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Finance and HR ‘biggest risks’ to cyber security, says survey

48 per cent believe finance department employees pose the most significant cyber risk to their firm while 42 per cent think HR leaves companies most at risk, according to new research.

Thinkstock business colleagues using digital tablets

Employees in finance and HR departments were thought to be less attuned to cyber risks, according to a poll by security firm Clearswift.

Respondents thought that staff in these roles were more likely to accidentally share classified information. Examples cited were instances of staff sending customer or salary information to unintended recipients, or accidentally allowing malware to be installed.

67 per cent of those polled thought that office workers posed more of a threat to cyber security than remote workers due to the ability to access information easily.

Only 12 per cent of respondents thought that administrators and executives were the highest risk group. 19 per cent thought senior management was the biggest threat, but 37 per cent said that middle management was the highest risk group.

Of the companies surveyed, 88 per cent had suffered a cyber security breach in the past 12 months. Almost three quarters of those breached believed that security incidents had been caused by employees, former employees or customers and suppliers.

Clearswift’s senior vice president for products Guy Bunker said that firms must begin “understanding what information [they] hold and how sensitive or critical it is” to address cyber security issues.

Bunker said that a mix of staff training and “intelligent, adaptive rules that can make decisions to protect critical information” were integral to effective cyber security.


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