Study Shows Majority Of Employees Install Personal Software On Work PCs

Talk about stating the very obvious. It is perhaps the worst kept IT secret in business that employees occasionally install personal software and programs on their workstations.

And the biggest reason why enterprises have policies to prevent this is security.

Microsoft recently decided to find out what malware, cyber-attacks and other such threats cost businesses, not just in money, but time and productivity as well.

And the results of the study from IDC just came in. The research firm interviewed 2,077 consumers and 258 IT managers around the globe, while also analyzing 270 websites and P2P networks, 108 software downloads along with 155 CDs and DVDs.

Enough with statistics, though, the bottom line is that consumers will spend no less than 1.5 billion hours in time (apart from $22 billion in cold hard cash) to find, fix and recover from malware attacks. Businesses, on the other hand, will spend $114 worldwide to tackle their malware issues.

And not surprisingly, the report shows just how much unauthorized software gets downloaded and installed on office PCS by workers. Alarming:

“Although 38 percent of IT managers acknowledge that it happens, 57 percent of workers admit they install personal software onto employer-owned computers. What is alarming is that respondents told IDC that only 30 percent of the software they installed on their work computers was problem-free. Sixty-five percent of IT managers agree that user-installed software increases an organization’s security risks.”

Some pretty lofty numbers there — more than half of those surveyed admitted installing software on their office computers. Quite some headaches for IT administrators, I am sure.

The study was commissioned as part of the brand new Play It Safe campaign designed to educate consumers and businesses on the dangers of installing malware or counterfeit software.

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