Most global financial institutions have had an external attack on their information technology systems within the last year, according to Deloitte's 2004 Global Security Survey

Many of these breaches resulted in financial loss. But even with security attacks on the rise, the largest number of respondents (some 25%) reported flat security budget growth.

The survey, which acts a global benchmark for the state of security in the financial sector, consisted of interviews with senior security officers from the world's top 100 global financial institutions.

According to the survey, the vast majority (83%) of respondents acknowledged that their systems had been compromised in the past year, compared to only 39% in 2002. Of this group, 40% stated that the breaches had resulted in financial loss to their organisation.

The survey also finds that companies are sliding backwards when it comes to the use of security technologies. While more than 70% of respondents perceived viruses and worms to be the greatest threat to their systems over the coming year, and 87% of respondents had fully deployed anti-virus measures, the number is nevertheless down from 96% in 2003.

The survey can be downloaded at: