SMBs Getting Hammered by New Threats

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Phishing and spyware are hammering medium to small businesses, according to anew study.

''Medium and smaller businesses have lower access to expertise,'' saysBob Hansmann, a senior manager for Trend Micro, Inc., a security companybased in Tokyo and with U.S. headquarters in Cuptertino, Calif. ''Thegreater access you have to expertise, the better prepared you are.Otherwise, there might be someone in the company who reads up on it andruns with the first solution they come across so they can move on to thenext problem.''

The study, which was done by Trend Micro, shows that organizationslacking IT departments are clearly experiencing increasing problems withsecurity threats -- from spam to spyware to phishing. For respondentsfrom small- and medium-sized businesses that have IT support, 38 percentin the United States; 30 percent in Japan, and 44 percent in Germany saidthey had contacted IT about a security concern or breach within the pastthree months.

The findings spotlight the challenge smaller organizations face inscaling IT resources to provide technical advice, conduct system scans,clean machines manually, deploy patches and security policies, andeducate staff in order to enable a secure working environment, accordingto Trend Micro analysts.

Hansmann, in a one-on-one interview with eSecurityPlanet, notesthat the study also shows that 46 percent of small to medium businesscustomers reported having problems with spyware, while 35 percent ofenterprise customers reported the same. Hansmann also notes that thesenumbers closely correlate with the statistics that show that 54 percentof small- and medium-sized businesses have an IT staff, while 91 percentof enterprise customers have their own staffs.

But Hansmann says there's another aspect to spyware and phishing that ismaking the threats harder to deal with.

''It's the newness of the problem,'' he explains. ''These are emergingthreats. The old problems, like viruses and even spam, have been aroundfor a while. But the new problems that are only about a year old... itcontributes to the expertise problem. The problems are new. The solutionsare new. They don't have experts in house.''

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