Ninety-nine per cent of UK companies are still not implementing all the safeguards available to them to manage and control access for the right users to their systems - and reduce the risk of crimes such as electronic identity theft.
Just one per cent of companies have in place all the pieces of the identity and access management jigsaw, according to findings from the 2006 Department of Trade and Industry's biennial Information Security Breaches Survey, conducted by a consortium led by Pricewater-house Coopers.
The survey showed, however, that where organisations did have all identity and access management safeguards in place, none reported a single identity-related security incident.
Overall, levels of identity management related incidents were consistent with 2004, when the last survey was carried out.
Among large companies there was a small increase; in one in five, staff had gained unauthorised access to data.
While the incidence of fraud was low, when it did occur, it tended to have a worse impact than any other type of security breach - particularly in terms of reputation damage, adverse media coverage and cost of remediation. Several small businesses reported direct losses of £10,000 to £50,000 as a result of fraud.
Andrew Beard, the director from Pricewaterhouse Coopers leading the survey, said: "Identity theft and phishing are on the increase."