Hackers Take Aim at E-Commerce Ventures

Organizations conducting e-commerce experience far more information security breaches than those that do not conduct e-commerce, according to a survey published in Information Security magazine.

According to the survey, companies conducting business online are 57 percent more likely to experience a proprietary information leak, and 24 percent more likely to experience a hacking-related breach.

Overall, the number of companies hit by an unauthorized access (hacking/crashing) breach increased nearly 92 percent from 1997 to 1998, according to the study.

Companies suffered an average loss of $256,000 to security breaches last year, according to the study. Of the 745 organizations polled in the survey, 91 quantified their financial losses for a total of 23.3 million.

“Employee access abuses continue to be the most common security breach, but it’s clear that the growth of e-business has intensified the threat of computer attacks from outside the company’s walls,” said Andrew Briney, editor-in-chief of Information Security.

The top security priority among survey respondents was protecting their organizations against such attacks, according to the survey. More than one in five (21 percent) cited “preventing hackers/crackers” was the single most pressing security concern in their organization. “Preventing malicious code and viruses” was the biggest concern for 17 percent of respondents, while another 15 percent cited “email security.”

The survey was co-sponsored by ICSA and Global Integrity Corp., and also includes statistics on infosecurity software and hardware use, organizational budgets for security, and salary and personnel issues for professionals engaged in securing their organization’s data.

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