According to research from telecoms provider Energis, UK firms suffered 75 per cent loss of business and 16 hours worth of downtime as a result of each security breach.
The survey showed the monetary impact of a large breach on a company with inadequate security systems was around three million pounds.
"The way many UK businesses handle IT security is the equivalent of leaving a brand new Ferrari unlocked with the keys in the ignition," said Malcolm Seagrave, security expert at Energis. "Companies must invest time and money in the right security infrastructure and in having a failsafe business continuity plan ready should the worst happen. With a host of cost effective, outsourced solutions readily available, it's no longer acceptable to cry over spilt milk."
According to research, the average cost of a single security breach was £122,000. Firms were found to spend around £30,000 on external communications activity in the aftermath of a systems outage and faced a 3 per cent rise in insurance premiums. One hundred large firms were surveyed and several government offices, each with more than 500 employees.