The number of virus attacks on enterprises increased by half between 2003 and 2004, according to ICSA Labs, an independent division of internet security company Cybertrust.
ICSA’s research was sponsored by a number of companies, including McAfee, Microsoft, Sophos and Trend Micro. Research was based on data gathered from 300 companies and organisations and found that the virus encounter rate increased 50% last year to 392 encounters per 1,000 machines per month.
The amount of actual infections also increased, with 116 infections per month.
The number of virus disasters - an incident where 25 or more PCs or servers are infected at the same time by the same virus causing significant damage or monetary loss to an organisation - was up 12% from the previous year.
Of the 300 respondents, 112 reported a virus disaster compared with the 92 that reported an incident in 2003.
The research also found an increase in recovery time and costs associated with these disasters. Recovery time rose to seven person-days and self-reported costs were estimated to be £73,000, both representing increases of over 25% from 2003.
Malicious code is also a growing problem, with 91% of respondents saying they believe malicious code is "worse or much worse" than in 2003.