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Benchmarking the Information Society
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No. 14 Types of security breaches in European organisations

Which of the following types of information security breaches have occurred in your establishment in the last 12 months?

Base: Establishments that were affected by security breaches in the last 12 months, weighted percentages, multi-response
Question: D2a
Source: SIBIS DMS 2002

The data show that the most widespread information security breaches are computer virus infections. Almost all organisations have been affected by computer viruses in the 12 months prior to the survey. The numbers of businesses affected by other security breaches, such as unauthorised access to their networks or identity theft, are fairly low (but far from insignificant). Mainly two reasons can be brought forward for explaining why viruses are the major type of security breaches: firstly, many businesses may be unaware of other kinds of breaches, i.e. they have not noticed them; secondly, viruses are indeed likely to be the most common problem.

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