Most British Firms 'Unprepared For Terror Attacks'

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A large majority of companies are ill-prepared for a terrorist attack, according to a poll of more than 600 British business leaders published .

A YouGov survey suggests a majority of British businesses could be failing to implement even basic security practice. More than half of decision-makers said their business did not regularly check whether sensitive corporate information had been leaked, and more than 40% never conducted a risk assessment of the threats to their companies.

The poll was analysed by Actis – Applied Counter-Terrorism, Terrorism, Intelligence & Security Studies, a branch of SMC (Swiss Management Center) University, which offers education, consultancy and research in counter-intelligence and security.

More than 80% of British businesses would fail a simple counter-terrorism test, according to the Actis analysis, with 54% of respondents saying their businesses had either never or not recently checked whether any sensitive information about their organisation was publicly available.

In 2009 , more than 10,000 confidential client memos sent through Bloomberg's private messaging system were published online by a former employee, Actis said. Sensitive conversations, including messages from traders at more than a dozen of the world's largest banks, remained openly available through a simple Google search until earlier this year, it added.

Companies had not prepared a list of potential risks to their business in 40% of cases and just over a third said their companies do not enforce any sort of computer password policy.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Richard Norton-Taylor, for guardian.co.uk on Wednesday 29th May 2013 00.01 Europe/London

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