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Employees Pose Internal Risk in European Businesses

McAfee's recent findings project that European businesses are liable to growing risk due to internal reasons such as employees who open up sensitive and valuable information over the Internet.

The research shows that companies' staffs are shipping out large volumes of confidential data out of their organizations using methods over which the IT department has little control. According to the study nearly 37% of European businesses have no guideline for handling sensitive files and in those businesses where there is a set policy, nearly 24% of the workers don't have knowledge about them.

U.K. workforce is most dependable in not allowing slippage of organizations' confidential information. 70% of them deny taking away data anywhere, says the survey. On the other hand, French and Italian workers are more inclined to expose corporate information to external environment.

ICM Research conducted the survey over 600 office employees across Europe while McAfee commissioned it. The study outlines the organizational risks involved with data loss. The research highlights, employees are transmitting more and more business information away from the workplace and the IT department is least equipped to handle it.

According to some other important findings, U.K. offices experience loss of 132 million sensitive documents every week taken out via portable devices. The two most common types of documents that move out either electronically or physically are routine internal documents and customer records. The portable devices generally include mobile phones and memory sticks. Web-based e-mailing and Instant Messaging are the other mediums to remove data from businesses. In European companies 52% of the employees would take company information with them when they quit.

While a lot of organizations seek to abide by the safety policies, they are unable to recognize their employees who violate such policies. Just as data exposure leads to loss of intellectual property, moving out company assets could eventually result in the breakdown of the business, said Greg Day, security analyst at McAfee in a statement in an Itpro news publication on February 5, 2007.

Day said organizations are suffering an increasing problem of data loss and so require preventing it aside external threats.

Related article: Employee Methods of Data Transfer Increases Risk for Businesses

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