Workers' virus threat
Date: February 06, 2004
Source: The Western Mail
BUSY or apathetic workers are increasing the spread of computer viruses and potentially costing UK businesses millions, according to a report published today.
Research found two-thirds of employees questioned admit they are unaware of even the most basic virus prevention measures and a third say they are too busy to check e-mails for a virus before opening them.
Nine out of 10 believe they have no part to play in preventing the spread of viruses, preferring to leave responsibility to their company's IT department, the survey of 1,000 workers found.
The findings come after a spate of damaging viruses, including the recent Mydoom worm which is estimated to have cost businesses ?20bn worldwide.
Steve Brown, managing director of business security specialists Novell which commissioned the study, said, "Danger lies in the hands of millions of UK workers, who through lack of time, technology know-how or care, put their business at risk by making basic security errors.
"Preventative technology is a must to help stop virus infiltration and computer password abuse but it's not the whole story.
"Unless you educate workers and provide basic dos and don'ts you may as well put a sign above your business saying 'hackers and viruses welcome'.
"Unless UK businesses start to take end-user education seriously, we are going to see the impact of cyber crime spiral in 2004."
The report identifies two types of workers whose characteristics expose businesses to malicious attacks.
Apathetic Non-Technical Staff (Ants)
While 62% of workers in the survey rate viruses as the number one security risk, more than half say they would "not be particularly bothered" if they encountered an attack, and only 5% said they would be worried if they had personally spread the virus.
Busy Employees Endangering Security (Bees)
More than one-third of UK workers feel overwhelmed by the number of e-mails they get and a third claim to be too busy to check e-mails before opening them.
^macro[showdigestcomments;^uri;Workers' virus threat]