Companies in the U.S. need to take online security more seriously and should outsource it to security experts, said a Jupiter Media Metrix Inc. report released on Wednesday.
U.S. businesses are more worried about their customers' perception of security breaches than about the financial implications, and are generally unconcerned about potential attacks on or via their Web sites, the report, "Enterprise Security: Managing Services for Maximum Coverage," said.
Only 12.1 percent of companies surveyed were worried about the direct financial loss due to a security breach, while 40 percent worried about the impact on consumer confidence, Jupiter said.
Less than half of U.S. companies with Web sites show enough concern about the security of their online data, said Jupiter. A survey of executives in July found that 49.5 percent of Web site managers and chief information officers (CIOs) consider their sites' data to be "low" sensitivity, and their risk of attack also to be "low," the report said.
Even if files on the Web server itself are inconsequential, a hacker can reach through to data used by other systems, said Jupiter.
Companies should therefore take security more seriously and outsource it to an expert provider, the report said. While security should be monitored internally, most companies need the expert advice, technology and 24-hour response that a security service can provide, it said.