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Firms 'must take IT security more seriously'

Companies must take IT security more seriously, according to the UK e-commerce minister, Stephen Timms.

Speaking at the Information Assurance Advisory Council's third annual symposium in London, Timms pointed out that only 27 per cent of companies have an IT security policy.

"This basic failure to set objectives and goals fed through into the survey's findings of a host of management shortfalls -- under-investment, lack of analysis of investment, lack of appropriate personnel policies, security processes and technical security," he said.

ZDNet UK reports that the nformation security breaches survey for 2002 calculated that hacking and virus attacks are costing British companies billions of pounds a year, and found that 44 per cent of UK firms suffered at least one malicious security breach in 2001.

Last month, Timms gave his backing to the launch of Part 2 of BS 7799 – new guidelines that aim to make businesses better equipped to deal with the threat of hackers and viruses.

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