White-collar pros shrug off security

65 percent don't care about privacy

Almost two-thirds of “white-collar” professionals don't care about their privacy on work computers, according to a survey by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).

The telephone survey of 1000 “white-collar” employees conducted by the London-based IT security association found 65 percent of respondents are not very concerned or not at all worried about their privacy on work computers.

A further 63 percent were not worried about the security of information stored on their computers.

Peer-to-peer file-sharing programs were regularly used at work by 7 percent of respondents, and at least once by 15 percent. Up to 35 percent of respondents admitted violating corporate IT policy, however the survey did not reveal the details of the breaches.

ISACA education board member John Pironti said the results are a cause for businesses to be alarmed.

“Considering that companies rely on their IT infrastructure to store and transmit sensitive company, employee and customer data, risky activities including the ones this survey reveals are of significant concern for all businesses,” Pironti said.

“Using peer-to-peer networks while at work can breach the confidentiality and security of an entire corporate network, including all of the data and internal communications that reside on that network.”

The survey follows the conviction of 19 year-old Wyoming, United States man Jason Milmont who plead guilty last week to hijacking 5000 to 15,000 computers to steal financial information.

Milmont will pay more than $83,250 in restitution and faces up to five years in jail and a $285,100 fine for unauthorised access to a computer to further a fraud.

Milmont created a botnet by distributing a modified version of the popular file-sharing program Limewire which was infected with the Nugache Worm.

Pironti said the case highlights the risk of using file-sharing applications.

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Darren Pauli

Computerworld
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