A new report from virus protection company McAfee reveals that mid-sized businesses in the U.S. this year lost an average of more than $43,000 in security breaches.

McAfee said a majority of U.S. mid-sized companies face a security paradox, because so many of them are freezing or cutting IT spending while security threats only proliferate.

This paradox occurs in part because mid-size companies "are under the mistaken impression that hackers prefer to target larger companies," according to McAfee's report.

Almost half of organizations surveyed (43 percent) said companies with more than 500 employees were at a greater risk of data breaches and hacker attacks. Unfortunately, the opposite appears to be true.

McAfee said more than 60 percent of survey respondents said they spend less than four hours per week on IT security "proactively," but the same number also said they spend more than a day recovering from a security breach.

Many small and mid-sized firms are exploring outsourcing IT security to vendors and partners in the cloud computing industry.

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