Human error is the main reason for most IT security breaches, but that the problem can be mitigated by better training for the staff concerned.
According to research from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), 84 per cent of the 900 respondents to its annual survey blamed human error as either wholly or partially to blame for their last major security breach.
In last year's survey, 63 per cent of respondents blamed human error for their breaches.
John Venator, CompTIA's president, said human knowledge and action are critical to making networks and IT infrastructure secure.
And, he said, while awareness of the threat posed by IT security breaches has increased dramatically, many organisations have been slow to make the appropriate investments in time and budget to tackle these threats.
Fifty-eight per cent of respondents said they had experienced at least one major IT security breach - defined as one that caused real harm, resulted in the loss of confidential information or interrupted business operations - in the last six months. This compares with 38 per cent a year earlier.