Annual TELUS/Rotman IT security study reveals security breaches cost the
average Canadian organization more than $834,000 annually - up 97 per cent
from 2008

Compliance regulations strengthening detection and response capabilities

TORONTO, Sept. 29 /CNW/ - A new study from TELUS in partnership with Rotman School of Management released today reveals a major increase in annual losses related to Information Technology (IT) security breaches.

According to the study which surveyed more than 600 IT security professionals across the country:

    -   IT security breaches cost the average Canadian organization an
        estimated $834,000 in 2009 - a 97 per cent increase from the $423,000
        reported by the study last year.
    -   Similarly, the average number of reported IT security breaches also
        increased 276 per cent to 11.3 per organization in 2009 - compared
        with an average of three in 2008.

    While every type of organization incurred an increase in breach costs
during 2009, the increases were different across sectors:

    -   Government organizations more than tripled their average annual cost
        of breaches to $1,000,000 in 2009, up from $321,000 in 2008.
    -   Private companies more than doubled their cost of breaches to
        $807,000 up from $294,000 in 2008.
    -   Publicly traded companies reported a moderate increase of only
        six per cent year-over-year.

"The significant increase in reported breaches is sobering, however there are several reasons for this activity and some of them are actually positive," said Dr. Walid Hejazi, Professor of Business Economics, Rotman School of Management. "Our research indicates that one of the contributing factors behind the surge in IT security-related losses is compliance regulations. Although this factor does not explain all instances of breach increases, it is important to note that because compliance has become a much stronger driver for private companies and government organizations in 2009, capabilities to detect and respond to security compromises have greatly improved. The result is that organizations are now detecting more security threats than ever before and consequently need to allocate more budget to address them appropriately."

"Canadian organizations are finding it difficult to improve their security posture within the current economic climate. However, we found several organizations that performed well despite the adversity. Those organizations tended to review whether or not they were focusing on the right threats and conducted regular assessments of their capabilities to prevent, detect and respond to security concerns," said Alan Lefort, managing director, TELUS Security Labs. "Too often organizations take a checklist approach to managing security. Without a threat-based view to security management that measures end-to-end capabilities, they are often unprepared when a new type of attack or vulnerability rises to prominence."

The study also uncovered a rise in employee-related security breaches specifically related to intellectual property. IT security breaches by employees doubled over the past 12 months, with 36 per cent of all IT security incidents in Canada resulting from insider activity. When compared to results from last year's Rotman-TELUS study, the results from 2009 revealed:

    -   Unauthorized access to information by employees increased by
        112 per cent.
    -   Theft of proprietary information increased 75 per cent.
    -   Laptop or mobile hardware device theft increased by 56 per cent.

    The 2009 Rotman-TELUS Joint Study on Canadian IT Security Practices study
also uncovered insights in several additional areas including:

    -   Canadian IT security budgets.
    -   Top security concerns.
    -   IT security professional salaries and compensation.
    -   Security governance.
    -   Security outsourcing.
    -   Cloud computing concerns.
    -   Security technology investments.

For more information, or to request a copy of the study, visit

About Rotman School of Management

The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto is redesigning business education for the 21st century with a curriculum based on Integrative Thinking. Located in the world's most diverse city, the Rotman School fosters a new way to think that enables the design of creative business solutions. The School is currently raising $200 million to ensure Canada has the world-class business school it deserves. For more information, visit


TELUS (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $9.7 billion of annual revenue and 11.8 million customer connections including 6.3 million wireless subscribers, 4.1 million wireline network access lines and 1.2 million Internet subscribers and more than 100,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services including data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, entertainment and video. In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed $137 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered more than 2.6 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Nine TELUS Community Boards across Canada lead our local philanthropic initiatives. For more information about TELUS, please visit

SOURCE TELUS Corporation

For further information: For further information: Jeremy Baxter, TELUS Media Relations, (604) 643-4059,

Organization Profile

TELUS Corporation

More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890