Companies are still struggling with electronic crimes, but reporting some progress, according to a new survey released recently by The Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute, U.S. Secret Service, CSO Magazine and Microsoft. The third annual “E-Crime Watch Survey” covered the period July 2005 through June 2006, and it asked about an extensive range of security problems, including: theft of intellectual property and proprietary information; denial of service attacks; worms and other malicious code; phishing; spam; Web site defacement; spyware; and theft of consumer records.

Three-quarters of the 434 security executives in industry and government agencies who responded to the survey said that they had at least one security incident in the past 12 months. The median number of incidents was three, and nearly twice as many organizations said that the number of incidents increased in the last year (36 percent recorded an increase, and 20 percent recorded a decrease). Yet, the survey seems to show that companies are become more able to stop the widespread outbreaks of security breaches, as both the mean and median numbers of incidents per company fell in the latest survey period from the two previous years.

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