Nearly two-thirds of organisations expect a major IT incident that disrupts their business at least once a year, according to new research.

The Symantec IT Risk Management report, found that many corporations anticipate serious information loss and compliance failures. In particular, 66 per cent of those surveyed believe a major problem that could stop or interrupt a critical part of the business is likely to occur every year.

The research revealed that two-thirds (66 per cent) of companies expect a significant regulatory incident at least once every five years and more than half (58 per cent) anticipate a major data loss, such as corruption of data or breach of security systems, at least once over the same period.

The year long study, also found clear differences in the way IT professionals of various levels of seniority view their company’s susceptibility to IT risk. For example, 22 per cent of IT directors rated business process risk as critical to their operations, where as only eight per cent of IT workers said the same. However, almost a quarter (23 per cent) of IT workers regarded compliance risk as crucial to their operations, compared to 16 per cent of directors.

This misalignment of risk perception between IT executives and their staff is likely to lead to wasted resources as a result of over or under investment in controls, according to Symantec.

“As organisations are growing more and more dependent on their IT systems to conduct business, IT risk has become a primary concern for company leaders and one that should be addressed as part of a larger business risk management strategy,” said Greg Hughes, executive vice president of Symantec Global Services.

For the study, Symantec sought the views of more than 500 IT professionals, including senior IT executives and IT managers, from organisations around the world.