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Businesses are losing confidence in their suppliers as a result of an increasing number of IT security incidents.

Internet security giant Kaspersky Lab claims the average cost of IT security incidents caused by suppliers is $3 million.

The recent survey showed that over a third of companies do not trust their suppliers, with the figure for the UK standing at 38% in 2015 – which is five% more than the average of the EU (33%). This trend is the same for small and medium businesses as well as large corporations. The principal reason for this loss of faith in suppliers is the fact that they were to blame for 11% of cyber incidents in 2015.

Incidents involving third-party suppliers are no less dangerous for businesses than direct cyber-attacks on a company’s infrastructure. In both cases, the cost of eliminating the consequences is equally high: cyber incidents involving suppliers cost small and medium businesses $67,000 on average, while the figure for large corporations is $3.27m.

Kirill Slavin, general manager for UK and Ireland, Kaspersky Lab, said: "In order to prevent losses and facilitate secure communications with suppliers, a multi-layered strategy is required. Outlining access rights to different segments of the corporate network for individual employees allows a business to limit a supplier’s access to company resources. Ensuring that you find out the details of the supplier’s IT security system and create rules of collaboration that are based on security, not just productivity and flexibility, is vital too."