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Indian cos not so smart
September, 19th 2009

Heres a cause of concern for India Inc. Independent findings of internet and data security company Symantec and research agency Frost and Sullivan suggest that Indian companies are susceptible to internet threats and companies are underspending on security. The country ranked number one on the prevalence of internet virus attacks in the Asia Pacific and Japan region, according to data with Symantec.

Symantec revealed this in the findings of its IT security scenario in 2008, while Datacraft, a company providing software solutions for the manufacturing industry, had commissioned Frost and Sullivan to conduct a security compliance survey of manufacturing companies in the country.

Symantecs findings show that India features among the top three countries in the region to be affected by malicious activity on the internet, aimed primarily at stealing sensitive corporate information.

Frost and Sullivans survey in 2009 found that 92% of the companies had security vulnerabilities and were underspending on information security .

While larger companies are taking steps for data security, small and medium businesses are not worried. Ken Schneider, Symantec CTO, security and compliance said, While data theft is the prime reason for attacks, 61% of Indian SMBs are unaware of IT security threats and 68% do not consider data loss as a major security threat.

Unprotected infrastructure, lack of IT policies, poorly protected information and poorly managed systems are a cause of concern for businesses. Unless enterprises improve security protocols and measures to counter malicious activities, India will continue to be a soft target of Internet threats.

Added Tony Murphy, solutions head, manufacturing, Datacraft, The next two years are critical as security threats will increase. Manufacturing companies are expanding their IT infrastructure, thus increasing the complexity of operations. However, they are not investing enough to meet challenges thrown up by this complexity . Most of them are also not compliant with the latest security standards .

The Symantec survey revealed that incidence of spam is increasing and 12% of spam in the APJ region originates from India. Mumbai features high in the prevalence of internet attacks, contributing 37% of the affected computers, followed by Chennai at 24%.

Globally, spam tripled in 2008 compared to 2007.

According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a consultancy, report, IPR and business information contribute 32% and 68% respectively of data loss and Symantec's findings reveal that 59% of the employees who lost or left a job walked away with some corporate information.

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