Feeds

Soaraway security spending keeps breaches in check

UK.biz yet to plug leaks

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The average spending by companies on information security defences has tripled over the last six years, resulting in the overall cost to UK business of reported security breaches dropping by a third.

According to the latest edition of the UK government-sponsored Information Security Breaches Survey, the number of companies reporting a security breach has returned to roughly the level last seen in 2002, after reaching a peak in 2004.

Most firms that experience breaches encounter multiple problems. The average cost of the worst incident of the year tends to be dependent on the size of the business, varying from roughly £15,000 for small businesses to £1.5m for very large firms.

Expenditure on information security has increased from two per cent to seven per cent of the IT budget on average over the last six years. But this increase in spending is uneven with a significant minority (21 per cent) of companies spending less than one per cent of their IT budget on information security.

Nonetheless, the security landscape has improved markedly over that period with 94 per cent of wireless networks now encrypted, versus only 47 per cent in 2002. More than half (55 per cent) of UK companies have a documented security policy, versus 27 per cent in 2002. Two in five businesses provide ongoing security awareness training to staff – twice as many as six years ago.

Despite the improvements in security controls, the survey shows that many companies remain exposed to loss of confidential data. For example, four-fifths of companies that had computers stolen have not encrypted their hard drives, and two-thirds of companies do nothing to prevent confidential data leaving on USB sticks, for example.

Despite the increased use of encryption, 13 per cent of firms surveyed said they have detected unauthorised outsiders within their network. A significant minority (six per cent) reported that they had suffered a confidentiality breach. Worse still, one in ten websites that accept payment details do not encrypt them, according to the survey.

The 2008 Information Security Breaches Survey (ISBS) was carried out by a consortium, led by PricewaterhouseCoopers, on behalf of the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR). The survey, which is carried out every two years, was launched on Tuesday at the Infosecurity Europe conference in London.

Chris Potter, the partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers who led the survey, said businesses are beginning to talk a good security game but are failing to follow it up with actions in many cases. "There are still some fundamental contradictions. Some 79 per cent of businesses believe they have a clear understanding of the security risks they face, but only 48 per cent formally assess those risks.

"Also, 88 per cent are confident that they have caught all significant security breaches, but only 56 per cent have procedures to log and respond to incidents. The survey also shows 71 per cent have procedures to comply with the Data Protection Act, but only eight per cent encrypt laptop hard drives," he added. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.