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Security dunces in the C-suite handing IT all sorts of sticky problems

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Oops: according to a malware study from ThreatTrack Security, “visiting a pornographic Website” is one of the top four reasons that companies' “senior leadership team” members cop malware infections.

The study talked not to the victim companies, but to 200 malware analysts that had worked for infected companies. They found that in spite of their customers complaining about a lack of security resources, executives were still happy to behave like complete berks when it comes to security, with the following common sources of infection:

  • Clicking on a malicious link in a phishing email (56 per cent)
  • Attached an infected device to a PC (47 per cent)
  • Allowing a family member to use a company-owned device (45 per cent)
  • Visiting a pornographic website (40 per cent)
  • Installing a malicious mobile app (33 per cent).

If that sounds like the C-suite's been fishing in the shallow end of the gene pool, it gets worse. In spite of data disclosure laws in America, the study found that “more than half of the malware analysts surveyed said they have investigated or addressed a data breach that the company did not disclose to customers, partners or other stakeholders”.

Let's just check that again: executives do dumb things that compromise network security, and resist disclosing that they did dumb things that compromised network security...

Most companies – more than 86 per cent – responding to the study have an incident response team, which is a good thing considering the varied and stupid ways the net-sec bods have to defend against their executives' stupidity.

While the analysts are either confident or boastful about their capabilities, with 45 per cent saying they could analyse a malware sample in between one and two hours, two-thirds of the respondents also put the “complexity of attacks” as one of their two greatest challenges (alongside the volume of attacks). ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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