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E-Mail Systems warns against corporate theft of intellectual property

E-Mail Systems : 20 August, 2007  (Technical Article)
Recent high profile cases of data theft amongst prominent UK companies emphasise the need for greater protection against corporate intellectual property security
Corporate Intellectual Property (IP) theft is becoming a top concern for CIOs according to email and web management specialist Email Systems.

With many UK employees enjoying free reign online in the workplace, the opportunity for businesses to fall victim to corporate IP and knowledge theft increase dramatically.

With the news that top secret knowledge has allegedly been passed between high profile teams Mclaren and Ferrari currently a hot topic, this echoes the current concerns of many senior Corporate Information Officers. The UK's Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas, recently identified Orange, Barclays and NatWest as three enterprises which have experienced data protection breaches this year alone.

Email Systems recently launched new service to allow IT administrators to filter internet usage and also to encrypt email from desktop-to-desktop. The Web Filtering service will provide a first layer of defence against all malware - such as viruses or spyware for example. The system also allows IT Administrators to define and control effective usage policies which, as with all Email Systems web based services, require no hardware or software to use. As a member of the Federation Against Software Theft Security Group, Email Systems works closely with FAST, the leading independent advisory in the IP theft and protection sector.

Whereas most encryption services render email content scanning useless - thereby representing an additional threat to the business given the potential for unseen data theft - Email Systems' new encryption service offers a central management facility combining both scanning and encryption, to ensure that all content meet corporate policies.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry's Information Security Breaches Survey 2006, inappropriate web and e-mail usage is the second largest cause of reported security incidents, whilst nine out of ten companies are driven by wishing to protect their reputation to add security measures to guard against staff accessing inappropriate material.

52% of organizations also report misuse of business internet resources - the two most common themes being access to inappropriate websites (41%) and excessive web surfing (36%). Research from search engine also discovered that the average British worker spends 90 minutes a day surfing the web at work for personal purposes - the equivalent of 43 days a year.

Neil Hammerton, CEO of Email Systems, commented:
"With at least 40% of emails received during business hours being non work related, this has led to a dramatic increase in the requirement for Intellectual property safeguards in the workplace. Unfortunately, more and more employees are using work time to surf the Internet for their own purposes, which is both a drain on corporate resources and a risk in terms of the potential for information theft."
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