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Human error 'costing businesses a fortune'

Businesses are losing millions to fraudsters because of human error, a survey by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has revealed. The survey of 1,800 people found carelessness with passwords is the biggest risk to computer network security which criminals are taking advantage of. Just over one-third of people wrote down or stored their password or security information on their computer.Nearly two-thirds never changed their password while 20 per cent used the same password for non-banking websites along with their online bank.The shock findings have prompted the DTI to splash out £4 million on tightening up security by reducing the risk of human error.The scheme, called Network Security Innovation Platform, involves four research projects.Malcolm Wicks, minister for science and innovation, said the UK needs to take a leading role to fight back against fraud and theft."Unfortunately, the weakest link in network security is not usually with the technology, but with the staff and system users," Mr Wicks said. "A DTI survey found that a shocking number of people were careless with passwords, unwittingly exposing themselves and their company to fraud and theft."Network security is also a major growth area where the UK has a good opportunity to become a global leader if we develop new technology to give us a competitive edge." The UK lost £440 million to credit card fraud last year with 62 per cent of companies suffering a network security incident. It is estimated that development of the research open up an extra £125 million market for businesses.

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