Cracking the hackers' code

Tuesday, 20 August 2002, 2:43 PM EST

Nearly 90 per cent of Australian organisations that reported an incident were attacked externally, according to the 2002 Australian Computer Crime and Security Survey. This is the first time the threat of being attacked from outside surpassed the likelihood of an assault from inside.

It might be increasingly difficult to keep out external hackers but there are signs IT managers are finding it easier to win support within companies for improving security. Management consulting firm McKinsey & Co recently studied security best practices at Fortune 500 companies. About 30 of these companies, including AOL Time Warner, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft and Visa International, had appointed a chief security officer or other senior executive to oversee information security. In some cases, this executive had the power to stop the launch of new products or systems, and answered only to the chief executive.

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