|Mid-biz losing security war|
Friday, 30 October 2009 16:00
Medium businesses are reducing their security budgets while cyber crime escalates to new heights, according to a recent McAfee report, The Security Paradox.
The study found more than half of medium-size companies globally have seen an increase in security incidents in the past year. One medium company reported losing $43 000 on average to security incidents. Yet, the majority of these same companies reported spending freezes on their IT security budgets, states the company.
McAfee says this paradox occurs in part because medium companies are under the mistaken impression that hackers prefer to target larger companies. According to the study, 43% of medium companies believe larger companies with 501 or more employees are most at risk of a security attack.
However, the company argues that organisations with fewer than 500 employees actually suffer from more attacks on average. "An organisation`s level of worry and awareness about increasing threats has not overcome the downward pressure on budgets and resources," says Jayson O`Reilly, McAfee regional manager for Africa.
"But this creates a vicious cycle of breach and repair that costs far more than prevention. Our research shows companies that put more effort into preventing attacks can end up spending less than a third as much as those that allow themselves to be at risk," he argues.
Study findings indicate that 65% of medium organisations worldwide spend fewer than four hours a week on IT security proactively, but nearly the same amount, 67%, spend more than a day recovering from IT security attacks.
Threat and response varied greatly from country to country, but the countries where companies invested the least time on prevention – Canada and France among them – suffered the greatest financial losses and downtime from cyber crime. They often required a week or longer to recover from their most recent cyber attack, concludes McAfee.
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