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Enterprises Confident In Defenses Against External Attacks, Study Says

Eighty-five percent of IT security decision makers believe data loss through hacking is 'very unlikely'; internal leaks are primary concern
IT professionals are becoming increasingly sure they'll be able to stop attacks from outside the organization, but they aren't so sure about the insider threat, a new study says.

According to a report (PDF) published yesterday by IDC and commissioned by Dimension Data, some 85 percent of IT managers said data loss through external hacking in their organizations was "very unlikely." Fifty-five percent perceived intentional external data loss as having only a "moderate impact" or "no impact at all" on their businesses. More than 60 percent said they believe their organizations are unlikely to be affected by virus attacks.

Forty-five percent of respondents said they believe data leakage is more likely to occur through accidental employee error than by external hackers with malicious intent.

The IDC research surveyed IT security decision makers at more than 400 organizations with at least 500 employees each across 18 countries.

The research revealed that large organizations with more than 1,000 employees tended to be more compliant than smaller companies. In addition, companies in the Americas and in the public sector were more concerned about IT security regulations than those in other regions and industries.

From 2008 to 2009, 19 percent of the companies surveyed increased their overall IT spending, while 41 percent cut spending, mainly due to the economic downturn, according to the survey. For nearly 60 percent of the organizations, the average spend on IT security within the overall IT budget remained at 10 percent or more.

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