Trend Micro, Inc. (TSE: 4704, NASDAQ: TMIC), a leader in antivirus and content security, today announced results of a global study that reveal why some end users in enterprise environments around the world are more likely to engage in riskier online behaviour at work than home. The findings place added emphasis on the security challenge IT organizations face in protecting business networks, securing critical information, and reducing helpdesk calls.
The study, conducted in July 2005, featured more than 1,200 corporate end users in the United States, Germany, and Japan who responded to an online survey. Of the many findings, perhaps the most significant is the correlation between the presence of an IT department and end-user confidence in the security they expect against viruses, worms, spyware, spam, phishing, and pharming. These expectations often result in riskier online behaviour that exacerbates ITs challenge to protect business operations from increasingly unpredictable threats.
Of those who responded, 39 percent of enterprise end users believed that IT could prevent them from falling victim to threats like spyware and phishing. This belief prompted many of them to admit bolder online behaviour. Of those who admitted to engaging in bolder online behaviour, 63 percent acknowledge that they are more comfortable clicking on suspicious links or visiting suspicious Web sites because IT has installed security software on their computers. Forty percent of those who admitted to engaging in riskier online behaviour said it was because IT was available to provide support if problems occurred. Because of the correlation between ITs presence, end-user security expectations, and riskier end-user behaviour, the study magnifies the importance for IT to ensure up-to-date security across the business network.
Although end users have expectations of IT to educate and protect them, they may not always help in overcoming network security challenges. In fact, they could make it more difficult, said Max Cheng, executive vice president and general manager of Trend Micros enterprise business segment. Eye-opening revelations like these highlight the security challenges IT departments face within their own organizations and should motivate them to ensure greater protection across their enterprise.
The study suggests that a bolder user base can impact an enterprise organizations ability to contain costs, particularly associated with its IT helpdesk. For example, in Germany, end users expressed a high degree of confidence in their IT departments, admitting that their presence made them feel more inclined to click on suspicious links, open suspicious emails, and, if needed, contact the helpdesk when problems occurred.
Forty percent of German end users were inclined to contact IT regarding security issues whether they were perceived or real. In fact, 38 percent of German enterprise end users had contacted their IT departments about security concerns within three months leading up to the survey. For enterprise organizations with hundreds or thousands of employees, the likelihood for 38 out of every 100 end users to engage helpdesks about security issues -- in a concentrated amount of time -- impacts ITs ability to manage its cost structures and protect investments.
More than just network availability or information integrity is at stake, Cheng said. Understanding end user behavioural tendencies and protecting the business can be the difference between ensuring business continuity and losing it.
Tony Larks, UK Marketing Manager at Trend Micro reviewed the study and noted: In our experience we find that the UK is nine months behind the US. A majority of the behaviour demonstrated by this study is already prevalent in the UK marketplace. The results of the study highlight the need for businesses in the UK as well as in the surveyed countries to implement end-to-end security solutions to protect their business networks from malware attacks.