Datapro's 1996 International Survey on Information Security has revealed that only 36 per cent of respondents in Australia have a computer security policy. This figure is lower than the results from the United States (69 per cent), Canada (67 per cent) and Europe (55 per cent).
For the Asia-Pacific region as a whole, 40 per cent of the respondents have a computer security policy, a decrease of more than 20 per cent over last year's results, according to the survey.
"The declining use of security policies is largely due to the lack of a dedicated security function within the organisations - this is the primary reason cited by survey respondents from all survey regions," said Rebecca Duncan, senior analyst a Datapro's information services group.
According to the survey, among respondents that did have security policies, the top five areas covered were authorised software (88 per cent), computer viruses (83 per cent), microcomputer/PC security (70 per cent), disaster recovery (69 per cent) and release of proprietary information (58 per cent). In Australia, dial-up security (82 per cent) also emerged as one of the major areas covered by security policies.
The 1996 survey also showed that viruses and malicious code was the number one security incident affecting respondents' sites over the past 12 months.