Hackers have succeeded in compromising networks within most multinational financial institutions during the last year, a survey claims.
According to consultant Deloitte's 2004 Global Security Survey, many of these hacks resulted in financial loss. But even with security attacks on the rise, a quarter of firms admitted that their security budgets were frozen.
The study reported that 83 per cent of respondents admitted their systems had been compromised in the past year, compared to only 39 per cent in 2002.
Of this group, 40 per cent stated that the breaches had resulted in financial loss to their organisation.
"Financial institutions, particularly security officers, are facing greater challenges than ever," said Simon Owen, partner at Deloitte, in a statement.
"They are fighting an ongoing battle to overcome evolving security threats and to comply with an increasingly stringent regulatory environment but, at the same time, resources have stagnated."
Companies are sliding backwards when it comes to the use of security technologies, Deloitte claimed.
While more than 70 per cent of respondents said they saw viruses and worms as the greatest threat to their systems in the next 12 months, the number with fully deployed antivirus measures was down to 87 per cent from 96 per cent in 2003.
One third of respondents felt that security technologies acquired by their organisations were not being used effectively, while only one quarter felt that their strategic and security technology initiatives were well aligned.
Identity management and vulnerability management were found to be the two most common technologies that financial services are piloting or intend to deploy over the coming 18 months
"Today's IT professionals are under pressure to balance the fine line between openness and exposure and meeting stakeholder demands to facilitate growth and profitability, while managing the costs required to maintain sufficient security levels," said Owen.
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