The threats posed by personal electronic devices to company systems is not being taken seriously.
Research commissioned by security software vendor McAfee shows that nearly half of businesses in the major European countries had been infected by such 'rogue systems' – laptops, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and mobile phones. On average each incident cost the organisation involved £30,000.
Of the 246 European businesses surveyed by research group Datamonitor, 87% acknowledged the occasional presence of rogue systems on their networks. However, only 17% had plans to tackle the threat. Given that the connection of a single infected PDA or laptop could have a major impact on the whole network, this level of preparedness is low.
The UK respondents were found to have the greatest will to limit the potential impact of rogue systems, although only 36% were actually addressing the problem. The Italian group emerged as the least prepared, with none of those canvassed having invested in technology to combat rogue systems.
Datamonitor analyst Ian Williams warns: "The evidence shows that viruses and worms cost global business billions of euros a year. If you don't want your organisation to be part of these statistics you must act intelligently to minimise the threat."