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 Saturday, 25 January, 2003, 07:25 GMT
Firms failing to report cyber crimes
Man in office
Businesses are failing to report security crimes
UK companies are failing to report cyber crime in the workplace in order to protect their reputations, a survey has found.

Fear about the damage to corporate image has prevented more than two-thirds of organisations from reporting attacks on their computer systems, security firm Defcom has found.

Typical security breaches going unreported include the fairly trivial such as defacement of corporate websites to the more serious hacking attempts on firms' databases.

The National High Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) introduced a Confidentiality Charter at the end of last year in an effort to encourage firms to report cyber crime anonymously.

"Despite the introduction of the charter companies are still failing to report attacks on their computer systems for fear of damaging their reputations," said David Howorth, Director of Business Development at Defcom.

E-mail goes home

The management of security in firms is still surprisingly lapse, despite a number of high profile viruses and hack attacks the survey found.

Nearly half of company directors are not made aware of security breaches and 80% of firms rely on employees to keep themselves up-to-date with computer security procedures and policies.

A separate survey, conducted by Amstrad, showed that bosses are becoming stricter when it comes to policies on e-mailing within the office.

A quarter of those surveyed claimed to have installed e-mail at home because their bosses were snooping on their messages at the office.

Hard habit to break

About a third said that their employers read their e-mails and 39% said that they had been told not to surf the internet outside of their lunch hour.

Despite disapproval from bosses, most employees are finding it hard to crack the habit of surfing at work.

The survey found that people on average spent over two hours a day e-mailing and surfing the internet from their desks.

Amstrad, which makes the em@ilerplus, a telephone with net access, says sales for the device soared in January.

See also:

16 Sep 02 | N Ireland
09 May 02 | Science/Nature
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