More than six out of 10 executives believe company insiders - and their use of email - are at least a moderate security risk to their companies.

Of executives polled by a joint survey by Vericept and Enterprise Management Associates, 74 percent say personal email poses a moderate to very high risk for possible security breaches, while 41 percent saw it as a high to very high risk.

More than half of the respondents said they were also concerned with the risk posed by company insiders.

Fifty-four percent of enterprise respondents said insiders are responsible for more than half of all internal security breaches, according to the poll.

Scott Crawford, senior analyst with EMA, said in a statement that the poll proves employee monitoring has become a greater priority for companies.

"At a time when regulatory compliance and recent high-visibility security breaches continue to make headlines, enterprises are placing a very high value on tools to secure sensitive information resources," he said. "Finding effective ways to manage the business risks associated with improper internal behavior has become a significant priority."

Executives responded that they also believe company-endorsed email is at least a moderate risk to corporate security.

Sixty-four percent of respondents saw corporate email as a moderate risk, while 61 percent said Webmail posed the same danger.

Joe Cortale, senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing for Vericept, said well-publicized ID theft cases have brought security breaches to the forefront of executives' minds.

"The recent wave of high-profile security breaches has resulted in companies prioritizing the monitoring of insider activity," he said.

Brett Schklar, a Vericept vice president, said companies were starting to improve employee monitoring.

"I think that some companies have taken some good steps forward," he said. "Most had been focused on creating a good perimeter defense, but there is now more prominence (on insider threats) because there has been coverage of incidents of Bank of America and TransUnion in the media."'