One in eight big UK firms have been hacked

A bi-annual report, called "Information Security Breaches" and produced by PwC for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, has revealed the extent of the hacking problem within some of UK's larger companies

The study, which was presented at the Infosecurity Show in London, found out that 13 percent, more than one in eight, large UK companies with more than 500 employees, have tracked unauthorised third party entities on their networks; this is a 10-fold increase compared to a previous study carried out 24 months earlier.

Even more troubling is the fact that 96 percent of large UK businesses have suffered a security breach.

The immediate loss associated with IT related problems fell markedly since 2006, down to £6 bn a year thanks partly to the fact that virus infections have receded in the past few years with a drop of 60 percent over the last two years.

But data losses, which occurred more frequently than ever, could have a lasting effect in the long run as companies and public bodies that have suffered publicised hacking attacks find themselves exposed to the public eye.