41 percent of Australian medium sized businesses have been victims of a hacking attack or an IT security incident in the past year according to the latest McAfee report The Security Paradox.
The study found that more than half of the mid-sized companies surveyed globally have seen more incidents in the past year, with 40 percent having had data breaches. Moreover, 33 percent of Australian businesses surveyed fell victim to a data breach last year, with a staggering 85 percent believing there is some chance of a serious data breach putting them out of business.
The report highlights that whilst security threats have grown, Australian businesses are still not investing enough to counter these threats, thereby creating a paradox. More than 20 percent of Australian businesses have decreased their security budgets in the last year, whilst 53 percent have maintained flat budgets. 42 percent of the Australian companies surveyed do not have a full-time dedicated IT security specialist and every hour of network downtime costs an average of $663, with the average security incident costing them $221 per computer.
“Businesses today are faced with the challenge of continuing to utilise new devices and technology to grow their business yet have to protect corporate assets and information with limited budgets,” said Sean Duca, Sales Engineering Manager for ANZ, McAfee. “Our research reveals that the majority of respondent’s still lump IT security and general IT budgets together. Given the rise in security attacks, it’s time information security receives its own budgetary attention”.
Additional research findings:
- 51 percent of worldwide respondents spend less than three hours per week working on, evaluating and researching IT security, compared with 65 percent last year.
- Australian mid-sized companies on an average had an IT security budget of AUD $30,178
- 81 percent of Australian respondents are very or somewhat concerned about being a target for security attacks
- 11 percent of the Australian companies surveyed feel that their company is not currently very well protected against security attacks or threats whilst 30 percent feel very protected
- 68 percent of the Australian companies surveyed consider themselves to be very proactive in dealing with security risks whilst 32 percent are not proactive
- 5 percent of global organisations reported that they had suffered a data loss that had cost them more than $25,000 USD. Of these, 25 percent were from China, 14 percent from France and 11 percent from India