The fact is that we all know the kind of activities that users get up to if they are not closely monitored and controlled, but the scale of it and the threat that it represents may be seriously underestimated.
So what are the main threats identified by the survey, and what can you do to mitigate them? Lets take a closer look at the top 5 security issues highlighted, and at effective measures to counter them.
Many love a good email forward, and in many organizations, Outlook is the new office water cooler, the virtual meeting place to share the latest scandal. The survey results confirm that our national pastime continues unabated in the workplace, with 40% of users admitting to emailing office gossip, and 66% sending confidential information via email, putting the UK at the top of the league for inappropriate use of email.
The very real danger that this brings – be it intentionally or unintentionally - is that email can fall into the wrong hands. Email is generally not secure and can be intercepted, or, as has been illustrated by many very public examples an email can be forwarded in vast numbers to an uncontrolled audience in a very short period of time.
We’ve all heard of cases where gossip-related emails which were initially intended for a single recipient have fast spread throughout - and far beyond – the workplace, spreading virally and becoming truly global. Imagine the potential business implications if the same outbreak occurred with sensitive business-related information that 66% of people are busily emailing around.
Given the immediate nature of business communications, organizations need to put in place tools and policies to mitigate email risk. Email filters are the simplest and most effective means of achieving this, monitoring traffic for sensitive and inappropriate content, and preventing it from leaving the company network. This provides clear, granular control over network security to meet regulatory compliance and ensures that email policy is adhered to and enforced across the organization.
Another major headache for businesses is the issue of employees downloading pornographic material onto their work PC or laptop - a business minefield which brings serious legal, HR and IT security implications. The security survey revealed that 11% of employees use their company laptop to download and access pornography.
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