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

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
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?