Feeds

US firms grapple with workplace IT abuse

Smut survey

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Half the US firms polled in a survey have experienced at least one incident of discovering illicit images in the workplace over the last year*. Of those organisations that pursued an investigation, some 44 per cent resulted in the employee's removal from the company. In 41 per cent of cases the firm took some other disciplinary action.

The study by Delta Consulting and sponsored by security firm PixAlert quizzed 50 execs responsible for computer usage policies in a sample of the US's top 500 firms. Nine of 10 of firms quizzed had a policy for dealing with illicit images in the workplace but many were ignorant of legal ramifications of staff viewing porn or other inappropriate images in the workplace.

A similar survey of UK companies by PixAlert last year revealed that 71 per cent of the firms surveyed have disciplined staff over inappropriate images at work within the preceding two years, twice the period covered by the US poll.

Respondents to the US survey rated Internet usage and email/email attachments (both mentioned by 93 per cent of respondents) as the biggest source of risk, followed by other gateway threats such as embedded (81 per cent) and zipped files (73 per cent). Other high-perceived threats come from Wi-Fi networks (68 per cent), mobile phone cameras (63 per cent), non-enterprise controlled networks (61 per cent), memory sticks and encrypted files (59 per cent) and CDs (54 per cent).

"We were not surprised to see that almost all leading organizations surveyed have computer usage policies in place," said Alain Recaborde, principal of Delta Consulting. "But given the high per centage of organizations uncovering images banned by their policies, we were alarmed to find the relatively low awareness of the legal ramifications and potential exposure among those responsible for computer usage policies."

A summary of the survey (registration required) can be found here. ®

* The study also found 26 per cent of those quizzed didn't know whether or not they'd had to use their computer usage policies to deal with workplace porn policies over the last year. Only 24 per cent were able to definitively say they hadn't had any problems with workplace porn and the like over the last 12 months.

Related stories

Business PCs riddled with porn
Sysadmins urged to shop child abuse downloaders
Utah enacts net porn law
Italian smut virus scammer jailed for 14 months

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.