IT misuse in government still an issue


IT misuse in government still an issue

Bill Goodwin

Computer-related fraud, virus attacks and staff viewing inappropriate material on the internet at work are the most frequent security issues reported in the public sector, the Audit Commission has revealed.

Staff accessing pornographic and other inappropriate material at work now accounts for 50% of the computer misuse incidents reported by government bodies - a 16% increase on 2001.

Computer-related fraud and virus outbreaks each account for 16% of the incidents affecting local government, a survey of 400 local authorities and other government agencies found.

Although government bodies have made significant progress in protecting their computer systems, there is no room for complacency, the Audit Commission said.

The report urged government organisations to introduce clear policies for staff on computer use, to educate them on security risks, and to introduce internal processes to protect data. Constant vigilance is needed to stop IT abuse and reduce the time and resources spent investigating incidents, it said.

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