Employers concerned about malware brought in by staff

Employers are worried that their staff might be exposing them to IT risks.

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Category IT Security
Article date 09 January 2014
Employers concerned about malware brought in by staff
Malware being unwittingly introduced to company infrastructure by employees is becoming a key concern for managers, a new poll has found.

The study by Osterman Research quizzed 160 security professionals about the email, web and social media threats they feel they are being exposed to at present.

It discovered that far from business owners being troubled by shady outside organisations who might be interested in hacking the company files, they were actually much more concerned about the threat from within.

Indeed, 58 per cent of respondents said they are most worried about malware that sneaks in when workers surf the internet, while 56 per cent have fears about personal webmail being opened up in the workplace.

This may not be surprising though, as 74 per cent of those polled said their networks actually had been infiltrated by web-based malware in the past 12 months, while 64 per cent reported the same thing about email.

It is not just desk-based workplace computers that are at risk either. The news comes after a recent survey by the Ponemon Institute discovered that 68 per cent of IT and IT security professionals have had their mobile devices targeted by malicious programs or virus in the last year.

Since 2009, there has been a 733 per cent rise in concerns about mobile devices being targeted in the office, with three-quarters seeing them as being the source of the greatest rise in IT security risks in 2014, the organisation discovered. 

Despite this, 46 per cent said they don't take any action to manage the 'bring your own device' trend to protect their networks.

Among the most common ways for hackers to steal information is 'spear phishing', which uses file names designed to trick employees into thinking they are legitimate business documents, but launch malware as soon as they are opened.

It may be time for businesses to take a closer look at the protection they have and assess if it will stand up to the challenges this year poses.

Posted by Paul Sells

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