Majority of UK businesses monitor employees' internet use

A survey of nearly 300 British businesses has revealed a shockingly blasé attitude to software theft and piracy as bosses admit to being aware of the illegal use of software in the office but do very little to discipline those responsible.

According to the annual survey conducted by FAST - Federation Against Software Theft - 55% of businesses say they automatically monitor their employees' internet use.

A third admitted to manually trawling through individual computers to check on websites visited and downloads.

However 82% of those questioned say their organisation has never enforced disciplinary procedures as a result of a breach of its policies.

The study also revealed that:

- 40% of respondents believe software piracy in the UK is increasing

- Nearly half (48%) claim they'd have difficulty proving to their company board that all their software was legal

- 42% of those questioned believe they don't have sufficient manpower to manage their IT assets and budget to purchase the right tools for the job was a concern for more than a quarter (26%)

- More than a quarter have never carried out a full software audit and of those that do, 37% worry about just how accurate their auditing process is.