90 percent of companies have been hacked, survey shows

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Ninety percent of businesses have been hacked in the past year, according to a survey (PDF) of 583 US companies sponsored by  Juniper Networks.

A full 59 percent of the IT professionals interviewed for the survey reported that they had been hacked two or more times, with 9 percent saying that they had endured at least five network intrusions in the past 12 months. While more than two thirds of respondents said they were confident in their abilities to keep hackers at bay, 77 percent admitted that hacks had become more frequent and sophisticated.

“We expected a majority to say they had experienced a breach,” said Johnnie Konstantas, director of product marketing at Juniper, who spoke with PC World. “But to have 90% saying they had experienced at least one breach and more than 50 percent saying they had experienced two or more, is mind blowing.” Getting hacked is now a “almost a statistical certainty,” she added.

The survey also found that the hacks often led to significant financial loss: 41 percent reported damages amounting to $500,000 or more. That number was calculated while taking into consideration “cash outlays, internal labor, overhead, revenue losses and other expenses related to the security breach,” the survey says. Another 16 percent said they were unable to determine their losses.

The study found that a lack of funding for proper cybersecurity measures was a primary factor in the prevalence of hacks, with 52 percent saying that only 10 percent or less of their department budget was dedicated to security alone.

Release of the study follows a wave of cyberattacks on a wide variety of entities, from PBS to Citibank to US defense contractor Lockheed Martin and the International Monetary Fund. Lulz Security, one of the now-infamous hacker groups wreaking havoc recent, has repeatedly said that their cyberattacks are partially meant to point out how woefully unprepared most organizations are when it comes to cybersecurity.

The survey was conducted by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of Juniper Networks. Of the 583 IT security professionals who took part in the survey, 51 percent worked for companies with more than 5,000 employees. Those questioned reside in the US, UK, France and Germany.

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