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Cyber Crimes Against Australian SMBs Increased in 2009

In a survey conducted by security vendor Symantec to analyze the security trends and behavior of Australian small and medium businesses (SMBs), it was found that 56% of SMBs surveyed suffered a cyber attack in 2009, which represents an increase from 46% detected in the 2008 survey.

The increase was most probably due to the continuous growth in both the sophistication and volume of cyber attacks. Shrinking IT budgets and a decline in the number of SMBs having policies to educate employees on safe Internet security practices are the other major factors responsible for the increase in online attacks.

As per Symantec, around 52% of the companies surveyed are very well aware of malicious software distributed by cyber crooks. This highlights that for SMBs in Australia, cyber crime is one of the top-most concerns.

Craig Scroggie, Symantec's managing director for the Pacific region, revealed that the security firm has detected over 240 Million different new malwares globally in 2009, which represents a 100% increase from those discovered in 2008, as per the news published by International Business Times on June 8, 2010.

In addition to this, the survey showed that nearly 22% of total e-mails received by 510 respondent firms were spam, with around 23% of those surveyed attacked via phishing scam, which is aimed at gaining the personal and financial details of users including username, password, credit card number, etc.

According to the estimation of Symantec, Australian companies were left to together deal with 250,000 spam e-mails per year, assuming that each employee gets 20 spam e-mails per working day and that he works 225 days a year on an average.

Interestingly, although 87% of businesses surveyed have an online security solution in place, just half of them have a total protection suite including an integrated anti-virus program, firewall and spam filtering solution. Majority of respondents possess one or more of such solutions. A small proportion (6%) of respondents is not regularly updating their Internet security software subscription.

In its advisory issued to the Australian businesses, Symantec said that safeguarding their information would become easy by educating staff on the developments in cyber crime, developing network security protocols and providing their business a complete security solution.

Related article: Cyber Child abuser Sentenced To Imprisonment

» SPAMfighter News - 6/16/2010

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