ISACA: Frantic Friday and Christmas Shopping – Killers of Productivity

Steven Bobson, Europe & Americas Editor
December 10, 2010 /

With Christmas day just about two weeks away, ISACA, a non-profit IT security group, has warned companies that the upsurge of online pre Christmas shopping starting December 10 will likely compromise the productivity of their employees, who may abuse their right to shop on Human Rights Day, and pose security risks to their IT system.

ISACA’s research found that 57 percent of employers allow their office staff to use their company’s computers and internet access for online Christmas shopping. The figure was taken from 360 plus respondents from UK and 630 plus from US.

MoneyDashboard’s survey of UK consumers found that 56.7 percent would search for Christmas presents in the internet while 46.6 percent would prefer online Christmas shopping for the majority of what they intend to purchase. ComScore forecasted the November-December 2010 figure of retail spending in the USA to increase 11 percent to $32.4bn against that in 2009.

Peter Wood, ISACA Security Advisory Group member and CEO of First Base Technologies, said most employers downplay the productivity losses incurred by allowing their employees to do online Christmas shopping, which he said would also expose the employers to online security threats and the company’s IT security procedures to danger.

Wood, who describes this day a ‘Frantic Friday,’ noted ISACA’s findings on the losses. Productivity loss per employee would play between £500 and £3000, according to 18 percent of the respondents to ISACA’s 2010 Shopping on the Job survey. Another 9 percent believed online Christmas shopping would cost the company between £3000 and £6,000 per employee. Wood added that 5 percent of the surveyed said only £6,000 to £10,000 per staff member would be incurred in the losses.

Wood advised the employers to isolate computers used in leisure time and online shopping from computers used for business purposes. This would tighten security measures in a company’s IT resources, warding off external threats, Wood added.


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