Feeds

US firms grapple with workplace IT abuse

Smut survey

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
BlackEnergy crimeware coursing through US control systems
US CERT says three flavours of control kit are under attack
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.