Only four per cent of IT professionals trust their end-users to make sound IT security decisions.

Research of 150 IT professionals by Sophos found 96 per cent did not trust fellow employees to make sensible decisions, while 48 per cent said end-user negligence was to blame for them having to fix security issues.

However, 26 per cent said senior management commit the worst IT security offences, while only 19 per cent said the worst offences were committed by IT people themselves.

Damian Barry, president of Global Business Technology, said: “Creating a comprehensive security policy is difficult enough without having employees accidentally subverting the protocols we have in place.

“However, taking the time to create an all-encompassing educational campaign can be too time-consuming. Using the programme that Sophos has developed rather than creating something from scratch will help me keep my clients informed so I can continue focusing on other tasks.”

Sophos has developed a free training tool for IT professionals, named ‘IT Security DOs and DON'Ts', that includes material such as quick tips to begin an educational programme, posters and a handbook for end-users with advice on creating strong passwords.

Mark Harris, vice-president of SophosLabs, said: “We're excited that we have been able to transform our security expertise into a range of educational tools that will both inform and entertain.”