Failure To Protect Networks Costs Business Dear As Security Threats Rocket

Firms now receive over 700 security alerts a year
DIY approach to security as viruses and hackers strike
Managed security solution offers firms peace of mind

Star s new WatchGuard Firewall launch includes trade-up/trade-in offer worth up to 450 for existing customers and users of other firewalls

London, 03 June 2004. Too many UK SME s see firewalls and other security solutions as static applications and fail to update them regularly, taking a dangerous DIY approach to managing their IT infrastructure, according to Star Internet, the UK s largest independent ISP.

Businesses of all sizes are increasingly under threat from viruses, hackers and other unwanted intrusions, and round the clock protection is required to ensure against attack. Firms now receive an average of 50 to 60 security alerts a month according to the vulnerability disclosure website Bugtraq over 700 a year – while a recent DTI survey found over half of all firms suffered an email virus attack in 2003.

Moreover, exclusive research carried out for Star by the Yankee Group shows that failure to secure always-on broadband connectivity makes firms five times more vulnerable to attack, costing the SME sector alone 2 billion a year.

Given this environment, firms should be ensuring they have round the clock protection but too many are neglecting such active security management taking a DIY approach when constant monitoring and professional updating is required.

Dan Scobie, Strategic Technology Officer at Star, says: Most firms have a firewall in place, but it is too often perceived as a static application, which once installed requires no more than a few hours maintenance per week.

This is a fatal error like any other security application a firewall is only as good as its most recent update and new variants of risk are occurring all the time. Maintaining a firewall requires constant vigilance and monitoring and businesses must take a proactive approach to ensure that they have the ability to react to an alert.

The reality is that for many SMEs, the internal resource just doesn t exist to cope with this constant demand: security is only one part of the IT manager s role and so most firms can only take a reactive approach, based around nine to five working. In the modern world, 24/7 attention is required to ensure that a business critical application does not also present the greatest threat to your business.

The best solution for many firms is to hand this responsibility over and outsource the firewall management to a dedicated managed security provider: removing the worry and burden attached to the process and allowing already stretched IT managers to concentrate their energy on other priorities.

To support its existing managed firewall offering to its 4,000 business customers, Star Internet is launching a new set of WatchGuard Firebox X security services: including Active Assurance, Usage Reports, Customised Reports, Hot Swap Firebox and Managed WebBlocker.

Star are offering existing customers a trade-in/trade-up opportunity as part of this launch providing a potential saving of up to 450 if a customer trades up its existing WatchGuard firewall to the new Firebox X managed service. Star is also extending the trade-in/trade-up offer to users of all other types of firewalls: users can trade-in their existing firewall for the new Firebox X, providing substantial upgrade cost savings alongside the option to adopt the managed service approach.

The new Managed WatchGuard service has been specifically designed to appeal both to organisations with a dedicated IT Manager and those with more limited in-house resources.

It provides firms with:

A comprehensive and resilient range of customised services to increase security measures and limit damaging threats to a business.
High visibility of their network and hosted statistics, driving the management of costs by enabling structured planning for future investment
Real-time access to Star s Star Centre portal, enabling firms to assess and track performance by identifying trends and usage statistics
24/7 access to Star s accredited WatchGuard team.

About Star

Star Internet is an ISP specialising in the provision of Internet solutions to businesses in the UK. Part of the Star Technology Group, which includes Star s sister company MessageLabs, the email security company, Star has a strong pedigree in product development and provides a range of services to enable companies to exploit the full potential of the Internet. These include core services like access and hosting but also a range of integrated solutions and innovative extra services. Netstar, Star s product to connect private networks to the Internet, is the most widely installed network connectivity solution in the UK with an installed base of over 900. Star has over 4,000 business customers who include Group Four, Umbro, Warwickshire County Council, GWR, BSM, Misys, and Virgin Energy. Further information is available at

Don't miss