Sydney, 05 June 2008 - Sophos, a world leader in IT security, is
supporting the Australian Government in National E-security
Awareness Week. This initiative is to encourage businesses and
home internet users to take greater precautions against emerging
malicious computer threats.
Sophos has issued advice in conjunction with the launch of the
event today. The week has been organized by the Department of
Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.
During the week various information events and seminars will
take place. The first event is a luncheon in Melbourne on the 6
June 2008 hosted by the City of Melbourne.
The web now holds an unprecedented number of threats, and Sophos
discovers a new infected webpage every five seconds. This is an
average of more than 15,000 each day, three times more than in
Our dependence on the web for purchasing goods and services and
for gathering information is growing all the time. This makes the
web an ideal hunting ground for cybercriminals to catch poorly
"With ever increasing internet usage and the rising prevalence
of social interaction via sites such as Facebook and MySpace,
computer users need to be aware more than ever of potential
dangers," said Sophos's Rob Forsyth, managing director, Asia
Pacific. Forsyth will be speaking at the National E-security
Awareness Week event in Melbourne. "This is especially concerning
because malware authors are now out there to make money, not just
Sophos's research into endpoint security shows that over half of
computers are missing security patches; over a third have no
firewall installed (or not enabled); and a fifth of computers have
anti-virus protection that is either switched off or at least 2
days out of date.
"This is not the time for internet users to bury their heads in
the sand and hope no one notices gaping security holes in their
network," continued Forsyth. "Today, attacks are sophisticated,
well funded and targeted. Small businesses and individuals are
particularly vulnerable to cybercriminals if they don't know how
best to protect their information while online.
"Putting in place an up-to-date security policy that proactively
defends your web and email gateway - and protects all your endpoint
computers and mobile devices - is vital. Equally important is
educating users on appropriate and acceptable online behavior.
These measures will deter malware perpetrators by making an
organization an unattractive target," said Forsyth.
Technological advancements that help legitimate marketers and
sales teams to focus their efforts on specific markets quickly,
efficiently and cost-effectively, have also made life easier for
hackers. Better technology has led to improved return on investment
for both the good and the bad guys.
"It is very encouraging to see initiatives such as the National
E-security Awareness Week which help in promoting awareness of
online threats and the steps internet users can take to protect
themselves and their businesses," said Forsyth. "It is through
programs like this that heightened user awareness may be achieved,
and with this awareness, end users are far less likely to fall
victim to online attacks, either through carelessness, or
out-of-date virus protection".
E-Security Awareness Week runs from 6th - 13th June.
Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.