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Steal this company – pa pa please

Steal this company – pa pa please

The easiest way to steal large companies’ vital information is through the Internet gateways of their accountants, lawyers, advertising and PR agencies.

62 percent of these professional advisors are using the Internet without any security in place, thus needlessly exposing their clients’ data to potential theft, breaches of confidentiality, manipulation of data, deletion of files, and to their competitors. Many large companies which invest millions in their information technology (IT) security systems may not have realized, until the publication of a recent survey, that their systems are being circumvented by their professional advisors.

80 percent of medium-sized professional advisors are now using the internet as a business tool, and, of these, 62 percent are doing so without any internet security. Of the 80 percent using the internet, 56 percent had it connected to their internal networks, of which only 18 percent had a firewall in place. If companies use the Internet without a firewall or other form of security, it is like leaving the front door of your house wide open, allowing anyone to steal your prized possessions.

Companies often spend millions on their own IT security, but are ignoring their professional suppliers’ security standards.

Companies impart vital information to their medium-sized professional advisers, such as detailed company accounts, marketing plans, designs, legal information, employee information and at the same time, “they are overlooking the fact that 62 percent of these companies have no form of internet security whatsoever.”

The facts are that large companies investing millions in IT security systems could in fact be wasting time, resources and money if security breaches are occurring via its professional advisors.

Of the three professional groups surveyed, lawyers appear to be best protected, as 50 percent with an internet connection have a firewall or some other form of internet security. Of the accountants, 60 percent of them are using the internet with a network, but do not have it protected by a firewall, and only 32 percent with an internet connection have a firewall or any other form of internet security. Of the advertising and public relations’ agencies all of them were connected to the Internet, although an astonishing 94 percent of them admitted to using the internet with a network and not protecting it with a firewall.

89 percent of the companies have invested in anti-virus software, and 70 percent using password control. However, of those that have password controls, many acknowledged that it is often ineffectual as it is badly administered: One accountancy practice admitted that it uses passwords, but that everyone knows everybody else’s password. Everyone is aware of the issue of viruses and the importance of passwords, however it is obvious that most companies are totally unaware of the dangers of not having a firewall and yet how easy and inexpensive it is to implement.” Last and least: 38 percent of professional advisers do not have a back-up system.

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