Bosses, time to call ‘surfing’ police

Monday, February 18, 2008

Bosses, time to call ‘surfing’ police

Infotech firms may soon have to check Internet use at work, with their staff spending an average of five hours a week on personal web surfing and causing an annual loss of about Rs 1.6 lakh per employee.

These were the findings of a survey of IT managers in 450 organisations across five cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. The capital topped the list with employees spending a maximum of 12.35 hours every week on surfing sites not related to their work.

The survey was conducted by Internet security firm Websense and research firm Nielsen.

The respondents to the survey said the most popular websites were those on banking and finance (74 per cent). The employees also spent a lot of time on checking emails or in chat sites (62 per cent) and surfing news (53 per cent). Close to 32 per cent of the IT managers said they felt their employees were checking free software download sites.

The Nasdaq-listed Websense said the survey assessed the impact of Internet at work and gauged awareness of Net security risks among IT managers.

The respondents included IT managers from large, small and medium enterprises.

“The survey findings are an eye-opener and highlight how essential it is for Indian IT managers to prioritise their spending on technologies to protect organisations from emerging web-based security threats and confidential data loss,” Websense regional director (Saarc and India) Surendra Singh said.

According to the survey, the IT managers believed employees sending work documents to personal email IDs, clicking on links sent by unknown sources and sending official emails to wrong IDs posed great security risk to their companies.

However, close to 31 per cent of the managers in Chennai and 26 per cent in Delhi did not seem concerned about employees engaging in any of these activities, Websense said.

About 42 per cent of the IT managers believed their organisations were well protected against Net security threats, while 26 per cent described their security measures as average.

Over half the IT managers (57 per cent) said they conducted weekly or monthly security assessments, while 95 per cent had deployed anti-virus solutions.

A majority of the IT managers (67 per cent) agreed to put an Internet usage policy for employees in place. However, over a quarter (28 per cent) admitted they had no way to enforce such a policy.

According to the survey, 53 per cent of the IT managers believed they would be held responsible if employees were found leaking confidential company information. Employees accessing restricted data on the Internet emerged as the second most important reason (37 per cent) why IT managers believed they could lose their jobs.

The IT managers admitted that 480 security breaches had occurred in 116 organisations in the past year. The highest was in Bangalore, where there were 182 breaches in 29 organisations, followed by Mumbai with 100 instances in 31 organisations.

Source : The Telegraph

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