IT budgets sacrificed despite rise in hack attacks

IT budgets sacrificed despite rise in hack attacks
IT budgets sacrificed despite rise in hack attacks 

By Conrad Walters
November 3, 2009

Even as companies acknowledge cyber attacks have rocketed to 
unprecedented levels this year, many businesses are freezing or even 
cutting the security budgets that fend off these dangers.

A study of nine countries has found mid-size companies - those with 
between 51 and 1000 staff - were responding to tougher economic 
conditions by sacrificing IT budgets.

In Australia, threats to mid-size organisations grew by 54 per cent 
during the past year, according to a report commissioned by computer 
security vendor McAfee. Despite this, 75 per cent of the companies 
surveyed said their IT security budgets had remained static or declined 
in the year.

"This is what we call the security paradox," a senior vice-president at 
McAfee, Darrell Rodenbaugh, said in the report.

Australia, though, was far from alone in this behaviour. China was the 
hardest hit among the mid-size companies that acknowledged an increase 
in threats (68 per cent growth) and France reported the largest 
proportion that froze or cut security spending (85 per cent).

Internationally, one in five companies reported a "security incident" in 
the past year and about 70 per cent believed there was a chance such an 
event could be serious enough to put them out of business, whether 
through the costs of rebuilding systems or the damage done to their 


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