Cybercrime set to increase

One-third of employers have had to deal with staff leaking confidential information to outsiders using their computer, according to a survey into cybercrime.

IT security specialist Integralis found that out of 800 senior directors, half had endured financial loss running into thousands of pounds. Even so, 70 per cent were reluctant to call in the police.

Internal incidents of cybercrime ran high: 56 per cent of firms had experienced internal e-mail abuse, 62 per cent have had employees distributing offensive junk mail and 32 per cent employees passing information to third parties.

Respondents predicted the crime will rise in the coming decade. But according to Richard Walters, head of the cybercrime unit at Integralis, employers rarely recognise that they are liable for the behaviour of employees.

He said, “The technology is available to help tackle crime, but it is only part of the solution. Employers need to think about e-mail and Web usage policies and how to enforce those policies.”

HR professionals have also been warned to verify the qualifications of IT security experts. “Security staff can be the best form of protection or the weakest link within an organisation,” said Andrew Palmer, recruitment services managers with information security specialists Insight Consulting.

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