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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Computer security incidents cost NZ businesses millions

According to an Internet Security Survey conducted by the NZ Employers and Manufacturers Association Northern in November, the range was “conservatively estimated” from the lowest to the median costs of the disruptions reported by 356 businesses, extrapolated across the country’s 123,000 businesses employing more than one person.

About half the sample’s respondents said the cost in the last 12 months was between $500 to $10,000, including rework, lost work, repairs and lost business.  “For instance, 91 per cent of companies employing 20 people or less have antivirus software installed compared to 84 per cent of companies employing more than 20 people.  Of that relatively modest investment, 55.8 per cent invested five per cent or less on security in 2005—level pegging with the 55.7 per cent that spent five per cent or less in 2004.

“It’s disturbing that the number automatically updating their internet security systems has dropped,” Mr Peterson said, down from 90.3 per cent in 2004 down to 75.2 per cent in 2005.

“Though more businesses are allowing staff access to the internet at work - now up to 65 per cent - staff internet policies have not kept pace, while training on safe internet practices has dropped from 67.2 per cent in 2004 to 55.9 per cent in 2005.

Overall 88 per cent of respondents have installed antivirus software; 77 per cent have in place firewall software or appliance; and overall 63 per cent have spam filtering.

Fifty-one per cent of total respondents have been the target of a phishing expedition, the study showed and businesses are receiving an average of 98 spam emails per day.

This year, five per cent of the survey sample report getting 51-100 spam emails a day compared with 12 per cent reporting the same volume in the last survey.

Posted on 12/06