Web abuse threatens company security

Significant numbers of the UK workforce are taking advantage of the internet
for non-work related internet use, a survey led by PricewaterhouseCoopers has

The survey conducted on behalf of the Department of Trade & Industry
found that misuse of the internet by accessing inappropriate websites or
engaging in excessive web-surfing was the second largest cause of reported
security incidents after viruses for large UK companies.

With nearly all (88%) of companies now using broadband, the risk of damage to
reputation from internet security breaches had increased, the survey found.

Two thirds of large companies reported at least one misuse incident a year,
with some small companies reported hundreds of email abuses every day.

However, there are many UK businesses that are not taking the risks

Three-fifths do not block access to inappropriate websites. Only one in six
scans outgoing email for inappropriate content.

Chris Potter, the partner from PwC leading the survey, said: ‘As companies
implement better controls around email and web usage, they tend to detect misuse
already happening. Where those businesses have an acceptable usage policy in
place, they are nearly three times as likely to detect misuse as those that
don’t. It is very hard to police this area if you haven’t agreed what an
acceptable usage policy is.

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