Holiday Shopping – What is it costing your company?

Tis the season…

I just got a call from a client, the accounting admin has compromised their system for the third time in two weeks with a malicious software program (aka spy-ware, malware, ad-ware, virus, etc). So far they have spent over $1200 in fees (we are still resolving email issues as a result) and the computer has basically been unusable for the majority of that time. Since this person does invoicing/billing you can bet that cash flow is going to be impacted.

I did a little research for you to see some of the financial impacts of lost productivity from your employees doing holiday shopping between Nov-Dec. This is holiday shopping alone, nothing to do with the Facebook, fantasy football, check gmail/yahoo personal emails or other time wasters that are available online. ISACA ( reported that 1/3 of all businesses the took part in a survey said that they estimate they lost $15,000 or more per employee (source: Graphic from ISACA) and 91% reported losing some amount of money. My guess the remaining 9% are just in denial or are just ignorant.

In addition to the financial loss there are security risks involved that could result in even higher costs, just like my client that called me 3 times. It only takes one system to compromise an entire network. In fact the last infection that was installed by the user was a spam engine (malicious software) that allowed a remote source (organized crime syndicate) to use his system and their internet connection to then start sending spam out. This caused their domain name (their .com) to be black listed which caused many of the emails going out and coming in to be filtered into spam boxes or never be delivered or received at all. Bids, past due notices, etc. are now impacted… it doesn’t stop there but you can see how from just simply doing some online shopping (this is what he claimed, we actually found he was doing more of the a like) has cost this company a lot more than expected. Here is another ISACA report backing up these comments.

The kicker is that all of this could easily had been prevented by implementing a content management or filtering system on their network.

Why wouldn’t you make this investment? It is a no-brainer.


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