Two thirds of employees bypass information security controls

by Editor 4/2/2008 4:23:00 PM

A recent research conducted by IT Governance Limited shows that 68 percent of employees regularly bypass company information security controls in order to be able to do their jobs.

IT Governance polled 130 technology and compliance experts in February on issues related to the UK Data Protection Act. The company specializes in governance, risk and compliance consulting and training.

What the numbers revealed in this instance was that a great majority of managers, even the most informed ones, have not yet discovered the right balance between making information available and making it confidential.

Even though more than 80 percent of organizations have an employee who is responsible for maintaining privacy and they have very clear policies on protecting personal information, there are nevertheless very many employees who purposefully bypass these policies and procedures, which suggests that the security measures in question are impractical and obstructive.

Furthermore, only 55 percent of the employees who deal with personal data have been trained by their companies in how to handle such information. Under the Data Protection Act, employers have a legal obligation to do this.

IT Governance CEO Alan Calder said:

“Under the Data Protection Act, it is a legal requirement for organisations to safeguard personal information, but this can only be achieved with the support of employees. By imposing ill-considered procedures, many organisations leave people little option but to break the rules if they are to do their jobs. This not only leaves businesses vulnerable to data breaches and fines, but also does lasting damage to the way employees regard infosecurity. If more organisations followed best practice standards like ISO27001, they would be doing a service to their customers, employees and themselves by making data security workable and readily adopted.”

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