Poor corporate IT security is leaving businesses vulnerable, with almost 90 percent of breaches found to have been preventable.
A trio of studies has painted a damning picture of business security, with online vulnerabilities rising as companies and authorities fail to apply patches, update antivirus software and leave firewalls disabled.
Vulnerabilities on UK company and public sector networks grew from 19 last year to 21 this year according to security analyst NTA Monitor, and 87 percent of data breaches could have been avoided by regular patching and other precautions, according to a Verizon Business report into 500 forensic investigations.
Further corporate failings were highlighted by IT security firm Sophos, which found that 81 percent of 580 corporate PCs tested worldwide were missing patches and software updates, and had disabled firewalls.
Of this year's top 10 vulnerabilities, seven were found in last year's report and all are associated with services being made available to internet users.
Breaches originating outside the company were also the main threat identified by Verizon, responsible for 73 percent of breaches, with 39 percent due to a business partner.