Infosec: Hackers are costing UK businesses billions of pounds each year in successful data breaches, according to research released on Tuesday by consultancy firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
PwC researchers reported that the number of cyber attacks targeting large organisations in the UK doubled during 2011, meaning that on average large organisations are now suffering 54 attacks each year.
Worse still, of the 447 companies surveyed 15 per cent reported that hackers had successfully broken into their networks.
"The UK is under relentless cyber attack and hacking is a rising risk to businesses," said PWC security partner Chris Potter.
"The number of security breaches large organisations are experiencing has rocketed and as a result, the cost to UK plc of security breaches is running into billions every year."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey also discovered that companies with smaller security budgets are far more likely to suffer a very serious data breach.
PwC researchers reported finding that companies successfully targeted by hackers usually only devoted around 6.5 per cent of their IT budget to security - a 1.5 per cent decrease over the eight per cent average recorded by PwC.
Commenting on the research science minister David Willetts said it was further evidence of the importance that must be placed on cyber security.
"The survey demonstrates why the government is right to be investing £650m to improve cyber security and make the UK one of the safest places to do business in cyberspace," said Willetts.
He also revealed that the government will use the finding from PwC to help form the basis of an annual survey of cyber security breaches, starting in 2013.
The survey's findings follows on from PwC's previous paper, which suggested the majority of data breaches are the result of employee error.
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