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Temporary Employees Pose Risk of Data Loss

Online movements of temporary employees, according to Websense, need to be closely watched to monitor and control fresh security threats that could otherwise overpower non-permanent staff.

A survey that interviewed over 100 temporary professionals revealed that 88% of the participants said they could access files from the organization's network. A further 62% employed some other person's login details to read a computer within the network, 52% used a colleague's e-mail account, and 81% could access the Internet indefinitely.

An issue that raises concern is the apathy of businesses towards securing their data with even basic measures that leaves them vulnerable to deliberate or accidental data breaches, indicated Websense, which released the survey results on November 28, 2007. A mere 21% of temporary employees had signed to any kind of Web use or computer policy.

Another consideration in the survey was about risks from Web 2.0 applications. Websense said that there were sufficient evidences that enterprises are not adequately monitoring the employees' use of Web 2.0 technologies and social networking sites where cyber criminals throng to find opportunities for attack.

The survey also found that 67% of the employees visited social networking sites, in particular Facebook, while working and 81% could enter POP e-mail client like the Hotmail.

Tony Pickering at BackgroundChecking.com said that during an investigation by his company of the UK businesses, they found that while organizations employ temporary contractors and workers, they generally ignore the associated dangers. Some employers said they are too busy to conduct checks on the activities of the temporary staff. This implied they are at very high risks that not only affect their own companies but also the general public. Contractor UK reported this on November 28, 2007.

The online entrepreneurial survey also reported that around one million workers in Great Britain found data related to work missing from the technological devices where they were stored.

Product Director Mark Murtagh for Websense told Techworld that non-permanent employees do not intentionally access protected data. But organizations need to know that such transient employees have easy access to sensitive databases and information.

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