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Computer Crime and Security: The Perceptions and Experiences of Corporate Security Directors

NCJ Number
Security Journal Volume: 7 Issue: 2 Dated: July 1996 Pages: 101-108
D L Carter; A J Katz
Date Published
8 pages
A national study of corporate security directors was conducted to examine their experiences with computer crime, the extent of victimization, the character of computer crimes, who the perpetrators were, and types of security countermeasures employed.
The sample included 600 corporate security directors, and 183 surveys were returned for a response rate of 30.5 percent. Results showed 98.5 percent of reported businesses had been victimized by computer crime. The most common target was theft of intellectual property, such as new product information, product plans, pricing information, and customer prospects. Full-time employees committed the most crimes, although a substantial number of incursions by hackers were reported. The threat by hackers appeared to be growing disproportionately fast, given the growth in networking and related factors. Statistically significant relationships were observed for the use of data encryption, operations security, and surveillance of employees when tested against different security countermeasures. The use of authentication software and firewalls did not show significant relationships as security countermeasures, most likely because of extraneous variables. Recommendations for corporate security directors are offered that focus on the development of short-term and long-term security plans. 18 references and 3 tables