More than 90 per cent of companies have experienced at least one IT security event from an external source in the last 12 months, according to a survey by Kaspersky Lab, a leading antivirus company.
The ‘Global IT Security Risks’ survey was conducted in partnership with B2B International, a research agency specialising in business research, and involved more than 1,300 IT professionals in 11 countries.
The most common security threat comes in the form of viruses, spyware and other malicious programs, the survey found.
A startling revelation was that 31 per cent of malware attacks resulted in some form of data loss, with 10 per cent of companies reporting the loss of sensitive business data.
The survey also found that only 70 per cent of companies have implemented anti-malware protection fully across their businesses, while three per cent have no protection at all.
Kaspersky Lab, the largest antivirus company in Europe, pointed out that the level of anti-malware implementation varied from country to country.
‘In emerging markets 65 per cent of companies have adopted it, while in the UK and US levels of implementation stood at 92 and 82 per cent respectively.’
Despite this, the vast majority of companies still experienced an IT security breach in the last 12 months, and almost a third lost business information, the survey found.
“Such an attitude is surprising when you know that almost half of all organizations see cyber-threats as one of the top-three emerging risks: IT strategy is ranked even higher than financial, marketing and human resources strategy,” said Alexander Erofeev, director of Market Intelligence & Insight at Kaspersky Lab.
“The most likely explanation is underinvestment in IT security,” he added.
The study, he said, shows that every second company evaluates its IT security budget as insufficient, and estimates that an increase of 25 per cent or more is required.
Currently, the average investment in IT security is reported to be $8,055 for small businesses, $83,200 for medium-sized companies and $3,263,476 for large corporations, it added.