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Infosecurity: Businesses see rise in hacking attacks

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Businesses are reporting a massive increase in serious hacking incidents, with network intrusions reported to have rocketed from one per cent in 2006 to 13 per cent in 2007.

Andrew Beard, Partner, PriceWaterHouseCoopers, said: "The rise in intrusions is extremely worrying - bear in mind these are actual intruders caught on corporate networks, not just people knocking on the door..."

The shocking figures come from an otherwise upbeat PWC report into business threats over the last year. The report found that while businesses have responded to the overall security threat with increased implementations of anti-malware measures, big exposures remain. Nine per cent of respondents had cases of customers being fraudulently impersonated (such as following ID theft), while six per cent admitted they had lost customer data through a confidentiality breach.

Beard continued: "Overall, security breaches are down since our last survey in 2006, which is good news. However, the problem now is that this issue has become understated due to organisations becoming desensitised to malware, a certain level of attacks have become routine."

The survey found that 99 per cent of businesses back up corporate data and critical systems, 98 per cent have anti-spyware software in place, and 97 per cent have a firewall protecting their website and filter incoming email for spam. The average cost of a single malware incident rose 25 per cent overall and ranged from £10,000 for SMEs to £2m for larger corporations.

The survey was conducted by PWC in association with the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory reform.
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