One in Every 145 Emails is a Virus

One in every 145 e-mails sent and received by small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during January 2003 contained a virus, according to VIA NET.WORKS UK, a provider of managed Internet services for business. This figure represents a 12 percent reduction in viruses spread by e-mail after the peak in December when nearly 1 in 130 e-mails were found to be infected. However, January’s figure is still 37 percent higher than levels detected in October and November when Bugbear was wreaking havoc around the world.

“With viruses like Bugbear, Klez, Avril Lavigne and Hybris all doing the rounds in January, we’ve recognised a significant upturn in the number of infected e-mails,” said Jeff Meulman, managing director, VIA NET.WORKS UK. “Legitimate business operations are in danger of being choked by viruses. In order to prevent this happening, firms need to make sure they are always protected against all the very latest threats.”

Through its Managed E-mail Anti-Virus Service, VIA has been tracking the proportion of virus-infected e-mails that have been sent and received by its SME customers. 18 new viruses successfully spread ‘in the wild’ during the month of January out of the hundreds of pieces of malicious code released by virus writers. VIA advises businesses to regularly update their security systems against potential new threats to ensure they have the best possible protection.

“Applying the software patches that keep anti-virus protection up-to-date can be a time consuming task, especially for businesses without dedicated IT personnel,” continued Meulman. “Because the fight against viruses is literally a 24/7 battle, many firms are finding it increasingly cost and resource efficient to outsource their protection to specialist third party players such as VIA.”

VIA’s Managed E-mail Anti-Virus Service scans customer e-mails, blocking those messages containing known viruses and worms. The service provides up-to-date protection together with an online incident reporting tool where users can view summaries of viruses detected.

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