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Half of UK businesses suffered from computer virus infection or denial of services attacks over the last 12 months.

This was up from 41 per cent in 2002 and 16 per cent in 2000, The Department of Trade and Industry's 2004 Information Security Breaches Survey reveals.

Yet again, computer viruses were the biggest problem.

Other key findings from the telephone-based survey of 1,000 firms of all sizes include:

  • Three in four (72 per cent) of all the companies polled had received worms, viruses or Trojans in the last year. For large companies this rises to 83 per cent.

  • Most companies have virus protection - 93 per cent of those surveyed, and 99 per cent of large companies, have AV software in place

  • Despite this, half of UK businesses (and 68 per cent of large companies) suffered from virus infection or denial of services attacks in 2003

  • Blaster was by far the biggest culprit in these infections. It caused a third of all infections (and over half of those in large companies)

  • Of companies who admitted any kind of security breach, two in three said virus infection was the main culprit

  • Damage from virus incidents varied from less than a day's disruption and no cost to major disruption to services for a month or more.
Preliminary findings

from the study show that only a third of businesses store their back-ups off-site, and less than 20 per cent back-up their desktops. And only eight per cent have tested their disaster-recovery plans to see if they would work in practice.



Full survey findings will be announced at the InfoSecurity Europe conference in London in April. ®

Related stories

E-crime costs UK business billions
UK plc reamed online
UK plc leaves door open to hackers - report
UK firms flop in the data back-up department

External Links

DTI Information Security Breaches Survey home page

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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