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Low IT security awareness amongst employees

Bell Micro : 01 July, 2008  (Technical Article)
Bell Micro report suggests that easily compromised passwords and low awareness of IT security in general is still prevalent in industry
The security division of value-added distributor, Bell Micro has released findings from an independent research report which suggests that UK businesses are still failing to implement internal security procedures despite growing awareness of the potential consequences.

The research indicated that despite an increase in mail filters and firewalls, a high proportion of respondents still receive unwanted emails from apparently reputable sources, such as banks (63%), which typically represent phishing attacks. Even more surprising was that when asked about password protocols, 56% believed colleagues passwords commonly reflected either the names of family members or favourite sports teams (41%), all of which can easily be gleaned from social networking sites - which 41% of respondents are permitted to visit by their respective companies.

"The areas of concern that become apparent from this research unfortunately seem to point to staff as the weak link in the security chain," said Steve Browell, General Manager of Bell Micro's Security Division. "There is still too much reliance on non-random password protection, which can easily be hacked by identifying personal information freely distributed on social networking sites - despite the readily available solutions that are on the market and already protecting against these issues."

A staggering 73% of respondents to the survey were also willing to confirm their mother's maiden name to researchers - a prime example of sharing personal information that is traditionally used as a password, or prompt, when accessing online accounts - or is often used as a password.
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