A survey based on 1,567 UK professionals responsible for networks, has revealed that the proportion of organisations suffering Internet-borne viruses and security breaches is on the increase.
The survey, carried out by IFF research for Black Box Catalogue, suggests that the percentage of organisations seriously affected by downloaded viruses has more than doubled over a nine month period from 6% in January to 14% in September 1996. The report also points to a reluctance among IT directors to come clean about virus attacks. Only 3% of IT directors admitted breaches in their company's network, compared with 12% of network engineers.
Companies seriously affected by Internet-borne security breaches also rose during the 9 month period from 5% to 9%, while system disruption due to downloaded public domain software increased from 3 to 5%.
Roger Croft, managing director of Black Box, warned that downloading software, even from reputable organisations, can be dangerous. "Even downloading patches, for example, is now pretty standard. Companies have got to keep scanning software for viruses no matter where they get it from."
It would seem that time wasting by staff on "fruitless" Internet browsing is also on the up: 13% in January to 16% in September. And the bad news continues for on-line services such as CompuServe and AOL: Direct Internet access providers (up from 40% to 46% since January) are "taking business from indirect service/content providers" down from 31% to 24%. Croft commented: "That tells me people are getting more comfortable with the Internet and don't need proprietary services to guide them any more."
On a positive note, 78% of those with Internet access say they have "obtained significant benefits" from the Internet. 55% have set up a Web site and 70% of those believe the site has been of real benefit to their organisation.
For a free copy of the report, call Black Box on 01734 312233.
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