Though hacker attacks have increased at an alarming rate in recent times, few Vietnamese businesses have invested adequately in safeguarding corporate information, industry insiders lament.

More than 200 websites have been hacked just this month, 51 with the domain

Nguyen Minh Duc, director of the Hanoi-based BKAV Corporation's Internet Security Division, said the number was alarming yet domestic companies other than in banking, insurance and e-commerce remain oblivious to investing in security solutions.

Awareness of information security was generally low among businesses, organisations, and State agencies, he said.

A full appraisal of the damage website attacks to information systems has not been made, he said, adding some businesses did not even know when their systems were hacked and data stolen.

Ngo Tran Vu, managing director of Nam Truong Son Internet Security Co Ltd, the distributor of Kaspersky anti-virus software, said though businesses realised the value of information, they were unheeding of protection.

But he also blamed the current financial difficulties for their failure to invest in it.

Phan Thanh Son, technology director at Cisco Vietnam , said several businesses Cisco worked with earmarked 7-10 percent of their capital in information technology.

They were willing to invest heavily in information technology since they realised the importance of the data to their business survival, he said.

An investment of 7-10 percent in information security solutions was "ideal", he said.

Information security experts said Vietnamese businesses, including large ones, did not invest in comprehensive security solutions, focusing instead only on areas they think were important and protecting hardware.

They did not bother to systematically install assistance solutions or those with international-quality security standards, they added.

Firms selling information security solutions estimated the market for their products this year at around 30 million USD, with the corporate sector accounting for 90 percent of the figure.

This was too low, a mere 1 percent of the country's 3 billion USD information technology market, they added./.