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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