Research shows vulnerability to computer bugs – and some firms are already infected

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Botnets are a big threat to businesses.

A new study has shown the extent to which businesses are vulnerable to security threats from hacking organisations or malicious individuals.

Security firm Check Point looked at 120,000 hours of network traffic at 900 organisations between August and October 2012, Computer Weekly reports.

It found that botnets are currently the biggest threat to data protection , as they can be controlled remotely, distribute malware and implement distributed denial of service attacks.

Some 63 per cent of firms were already infected with at least one bot, but others were found to have several in their IT systems.

In 91 per cent of the companies surveyed, employees were using applications that could leak data or bring in viruses, while 61 per cent or organisations allowed employees to use peer-to-peer applications for file-sharing, which may also be vulnerable.

Furthermore, 53 per cent were not using security patches and updates, even though a similar proportion had experienced data loss at some point.

President of Check Point Amnon Bar-Lev said thorough intrusion prevention systems are essential, even if business owners think their companies are not going to be targeted by hackers.

"Detection alone is not enough; organisations need to be able to prevent damage as part of a multi-layered approach to information security," he added.

Mr Bar-Lev added that data loss is mostly caused by employees by mistake, so secure infrastructure and centralised management is vital.

It is not just bugs that will be a threat to information though – a recent study by the University of Ohio and HP Labs found solid-state drives such as USB sticks can be very vulnerable to power outages, with some even getting wiped completely as a result.

Speaking to Dajon Data Management about cloud computing and offsite document storage may be wise for business owners concerned about these latest figures.

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