Survey: Network attacks double at financial firms

Bill Brenner

Admitted attacks on computer networks at global financial institutions more than doubled in the last year, resulting in more monetary losses. Yet a quarter of those companies say they're not spending more on new security systems.

Those are the findings in the 36-page 2004 global security survey

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by New York-based Deloitte Touche.

IT executives from 100 companies were interviewed for the report, and 83% acknowledged their systems have been compromised in the past year, compared to only 39% in 2002. Of those surveyed, 40% said attacks against their networks resulted in financial loss. Despite that, 25% reported flat security budget growth.

"Financial institutions, particularly security officers, are facing greater challenges than ever," said Adel Melek, partner and global leader of Deloitte's IT Risk Management & Security Services/Global Financial Services Industry. "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."

The survey also found companies are sliding backwards when it comes to their use of security technology. While more than 70% of respondents perceived viruses and worms as the greatest threat to their systems in the next year, those who said they've fully deployed antivirus measures dropped from 96% in 2003 to 87%.

Other key findings of the survey showed:

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