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IT safeguarding systems can 'never be fool-proof'

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Breaking news from ihotdesk, the home of IT outsourcing in London:
IT systems designed to safeguard sensitive information can never be foolproof, no matter how sophisticated they are, according to new research.

Category Security
11 February 2008
 
IT systems designed to safeguard sensitive information can never be foolproof, no matter how sophisticated they are, according to new research.

Leeds University business school researchers have found that organisations will always run the risk of being compromised by human psychology.

Professor Gerard Hodgkinson, director of the centre for organisational strategy, learning and change, said the risk comes from the human brain's tendency to naturally be "wired to work on autopilot" in everyday life.

He explained: "People tend to conceptualise the world around them in a simplified way.

"If we considered and analysed the risks involved in every permutation of every situation, we'd never get anything done."

Researchers from Leeds University surveyed a range of participants who use IT systems on a day-to-day basis.

Participants were asked to list examples of possible data security risks, and a further group were asked to comment on the probability of the most commonly described scenarios.

Many of the risks identified matched "with surprising accuracy" some of the recent high-profile security lapses relating to information technology.

The security of sensitive information became a hot topic when at the end of last year HM Revenue & Customs announced it had lost a CD containing personal and financial details of over seven million families claiming child benefit.

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