Is someone stealing your data?

Businesses trading online must shake off complacency.

Businesses need to up their IT security or risk data breaches.

Internet payments on the go have many advantages, but there’s increasing concern among tech experts that protections don’t go far enough.

Mobile e-commerce and embrace of the cloud can leave businesses vulnerable to data breaches unless they dramatically sharpen their focus on IT security.

“In 2013 alone, almost 300 billion mobile transactions worth more than US$930 billion were processed,” says Chris Grant, managing director of business consultancy Protiviti.

“By 2015, the number of mobile apps developed for smartphones and tablets will outstrip PC-based software four times over … and by 2016 more than half of the world’s top 1000 companies will be storing sensitive customer data in the cloud.”

The theft of personal details from 145 million eBay customers shows that cybercriminals can deploy sophisticated tools to compromise even the largest corporations.

A 2013 study by Ponemon Institute, an information protection research house, says 34,249 records in Australian organisations were breached, the highest number per capita in the world.

Australia also ranked second after Germany for countries most likely to experience a malicious breach.

Typically Australian companies allocate just 1 or 2 per cent of their IT budgets to security, says Grant, although the recommended benchmark is for a minimum spend of 2 to 7 per cent, depending on regulatory requirements and individual risk factors.

He adds that it’s essential to have a multi-pronged strategy to deter hackers at the gate, in case any single measure is infiltrated.

This article is from the November 2014 issue of INTHEBLACK.

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