Organisations are getting better at reducing the volume of successful cyber attacks, but more focused and persistent threats still represent significant and costly risks to data security, according to the latest research from Symantec.
The security firm's 2011 State of Security report surveyed over 3,000 organisations worldwide, and found that the number experiencing successful attacks fell from 75 per cent to 71 per cent from last year, while those seeing losses from attacks went down from 100 per cent to 92 per cent.
However, the companies surveyed remain alert to the threats, ranking cyber attacks as their number one concern followed by IT incidents caused by well-meaning insiders, and internally generated IT-related threats.
"The volume of threats is increasing, but organisations appear to be dealing better with them," Symantec EMEA security chief technology officer Greg Day told V3.
"However, the more focused and persistent problems are getting through and, if you read between the lines, the cost of them is going up when they are breached."
Companies are still reacting to security incidents rather than taking a more proactive and strategic approach to data security where the IT and business units are aligned on the same goals, according to Day.
The report also suggested that increasing numbers of employees wanting to bring personal smartphones or tablets into the workplace has presented significant security concerns.
Some 47 per cent of organisations surveyed said that mobile computing is making it harder to provide cyber security, followed by social media on 46 per cent and the consumerisation of IT on 45 per cent.
However, Day warned that the actual volume of mobile attacks in the wild is minimal when compared to threats to traditional computing platforms.
"The main concern and challenge is not dealing with hackers but in managing what content goes on these devices," he said.
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