<p>Australian businesses see spyware as their top web security issue, above employees accessing unauthorised Internet sites and web-based viral threats and malware</p>
<p>Sydney, 25 October 2005 – MessageLabs, the leading provider of messaging security and management services to businesses, today announced the results of a new survey of Australian businesses’ top security concerns and issues. The survey found that Australian businesses see spyware as their top web security issue, above employees accessing unauthorised Internet sites and web-based viral threats and malware. It also found that sixty percent of companies have already experienced some form of spyware related issue.</p>
<p>In a survey of Australian businesses conducted by MessageLabs in September 2005, almost half, 49 percent, of the respondents cited Spyware as their biggest web threat and 66 percent ranked spyware in their top five overall IT security priorities.</p>
<p>“As IT security measures become more effective, the cyber criminals have to be more sophisticated in the way in the way they infiltrate corporate networks – constantly evolving new methods of attack,” said James Scollay, Vice President MessageLabs Asia Pacific.</p>
<p>“Attackers now combine an understanding of human behaviour with technical subterfuge. We are seeing targeted spam posing as legitimate email which encourages readers to open links to sites which unintentionally download malicious code such as spyware. With two thirds of Australian businesses already victim to spyware attacks, they cannot afford to put off protecting themselves from the increasingly convergent threats within email and web traffic,” explained Scollay.</p>
<p>MessageLabs is the only major managed service provider able to provide security services for both business email and web traffic.
“Keeping up to date with new security threats places huge pressure on internal IT resources. MessageLabs’ managed service approach draws on the expertise of a global team of experts that constantly identify threats to stop them within the fabric of the Internet before they hit the corporate network,” Scollay added.
MessageLabs managed service approach provides organisations with a complete managed security solution, without the hassle, inconvenience or additional cost of traditional software or hardware solutions. These services ensure the integrity of electronic communications, helping businesses to manage and reduce risk while securing their critical infrastructure and business information.</p>
<p>Key Survey Findings:</p>
<p>• Almost half (49%) of the respondents see spyware as their #1 web security issue.
• Two thirds (66%) of respondents said spyware ranked in their top five IT security issues.
• Almost 60% of respondents had already experienced spyware issues.
• Yet over one third of companies currently have no web filtering in place.
• Almost half will introduce new or additional anti-spyware measures in the next 3-6 months.
• As a perceived potential security issue, the proportion of respondents identifying email threats has halved from 12 months ago from 62% to 32%; while spyware has increased eight times from 3% to 24%.</p>
Spyware is code on a computer that gathers information about a person or organisation without their knowledge. It may be distributed via emails or when downloading a web site. Spyware can steal sensitive corporate or personal information, disable mission-critical software and disrupt information systems.</p>
MessageLabs conducted the telephone survey of 81 Australian businesses about their IT security needs in September 2005.</p>
MessageLabs is the world's leading provider of messaging security and management services with more than 12,000 clients and offices in eight countries. For more information, please visit http://www.messagelabs.com</p>
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