Enterprises: Cybercrime costs us dearly

Eyeing cybercrime costs, businesses are waking up to threat posed by organized criminals, says survey.

Chief information officers see cybercrime as a greater threat than physical crime, according to an IBM survey of manufacturing, financial, health care and retail enterprises.

Fifty-seven percent of the 600 U.S. businesses surveyed said they are losing more money through cybercrime--by way of lost income, the loss of current and potential customers, and decreased employee productivity--than from conventional crime.

Three quarters of American IT executives surveyed said some of the threat to their corporate security came from inside their own organizations, while 84 percent believed that criminal hacker groups were increasingly replacing lone hackers as the perpetrators of cybercrime.

Businesses from 16 countries outside the United States, including the United Kingdom, were also surveyed, with similar results. Fifty-eight percent of chief information officers across international businesses surveyed said cybercrime was costing them more than physical crime.

Only 53 percent of the international respondents thought they had adequate safeguards in place to combat organized cybercrime--though U.S. respondents were more bullish, with 83 percent saying they were well-prepared.

Seventy-three percent of the 600 American CIOs surveyed had responded to the threat of cybercrime by upgrading their antivirus software, while 69 percent had upgraded their firewall. Two-thirds of them were implementing intrusion detection or prevention technologies, while 53 percent were implementing patch management systems on their networks.

IT executives in the finance industry were more concerned about cybercrime than their counterparts in other industries, the survey found.

Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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