IT security breaches cost U.K. businesses billions of pounds last year, with 44 per cent of U.K. companies reporting at least one “malicious” security breach in the past year, according to a study published Tuesday by the U.K. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The number of IT security breaches has more than doubled since the 2000 survey, the government agency said in a statement. The figures are according to the executive summary of the “Information Security Breaches Survey 2002,” which was carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP on behalf of DTI, based in London. The study, which is conducted every two years, can be found online at https://www.security-survey.gov.uk/.

The full report, the Information Security Breaches Survey Technical Report, will be published by the government on April 23.

A serious security breach cost a U.K. business an average of

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada