84 per cent of UK firms suffered security breach last year

By Stuart Sumner
23 Jun 2011 View Comments
A padlock on a hard drive representing cyber security

Many IT managers will be worried by the recent spate of high-profile security breaches that has seen giants such as Sony, Citibank and the RSA fall victim to hackers. But have the risks to business been blown out of proportion by an over-zealous press?

It seems not: according to a report sponsored by networking firm Juniper Networks, a considerable 84 per cent of businesses in the UK, France and Germany have suffered at least one security breach in the last year.

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In addition, 31 per cent of respondents said that there had been a significant rise in the frequency of cyber attacks in the same period. 76 per cent added that the attacks themselves had become more severe, or harder to detect and prevent.

The survey questioned 1,406 IT and IT security practitioners and was conducted by independent research firm Ponemon Institute.

"Our research provides evidence that many organisations are ill-equipped to prevent cyber attacks against networks and enterprise systems," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute.

"It suggests conventional network security methods need to improve in order to curtail internal and external threats."

The survey also revealed that mobile devices like laptops and smartphones were most at risk.

34 per cent of respondents said that security breaches occurred as a result of insecure laptops, whereas 29 per cent said that mobile devices were to blame.

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