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Child Sexual Abuse material downloaded on one-fifth of corporate networks

Child Sexual Abuse [CSA] material has been downloaded on a fifth of all corporate networks with less than 10 per cent of the opinion that it is down to an organisation to prevent it being accessed.

Related: Crime agencies take child sexual abuse battle to the cloud

NetClean’s survey of IT experts found of those that accessed CSA material just 3.5 per cent lead to criminal investigations and that in 69 per cent of cases nothing happened in terms of action being taken.

“We know from experience that child sexual abuse content (CSA) is not an issue that ceases at the entrance to the workplace. However, part of the problem with tackling the spread of CSA material is that people still underestimate the scale of the problem. There’s an inherent belief that it is the ‘local weirdo’ accessing illicit images and not the person sat opposite them in their day-to-day jobs,” warned the NetClean release.

The group surveyed by NetClean seem to think it’s down to others to stop CSA content being viewed online, 34.8 per cent stating it is the responsibility of individuals, 29 per cent the Government, and 22 per cent Internet service providers.

Even this being the case, a lot of companies are taking steps to tackle it and 78.7 per cent have an Internet use policy in place that covers CSA sites and at 24.1 per cent of businesses it is the board of directors pushing for software of this ilk.

Estimates made by companies in relation to the amount of people looking at CSA material are far wide of the mark, according to NetClean, with 33.3 per cent of the belief that just one in 10,000 looks at CSA sites at work and another 34 per cent estimating its one in a million. NetClean’s own research shows that the number is far closer to one in every 1,000 employees.

“The growth in portable USB devices and mobile storage means there is a disturbing trend of offenders increasingly bringing illegal images or videos into the workplace. In fact, many businesses are already unwittingly storing, and allowing the movement of, illegal images and videos across their networks,” NetClean added.

Related: Web firms head to No.10 amid concerns about child abuse online

For its report NetClean surveyed some 141 senior executives, directors, IT managers, technical specialists and IT consultants in April earlier this year.