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Attacks on banks, insurance firms rise

Financial institutions report more than double the number of cyberattacks in 2003 than the previous year, a new study says.

Cyberattacks on IT systems of banks and insurance companies are on the rise worldwide, according to a survey released Thursday.

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu's study showed that nearly 83 percent of respondents said their systems had been compromised in the past year, compared with 39 percent in 2003. Nearly 40 percent of the respondents whose systems were attacked reported financial losses.

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The study is based on interviews with senior security officers from among the top 100 global financial institutions.

In spite of increasing security attacks, not every company's security budget is growing. About 25 percent of those surveyed said their security budgets remained flat, while 10 percent had their budgets reduced from the previous year. The percentage of companies that have fully deployed antivirus measures declined to 87 from of 96 in the previous year. And one-third felt security technologies in their companies are not being used effectively.

"Financial institutions are fighting an ongoing battle to combat and mitigate ever-increasing security threats and attacks, and privacy violations, as well as comply with the increasingly stringent regulatory environment," Ted DeZabala, a principal of Enterprise Risk Services at Deloitte, said in a statement.