Employees are bigger risk than hackers to firms' IT systems

Peter Flanagan New Technology Correspondent

MISTAKE prone employees pose a much greater threat to a company's IT systems than any threat from hackers, according to a new survey.

The report, from IT distributor Data Solutions, found that 80pc of businesses are more worried about careless employees compromising their computer network.

That is more than five times the 15pc of firms who worry about being attacked by hackers.

Importantly, 11pc of respondents said employees are not required to report to the company any lost personal mobile device which had access to the corporate network and data, such as a smart phone or tablet.

Some 42pc of Irish companies worry that employees would give away their password to someone else, while more than one-fifth of those surveyed knew of breaches caused by staff accessing the likes of Facebook and YouTube on their work PC.

The report highlights several contrasts among businesses.

For example, nearly two-thirds of firms who took part said it was important to educate their employees about internet security, yet only one-third actually run such training courses.

Data Solutions security manager David Keating warned that online attacks had moved beyond the obvious ones such as theft.

"The findings indicate a lack of real understanding or sense of responsibility among employees for IT security within their organisation," he said.