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Free Security Software Still Luring UK SMBs

A research report named "International Barometer of Security in SMBs" released by the cloud security firm Panda Security states that small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) in the UK are most frugal as far as IT security is concerned. Their spending on IT security is less as compared to their counterparts in other European countries.

The study conducted by the firm interviewed in excess of 350 businesses in the UK having 1-400 computer systems, and above 7,900 businesses being operated in 15 other nations. According to the survey, nearly 98% of SMBs in UK spend less than £1,000 on security software in a year, and around 50% of them spend even less than £300 per year.

Further, around 57% of SMBs use free security products to protect their computers, well exceeding the average of 38% in Europe. Resultantly, most of the times, these companies fail to protect and upgrade their servers and applications.

Meanwhile, the security experts said that an alarmingly large number of SMBs appeared to hide themselves as they failed to prevent Internet threats. To be precise, such companies provide opportunities for cybercriminals who seek to exploit PCs by infecting them with malware or botnets.

Nigel Stanley, a practice leader for security at Bloor Research, commented that such an attitude of UK's businesses to use free security indicates their smart thinking, reported ComputerWeekly on September 29, 2009.

However, he added that it is a serious issue that 22% businesses either don't have or don't know if their PC is having any security software. A business behaves recklessly if it is not secured from online threats. A business, be it of any size and kind, is required to ensure systems' security to prevent itself from a malware or botnet attack.

Further, while speaking at the IDC's IT 2009 security conference that took place in London in the initial days of September 2009, a security expert from security from Sophos cautioned that no single business is resistant to automated cyber assaults. Usually, most businesses tend to assume that they may not be targeted if their risk profile is low. However, this is merely a myth as the rising automated attacks do not consider the company profile and just target any sort of business they can.

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