UK Businesses “Complacent’ Over Blended IT Security Attacks

UK businesses are unaware if they have been hit by a blended attack, despite suffering at least one such attack in the past year, according to a new study released today by integrated security vendor ServGate Technologies. More than a third of businesses surveyed took no action at all after the attack, despite suffering an average of 11 hours downtime as a result.

Blended threats – a computer network attack that seeks to maximise the severity of damage and speed of contagion by combining methods, for example using characteristics of both viruses and worms – also have financial implications for businesses. 44 per cent of those surveyed citied losses of more than £1000, with 7 per cent claiming that the attack cost them as much as £10,000.

ServGate surveyed more than 100 businesses at the recent Info Sec 2004 Show in London, and found that the reason so many failed to act was a lack of knowledge of the options available. 23.8 per cent “didn’t know’ if they had been hit by a blended threat, and 44 per cent didn’t know about the solutions best equipped to deal with a blended threat.

Atchison Frazer, VP Marketing, ServGate, said: “Businesses need to wake up to the very real danger blended threats pose. With an estimated 3.8 million businesses in the UK, a severe blended attack would be disastrous for the UK economy. With increasing sophistication of attacks combining viruses, worms and malicious codes, companies lack knowledge in how best to combat this.”

For organisations where there are no full-time IT staff and budget is an issue, an all-in-one appliance with firewall, VPN, anti-virus, spam filtering and URL filtering is the ideal solution. This enables companies to significantly reduce the time, cost and difficulty of managing their IT security.

Other findings from the study included:

20 per cent of retailers surveyed took no action at all after a blended threat

The public sector is the best prepared to deal with blended security threats – 80 per cent of those surveyed were aware of the dangers they bring

17 per cent of financial institutions hit by a blended attack were yet to even implement a disaster recovery policy

ServGate surveyed companies from the travel, retail, utilities, public and financial sectors. Full results are available on request.

About ServGate

ServGate is the leading provider of integrated, modular network security platforms for small and medium businesses and the distributed enterprise. EdgeForce systems consolidate in a single hardware platform multiple security services – including virus, spam and URL filtering, attack protection, web caching, firewall, VPN and more – in a modular and scalable format, reducing the cost and complexity associated with sourcing, implementing and maintaining disparate security applications from multiple vendors. ServGate’s corporate headquarters are located in Milpitas, California, with regional offices in Germany, the UK, China, Singapore and Japan. For more information about ServGate, call 01225 443004 or visit

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