Silicon Valley: Despite businesses using content filtering controls, pornography material can be found on 25% of corporate PCs, according to a new study released today.
The study, conducted by PixAlert, which specialises in preventing illegal and pornographic images, found that nearly 47% of the images showed full nudity or sexual activity. While 35% were downloaded online images, 45% of the images detected came from e-mails.
The study, which involved auditing about 10,000 personal computers in 125 businesses and public sector networks, found that 12.4% of the 12,000 e-mail accounts and 5.4% of 26,000 file server shares scanned were similarly affected, according to online technology weekly InformationWeek.
“With over a third of all images found created in the last 12 months, it is clear that a significant number of employees continue to ignore corporate policies and in some cases are going to extraordinary lengths to bypass protection systems in order to obtain and distribute inappropriate material,” Andy Churley, a director at PixAlert, said in a written statement.
“Corporate officers wrongly assume that boundary protection systems stop all digital pornography from entering the organisation but, in PixAlert’s experience, almost all corporations will have a significant amount of pornography on their networks.”
“While all organizations actively discourage access to inappropriate images at work, our audits show that the reality is that all establishments have a lot of digital pornography residing on their networks that they don’t know about,“ said Churley.
Last month, Maryland authorities nabbed 22 state employees who were visiting pornographic Web sites — sometimes a few thousand times a week — on the job.
Investigating officials reported that the number of employees involved was understated, and a wider investigation is being called for.