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55% Rise in Illegal Content Download at Offices during Q4 2009

According to ScanSafe, a Web security company, malicious software (or illegal software) and music downloads on organization computers rose 55% during October-December 2009. The figure had been computed from network traffic tracked from over 100 countries, the company said.

Spencer Parker, Director of Product Management at ScanSafe, said that a possible explanation attributed to this rise was employees' attitude. Employees usually thought that they could use the Internet at office in the same way as they do at home, as reported by Theinquirer during the 3rd week of January 2010. Another explanation is that business networks run much more speedily compared to home networks.

Parker further highlighted that malicious software or illegal software downloads could result in significant hazards for an organization. According to him, when illegal content is downloaded, it causes a dual problem for employers. Firstly, they get involved in illegal action; and secondly, their company network put at risk of malware infection.

In this context, ScanSafe mentions a recent instance when an American student named 'Joel Tenenbaum' was convicted of unlawfully downloading 30 songs and therefore fined $675,000. Sometimes the organizations owning networks which are utilized for sharing illegal files can be held accountable in a similar manner, Internet security experts said.

They also state that to lessen assaults emanating from malware ridden websites or blacklisted websites, organizations need to enforce an inclusive system for Web security so that employees are prevented from opening these websites. In addition, employees should be educated about the risks of downloading malicious content on organization networks.

According to Parker, employees should be made to realize how their acts of illegal surfing can affect their companies. Unfortunately, there aren't many organizations that run education scheme and own inclusive policy system, as reported by Computerweekly during the 2nd week of January 2010.

Advising on what employers should do, ScanSafe states that they should set up concrete policies that delineate the limits of using Net during work hours. The policies should highlight the results of non-compliance and ensured that staff comprehends these rules.

Related article: “Loopholes did not cause online banking thefts”: ICBC

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