The DTI report shows viruses have caused more than half of the security breaches at businesses in the last two years.
Pinewood’s original study, in 2004, found that fewer than one in six dealerships had adequate virus protection, despite using online DMS programmes, and a recent update reveals the situation has not significantly improved. Only one in five dealers has both anti-virus software in place and a company policy on e-mail and internet usage.
"This is where dealers tend to fall down," says Geoff Miller of Pinewood. “Smaller dealers are less likely to have virus protection or keep it regularly updated. And in larger businesses, while IT support is likely to be good and virus protection is taken seriously, the sheer volume of e-mail and internet data makes the risk of infection much higher.
"It is a question of taking control and putting policies in place to ensure e-mail and the internet is used carefully and sensibly."