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Canada is one of just a handful of countries where Internet attacks against enterprises originate from, according to a recent security report.

Alexandria, Va.-based Riptech Inc., a security services company, recently released results of the second stage of its Internet Security Threat Report. The study tracked data from the firewalls and intrusion detection systems of more than 400 companies in more than 30 countries during the first six months of this year.

Just 10 nations – including Canada, the U.S., France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Great Britain and Italy – were the source of 80 per cent of the attacks, according to the report. The percentage of attacks from this group of countries grew by 10 per cent over the previous six-month period. Over that period Canada ranked sixth, accounting for three per cent of the overall attacks. The U.S. ranked first, accounting for 40 per cent of the overall attacks.

The companies that were monitored averaged 32 attacks per week in that period, up from 25 during the previous six months. Public enterprise, along with power and electrical companies, were the prime targets for attacks.

“It would be my expectation that Canadian companies had similar experiences as those in the U.S.,” said Elad Yoran, co-author of the report and executive vice-president of Riptech Inc.

Riptech did uncover some positive news, finding that “companies may be achieving some level of success in defending against Internet attacks,” according to the report. It was also discovered that the number of companies suffering severe attacks had dropped by half – to 23 per cent – compared to the last six months of 2001.

In an effort to guard against attacks, enterprises should better train employees, as well as implement security hardware like firewalls and intrusion detection systems, with realtime security monitoring, a service offered by various companies, Yoran said.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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