to their computer systems, thinking instead that the biggest threats come from outsiders, says KPMG.

KPMG surveyed more than 1,200 IT directors and senior managers from some of the world's largest organisations, and found that 79 per cent believed that a security breach to one of their e-commerce systems would be the result of an external force.

KMPG's stud yhighlights a string of misconceptions and, in some cases ignorance, that may contribute to the security problem within organisations.

The majority of security breaches are caused by members of staff - and it seems strange that IT directors are unaware of this. The study also found that only 35 per cent of the organisations polled regularly run security audits; and only 22 per cent have 'forensic response experts' - whatever they are.

There is still a huge reluctance to report security breaches because of the damage it can do to the organisation - 72 per cent say this is their main worry.

One trend is important - 62 per cent of the organisations polled say that they always run checks when hiring IT staff.

The attacks, despite the security precautions of even the largest organisations, carry on regardless. Nine per cent say they have been attacked in the last twelve months. Unsurprisingly, 83 per cent of victims did not take legal action.

Companies should overcome their embarrassment and call in the police when rogue IT staff steal from them or sabotage their systems. In this way internal security breaches may be demoted from epidemic to occasional unfortunate outbreak.

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