It is employees, contractors and consultants, rather than hackers, who are responsible for the majority of electronic security breaches, according to a new survey.
Some 57 per cent of respondents said that their worst security breaches came from corporate users accessing unauthorised information, while 43 per cent named breaches created by user accounts left active after employees had left the company as the second biggest problem.
The survey was conducted by market research firm Digital Research on behalf of security software developer Camelot and eWeek magazine.
Yuval Baharav, president and chief executive at Camelot, said: "Too often, 'authorised' user behaviour goes unchecked. In an era of downsizing, mergers and acquisitions, proprietary information is at risk."
According to Baharav, the research shows that management is concerned about who is accessing company resources and is reconsidering how security permissions are granted.
"The recently publicised external hacks represent a very small proportion of the constant infringements a network endures daily," Baharav said.
One unexpected outcome of the survey is that nearly half of the companies surveyed, or 49 per cent of the respondents, said they had no annual budget for maintaining or upgrading their network security system, and 16 per cent did not know whether such funding was even available.
In addition, 22 per cent of the respondents said they were not concerned about unauthorised insiders having access to sensitive data.
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