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Adult content and dodgy apps: How UK employees are putting their firms at risk

Viewing pornography in the workplace is just one of the cyber security risks employees in the UK are exposing their companies to, according to a recent global survey by Blue Coat Systems.

While pornography continues to be one of the most popular methods of hiding malware or malicious content, the survey reveals that 9 per cent of UK employees admit viewing adult content at work, higher than its other European counterparts such as France and Germany, at five per cent and two per cent, respectively.

On top of that, British employees also ignore IT policies warning against downloading apps and opening emails from unknown senders.

33 per cent of respondents in the UK used new applications without IT's permission, despite 66 per cent of them knowing it is wrong. One out of five opened email attachments from unverified senders, even though nearly four out of five, or 78 per cent, see it as a serious risk. Both findings are also higher than other European countries.

"The dichotomy between the awareness and actions of the employees found in this research should trouble businesses all over the world. While IT professionals seek to prevent cyber-attacks occurring, their colleagues behaviour is jeopardising employers' cyber security and ultimately their jobs," said Robert Arandjelovic, director of products for Blue Coat, EMEA.

"The consumerisation of IT and social media carry mixed blessings to enterprises. It is no longer feasible to prevent employees from using them, so businesses need to find ways to support these technology choices while simultaneously mitigating the security risks," Arandjelovic concludes.