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Data breaches on the rise

Although small business owners are becoming more clued up on IT security generally, this has not translated into fewer data breaches, it has been claimed.

According to a survey commissioned by Infosecurity Europe and conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, half of the organisations polled had increased their expenditure on IT security over the past year and a similar amount expected to spend more next year. The research also found that three-quarters of small businesses assess IT security risks now, compared to just 48% who did so in 2008. However, Chris Potter, partner at OneSecurity, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, said small businesses were still not doing enough to deal with today’s level of IT security breaches, the number of which has doubled over the past two years. “The number has risen to well over double what it was two years ago and has reached record levels for all sizes of organisation,” said Potter. “All types of breach were on the increase and a conservative estimate is that the total cost of breaches to UK business in billions of pounds is now well into double figures.” Around 74% of small businesses said they had suffered from a malicious security breach in the past year, along with 90% of large organisations, compared to 35% overall two years ago. More than 43% of small businesses are bracing themselves for further IT security incidents next year. Andrew Beard, director, OneSecurity, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, added: “Part of the solution to ensure better security is encrypting data and we see that there has been huge improvements in this area with regard to laptops, USB sticks and other removable media. “But educating people is just as important. Investment in security awareness training, while on the increase, is still often inadequate.” © Crimson Business Ltd. 2010

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