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Australian Enterprises Lose $600m Due To Cyber-Crime

Cyber-crime is doing irreparable damage to Australian businesses as it annually costs them over A$600m, according to a new study by AIC (Australian Institute of Criminology).

The study, which compiled its results in a report named, 'The Australian Business Assessment of Computer User Security,' in short ABACUS was conducted on the basis of a countrywide survey of 4,000 small and medium enterprises or SMBs as well as large enterprises. States the report that although 85% of the SMBs deployed security tools as a measure of protection from phishing and other online crimes, still 14% of them suffered security breaches during 2007.

Dr. Russell Smith a criminologist at the Institute says attack forms which are most common were not aimed, however, those that occurred, involved general means like spyware, viruses and phishing, reports Abc.net.au on June 9, 2009.

As a matter of fact, attacks with malicious code and computer viruses reported as causing the most frequent security breaches as per what 64% of respondents reported.

Also said Smith that they found the attacks occurred in a more general form across all business sizes and all sectors of the industries.

Understandably, Australian enterprises incurred an estimated cost of $595m-$649m during 2007 due to computer security breaches, while the companies invested $1.95bn towards measures for computer security.

Moreover, according to the research, during 2007, 30% of large, 20% of medium and 13% of small enterprises suffered a security breach on their computers. This implies that the enterprises were attacked with viruses, spyware or phishing scams.

Security researchers also add that normally SMBs lack the required expertise for security. Even the infrastructure that would secure their work environments is missing, with barely enough resources to keep their networks or IT up-to-date. What's more the businesses do not even worry about the various security issues. In other words, the security that SMBs adopt is far too little to fight back sophisticated technologies and tactics that security perpetrators such as phishers and hackers employ.

Hence the report ends with the suggestion that awareness must be spread among SMBs so that they can recognize cyber-crime, which poses a major hindrance.

Related article: Australian Blogger Uses Spam To Boost Blog

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