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Bosses finger workers for virus attacks

Staff 'misuse' to blame

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Workers are to blame for many of the security breaches that wreck firms' computers networks, according to research by the Institute of Directors (IoD).

Of the 1,240 UK small and medium sized businesses (SMB's) quizzed in its survey, half said they had suffered a virus attack as a result of "misuse" by staff. Six in ten of the companies surveyed said they had been hit by a virus attack.

Downloading non-work related applications, opening infected emails and deactivating security software were cited by bosses as the main threats posed by the workforce.

Said Sal Viveros, SMB director for McAfee, Inc., the security outfit that carried out the survey with the IoD: "After years of education, human vulnerability is still one of the major causes of network downtime following a virus outbreak.

"All too often businesses are preoccupied with patching holes, updating anti-virus and configuring firewalls without looking at the dangers posed by their employees.

"Businesses can have the most robust and integrated security system in the world but one end user could still be responsible for introducing malicious code onto the network with potentially serious consequences," he said.

The IoD said bosses needed to work together with staff to prevent such slip-ups. ®

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