§ Mr. Stephen O'Brien
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the estimated cost to United Kingdom businesses was of computer viruses in each of the last five years. 
§ Mr. Timms
The information is not collected in this way. The DTI works with business to produce a biennial survey of Information Security Breaches. The Survey is intended to raise awareness of the importance 1213W of effective information security management. The Surveys do not set out to survey or measure the average costs of internet security breaches, such as virus attacks, but survey the costs of all information security breaches. Based on the information gathered for the 2002 Survey, the figures indicated that serious security incidents cost on average some £30,000 per incident in 2001.
Work on the 2004 Information Security Breaches Survey is almost complete and the results will be announced at the Infosecurity Europe exhibition on 27 April. I expect the Survey to present some up to date information on the operational impact of virus attacks.