Updated: 1st August 2009
You wouldn't dream of leaving the office door open when you leave at night, but if your IT security is sloppily managed, you might as well do. Technology can make your business more secure, but with it comes risks - including human error.
Business security can also be jeopardised when companies become IT fashion victims. Social media - the latest craze to sweep corporate culture - is one example.
A survey by the institute of Directors (IoD), which interviewed the bosses of 1,000 UK companies, indicated that there has been an 18 per cent rise in business-related crime since September 2008. The most common forms were fraud (33 per cent), internet crime (29 per cent) and theft by staff (18 per cent).
Another threat is internet fraud, which can happen so quickly that it isn't detected until it's too late. Kevin Howells, Manager at BTG Intelligence commented, "fraudsters can use a Trojan Horse virus to access the finance system , then make payments to their own accounts. By the time the crime comes to light, the offenders are long gone. A fraud-proofed IT security policy will provide peace of mind that the risks have been identified. However this measure must be linked to other procedures such as a fraud policy and financial regulations."
Even though internet security is an issue, the computer is rarely the cause of the problem. Businesses often overlook the threat posed by an audacious intruder who gets into an office by using a valid visitor pass or 'tailgating' employees. A well-publicised whistleblowing policy is effective for enlisting the help of staff.
Julie is a law graduate who qualified with Price Waterhouse in 1994. Julie joined Smith & Williamson in 1997 and became a partner in 2001. With Mike Stevenson, Julie set up Middleton Partners offices in Salisbury and Southampton, both of which are now part of Begbies Traynor.
Julie is a member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association and is a Fellow of The Association of Business Recovery Professionals. Julie deals with all aspects of Corporate Recovery and turnaround work and takes all form of personal insolvency appointments.