Hackers and internet criminals are eschewing personal attacks on individuals in favour of attacks at specific organisations that may have the information needed to facilitate fraud or identity theft, according to research by IBM.
Giant claims that in recent months companies such as LexisNexis and ChoicePoint have had to admit that personal data they hold on hundreds of thousands of consumers has been stolen.
Matthew Brown, Managing Director, giant group, said: "As criminals turn their attention away from individuals to companies, organisations which are a potential target for criminals need to accept greater responsibility for the security of their clients' data.
"With attacks becoming increasingly sophisticated, companies need to develop more complex and robust security systems to safeguard personal data. Relying on tried and tested methods is no longer enough."
The Financial Services Authority (FSA), the City regulator, has repeatedly warned financial institutions to be more preventive in their measures against hacking. Too often the financial services industry, which routinely holds sensitive personal data for millions of people, increases security after there has been a breach.
Matthew Brown said: "Banks and other high-profile financial institutions have been aware of the target they present to criminals for some time but other types of company which hold sensitive financial data have not given security the same prominence. We need to take protective action now to manage the risks to customers' data."
Giant cites information security standard ISO 17799, which it has recently achieved, as the world benchmark for information security.
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Susie Hughes © Shout99.com 2005