Insiders abusing the network is the biggest problem facing security professionals in the US, according to research findings.
This overtook viruses as the most prevalent security challenge within American-based companies, with 59 per cent of respondents citing the misuse of network access, the latest report by the Compute Security Institute (CSI) said.
The average annual loss for a US organisation has risen to $350,424 (£172,743) – double the $168,000 (£82,800) reported in 2006.
However, the annual survey also found that businesses suffering security breaches fell, with 46 per cent of respondents experiencing security incidents compared to 53 per cent last year.
The number of organisations reporting such cases to the relevant authorities rose to 29 per cent, from a quarter (25 per cent) last year.
The survey suggests that IT security budgets are on the up. Nearly two-thirds (61 per cent) of respondents said that their organisation allocated five per cent or less of their IT budget to information security, this is compared to just over half (53 per cent) last year.
Results were based on the responses of 494 computer security practitioners in US organisations.