Computer Crime Research Center


More than half of companies were attacked by hackers

Date: June 28, 2006
By: Timothy Prickett Morgan

High tech companies often talk a good game when it comes to security, but apparently the fact that they are heavily dependent on digital information and connectivity to the outside world means that they are susceptible to security breaches. And they are not doing a very good job protecting themselves.

According to a report called Protecting the Digital Assets, which is based on surveys done by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu of 150 companies in the technology, media, and telecommunications industries--so-called TMT firms--more than half of the firms said that they had security breaches of their systems within the prior 12 months.

"When it comes to security, TMT companies are talking the talk but not yet walking the walk," according to Brian Geffert, principal of Deloitte Security and Privacy Services, a unit of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. "Survey respondents say that security is a top concern, but it is still not being addressed across the organization from a risk-based perspective, despite recent breaches costing million of dollars of damage and inestimable harm to companies' reputations, brands, revenue and productivity. In fact, more than half of security executives surveyed admit that their security investments are falling behind the threats or at best just catching up."

Geffert says that these digitally intense companies are still looking at security from the server and network perspective--with firewalls, antivirus, spam filtering, and encrypted virtual private networks being the norm. But people are storing sensitive information in laptops, PDAs, thumb drives, and iPods, and companies are not deploying systems that track information and how it flows around. Those surveyed said that they considered phishing to be a major threat, but only a quarter of the companies surveyed have implemented or begun piloting anti-phishing technologies. Only 37 percent of the companies polled had provided security training to employees in the prior year, and fewer than a quarter said that the security tools they have are being used effectively. Media companies in particular are freaked out. Consider that an estimated 70 percent of the movies released illegally onto file sharing networks were done by inside employees at the company.
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