Human error is the number one IT security issues for UK IT directors, according to a poll conducted by YouGov.
Of those surveyed, 86% believe their own employees are the most likely cause of security issues.
Human error was the biggest threat, according to 37% of the IT directors. This was followed by employees that consciously ignore security policies concerned 31% of those IT directors polled on behalf of network security firm Clavister.
Thirteen percent said insufficient training and lack of awareness of policies was to blame. Only 5 percent cited industrial espionage as a concern.
The findings were similar for all companies regardless of size of location.
Andreas Asander, vice president of product management at Clavister, said the findings call into question the effectiveness of current IT security products and policies.
"Security policy documents tend to be very long and technical, and not written in a way which has meaning or importance for the average employee," he said.
"For security rules to be adopted, users need to understand why they are important, and what the rules mean to them personally and professionally."
Asander recommended companies create simple and easy to understand policies. He also urged firms to use more enforcement to deter employees from breaking the policy.
YouGov polled 212 private sector IT or telecoms directors and senior managers to conduct the survey.