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Alan MassonAsk a firm for evidence of its IT policy and most will present some virus screening software and a firewall. In the modern world, this is painfully inadequate. Perhaps it is a false sense of security or a lack of knowledge which leads only a quarter of businesses to spend more than 1% of their IT budget on security and to neglect advances in both attack and defence strategies. Whatever the cause, these figures from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are a cause for concern.

Even a large corporation such as the BBC cannot afford to be complacent about IT security, since it accidentally sent 10,000 of its Radio 4 listeners an e-mail virus along with a programme update recently. Known as the Sobig Worm, the virus threatened to disable listeners’ computers, despite the existence of the BBC’s strict anti-virus system and a reportedly generous IT security budget.

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