FRAMINGHAM, Mass. - Most financial services companies have had a security breach in their information services technology at some point, according to the consulting firm International Data Corp.

"Companies within the finance industry are more likely than other types of companies to experience security breaches relating to information security infrastructures," said Lucie Draper, a senior research analyst at IDC. "For these companies, security is not a value-added feature. It's a core requirement for conducting business."

The most frequent type of information security breach for financial companies is a virus on the client or server, according to IDC. Viruses are running rampant at banks in particular, with 96% reporting such attacks, the firm said.

Fortunately, IDC said, nearly all financial services companies have installed antiviral tools on their servers, messaging, and client platforms. Banks were able to repel 56% of virus attacks at their inception and another 36% before the viruses could complete their work.

Unauthorized use of information security systems, applications, and e-mail is another security concern for the financial services industry, according to a recent IDC survey.

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