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Britain warns on rising cyber-hackers

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DQW Bureau
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Thirteen percent of large businesses have detected unauthorized outsiders,

said the study drawn up by the Department for Business, Enterprise and

Regulatory Reform, pub­lished at the Infosecurity Europe show in London.

That represents a 10-fold increase in the last two years, warned the report.

“Very large companies remain the main target for hackers and 20 percent detect

hundreds of significant attempts to break into their network every day,” it

said. “Eighty-five percent of very large businesses were attacked. Telecom

provi­ders are most likely to be attacked, three times as likely as average.”

According to the hacking community, only a tiny proportion of penetrations

are detected by network owners, the report added.

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“Large corporations are being actively targeted by hackers, often working in

cahoots with organized crime, and looking to steal confidential customer data

which can be used for identity fraud,” Chris Potter, Partner, Pricewater­house-

C­oopers (PwC) said. The report also found that 96 percent of companies with

more than 500 emp­loyees were affected by security breaches.

The average cost of the worst breach of the year was £15,000 ($30,000 and

€19,000) for small businesses and 1.5 million pounds for very large businesses.

Two thirds of companies were doing nothing to prevent confidential data

leaving on USB memory sticks, while four-fifths of companies that have had

computers stolen have not encrypted their hard drives. Companies were urged to

start taking preventative rather than retrospective action.

Shriti Vadera, Britain's Business Minister said, “New technology is a key

source of productivity gains, but without adequate investment in security

defenses these gains can be undermined by IT security breaches.”

“The survey shows increasing understanding by business of the opportunities

and threats, but challenges remain,” he added.

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