BUGVILLE—We're always a little suspicious of studies conducted by security companies that claim results showing significant security risks, but some we cannot ignore, especially when the world "porn" shows up in the survey report and subsequent articles. Such is the case with a recent survey of tech support employees conducted by ThreatTrack Security, the results of which are here.
The main gist of the report is positive, in fact, and is reflected in its title, "Malware Analysts Have the Tools to Defend Against Cyber-Attacks, But Challenges Remain." One of the main challenges, it turns out, is the people at the top of the corporate food chain.
According to the report, "Among the issues that malware analysts face: more than half said they’ve had to remove malware from the device of a member of senior leadership because the executive clicked on a malicious link in a phishing e-mail, while nearly 40 percent had to remove malware after a senior executive visited an infected pornographic website."
Visiting a malware-infected porn site is not the biggest ongoing threat to company networks—it actually comes in fourth behind clicking on a bad link in a phishing email, attaching an infected device to a company computer and letting a family member use a company computer—but it also may be one of the more difficult vulnerabilities to deal with, since it involves an individual's private life.
Dipto Chakravarty, an engineering and products executive at ThreatTrack, told CNNMoney that "part of the problem is that employees are less cautious with their iPhones and Android smartphones than they are with their office computers."
The threat to networks from personal devices may even increase as more companies establish "bring your own device" policies. According to a recent survey by Cisco and British Telcom, 36 percent of companies currently have such a policy.
If there is a silver lining to the report, it is that tech support workers feel as if they have the tools they need to counter threats to their networks from malware... if only their bosses would cooperate.
The bad news for the online porn industry, however, is that it continues to be roundly associated with the proliferation of malicious software.