Nine out of ten companies have experienced at least one IT security threat from an external source in the last 12 months, and almost a third lost business information, according to the ‘Global IT Security Risks’ survey conducted by Kaspersky Lab in partnership with B2B International, an international research agency.
The research also found 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 most common security threats are viruses, spyware and other malicious programs.
Despite this, only 70 per cent of companies have implemented anti-malware protection across their businesses. This level varies from country to country: in emerging markets, 65 per cent of companies have adopted IT security, while in the UK and US, levels of implementation stood at 92 per cent and 82 per cent respectively.
“These statistics should act as a wake-up call to businesses. Strong IT security across all business departments covering all endpoints is necessary to avoid major damage to a company. The number of cyber-threats, including targeted attacks, may lead not only to sensitive data loss – a company’s brand image can also be damaged, which is a top threat for the majority of businesses,” said Andrew Lintell, director of corporate sales at Kaspersky Lab.
The average investment in IT security is reported to be approximately £5,000 for small businesses, £50,000 for medium-sized companies and £2,000,000 for large corporations, but the study shows that 45 per cent of respondents regard their IT security budget as insufficient.
69 per cent of the survey respondents stated that extra investment in IT security is money well-spent. Despite this, there is still a significant degree of misunderstanding of IT security among those who are in charge of budgets. 34 per cent of company representatives think that senior management does not see IT security as a major problem. Likewise, there are signs of difficulties in explaining the importance of IT security to end users. Only 42 per cent of respondents agreed that most employees are concerned about IT security.