Risk management falls short

Tuesday, 21 October 2003, 1:40 PM EST

Despite a wave of reports regarding security threats from hackers, crackers and organised criminals, most company leaders still believe the biggest threat to firms is the enemy within, according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released today.

In a white paper entitled Testing the defences: facing up to the challenge of corporate security, sponsored by Nortel Networks, the EIU reports that in a survey of 178 senior managers, 57 percent said they believed security breaches are more likely to be a result of accident than intent, and 78 percent said breaches arise because of a failure in internal processes.

These findings suggest that strong policies supported by training and incentives are needed to help staff avoid leaking sensitive data. Although 71 percent of companies said that they conduct a security risk analysis at least once a year, 32 percent of them said they did not know the cost of potential security breaches.

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