06 Dec 2010

IT pros witness rise in malware this year, spend accordingly

Internet security is an increasingly important enterprise IT investment, according to a recent survey of nearly 800 IT professionals.

The survey, conducted by the Ponemon Institute, found 59 percent of respondents said malware was a driving force behind a rise in IT expenses. Forty-three percent of respondents said they have seen a dramatic increase in malware threats this year.

"What we are seeing is that malware incidents are increasing, and those incidents are causing an impact to organizations. Malware generates help desk calls, re-imagining costs and lost productivity," C. Edward Brice, senior vice president for worldwide marketing at the internet security firm that sponsored the study, told Infosecurity.

New technologies, such as mobile web access and social media, have generated new IT security challenges that have generated an increase in tech spending. Mobile and remote workers were recognized as the top priority for enterprise IT security, at 50 percent, while third-party applications were the third biggest concern, at 39 percent.

Recent malicious attacks aimed at businesses have gained international notoriety. Zeus malware successfully stole at least $9 million from small businesses across the globe before an international sting brought down the cyber criminals behind it.