Vulnerabilities / Threats
5/11/2010
04:40 PM
50%
50%

Employees Put Personal Security, Interests Above Company's, Survey Says

More than one-third say loss of personal information is top concern; only 29 percent concerned about loss of company data

It's not exactly a news flash, but it could be useful in motivating users to behave properly online: Employees are more worried about their own security than about the safety of corporate data.

According to a survey of 1,600 userspublished yesterday by Trend Micro, employees are generally much more motivated to protect their own data security than data belonging to the company.

"When it comes to concerns and fears over the damage Web threats can cause, end users consistently ranked personal over corporate," the study says. "Violation of personal privacy, identity theft, or the loss of personal information were the top-stated concerns surrounding insidious threats such as phishing, spyware, Trojans, data-stealing malware, and spam.

"Loss of corporate information and damage to corporate reputation were the least of end users' concerns. For example, 36 percent of U.S. end-users said loss of personal information was their top concern about viruses; only 29 percent expressed concern over the loss of corporate data due to viruses."

The survey, which included end users in the U.S., U.K, Germany, and Japan, noted that risky practices and attitudes were customary, regardless of country. Roughly 50 percent of respondents admitted to divulging employee-privy data through an unsecure Web mail account.

Mobile workers are more of a liability than their desktop counterparts, the study says. Across all countries, 60 percent of mobile workers versus 44 percent of stationary workers admitted to having sent out company confidential information via IM, Web mail, or social media applications. In Japan, that number spikes to 78 percent of mobile employees.

In the U.S., laptop end users are far more likely to perform nonwork-related activities while on their company’s network than desktop users; 74 percent of laptop users said they checked personal email (58 percent for desktop users), and 58 percent said they browsed Web sites unrelated to work (45 percent for desktop users).

Online banking/bill paying, listening or watching streaming audio or video, visiting social networking sites, and online shopping were all cited by at least 25 percent of the survey respondents who used company machines for nonwork-related activities.

Roughly one out of 10 users in each country admitted to overriding their corporate security in order to access restricted websites, the survey says.

"These results might be disturbing to IT administrators and small business owners, but they're not all that surprising, especially to those of us who work within the security industry," said David Perry, global director of education at Trend Micro.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7421
Published: 2015-03-02
The Crypto API in the Linux kernel before 3.18.5 allows local users to load arbitrary kernel modules via a bind system call for an AF_ALG socket with a module name in the salg_name field, a different vulnerability than CVE-2014-9644.

CVE-2014-8160
Published: 2015-03-02
net/netfilter/nf_conntrack_proto_generic.c in the Linux kernel before 3.18 generates incorrect conntrack entries during handling of certain iptables rule sets for the SCTP, DCCP, GRE, and UDP-Lite protocols, which allows remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions via packets with disall...

CVE-2014-9644
Published: 2015-03-02
The Crypto API in the Linux kernel before 3.18.5 allows local users to load arbitrary kernel modules via a bind system call for an AF_ALG socket with a parenthesized module template expression in the salg_name field, as demonstrated by the vfat(aes) expression, a different vulnerability than CVE-201...

CVE-2015-0239
Published: 2015-03-02
The em_sysenter function in arch/x86/kvm/emulate.c in the Linux kernel before 3.18.5, when the guest OS lacks SYSENTER MSR initialization, allows guest OS users to gain guest OS privileges or cause a denial of service (guest OS crash) by triggering use of a 16-bit code segment for emulation of a SYS...

CVE-2014-8921
Published: 2015-03-01
The IBM Notes Traveler Companion application 1.0 and 1.1 before 201411010515 for Window Phone, as distributed in IBM Notes Traveler 9.0.1, does not properly restrict the number of executions of the automatic configuration option, which makes it easier for remote attackers to capture credentials by c...

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industrys professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.