Virus-Infected E-mails Received By SMEs Continue To Rise, Reveals VIA NET.WORKS UK

Despite a recent drop in virus-infected emails received by SMEs, latest statistics from VIA NET.WORKS UK, a provider of managed Internet services for business, show that viruses have returned to earlier levels and continue to proliferate.

The proportion of virus-infected emails in circulation to small- to medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers using VIA’s e-mail anti-virus services rose to one in every 136 during April 2003. VIA said this figure represents a 350 percent rise in email-borne virus activity compared to March 2003, when 1 in every 480 e-mails scanned by VIA UK was found to be infected.

“The downward trend in virus activity in March was welcome, but levels have risen again this month,” said Keith Westcott, MD, VIA NET.WORKS UK. “The increase in virus activity after a quiet month is a clear reminder to SMEs not to become complacent regarding their security practices. Anti-virus protection must be kept constantly updated, and SMEs are particularly vulnerable if they do not have sufficient in-house resources to safeguard their systems from external 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. Thirteen new viruses successfully spread ‘in the wild’ during the month of April out of the hundreds of pieces of malicious code released by virus writers. The most commonly encountered virus in April was Hybris-B, a worm which was first detected in December 2000. VIA advises businesses to regularly update their security systems against potential new threats to ensure they have the best possible protection.


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. VIA’s Managed E-mail Anti-Virus Service is part of VIA’s Managed Security Services portfolio. VIA’s Managed Security Services provides cost-effective, 24×7 monitoring and management of online security systems for SMEs, and include firewall management, VPN management, online security audits and network vulnerability testing.




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