• CIMA Excellence in Leadership, October 10, 2008


  • Stefan Frei, Martin May


According to a recent study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), nearly half of UK employees are thought to be at risk of data theft at work. This statistic should worry any organisation, and can only encourage the efforts of those who seek to steal personal, confidential and valuable data.

The study, backed by IBM and Google, reveals that 45% of internet users do not keep their browser – whether it is Internet Explorer, Firefox or any other – updated with the latest security patches. This means around 600 million users worldwide have out-of-date browser security, which the researchers feel is a recipe for disaster, given that websites are a key point of entry for cybercriminals. No one should be in any doubt about the potential level of risk to a company’s reputation, brand and financial position that arises from inadequate network security. Finance directors must recognise that a security breach – and the fraud that might follow – could seriously impact the bottom line.