Small businesses failing to tackle spam and viruses effectively, research by Sophos reveals

Sophos Press Release
Sophos Small Business Suite
The Sophos Small Business Suite provides comprehensive protection against viruses and spam, including automatic updates

A survey of almost 4,000 small businesses conducted by Sophos has revealed that while small firms are waking up to the need for anti-virus software, their investment is wasted by a failure to keep systems up-to-date.

Sophos questioned 3,731 small businesses in January-April 2004, asking them about their experiences in dealing with viruses and spam. 87% of respondents confirmed that they had anti-virus measures in place, but a staggering 63% were not updating their anti-virus software in a timely manner to protect against the latest fast-spreading threats.

"With new viruses able to spread around the internet in a matter of hours, it is no longer effective to only apply anti-virus updates on a daily or less frequent basis," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "It's obviously good that companies are deploying anti-virus protection, but they are pouring their money down the drain if the protection is not frequently updated. Effective anti-virus protection includes the ability to poll automatically for security updates on an hourly basis, with updates rolled out without any user disruption."

Spam is similarly causing headaches for small businesses. 80% revealed that the flood of spam arriving in their email inboxes made them less productive. However, a shocking 72% admitted that they had no anti-spam protection in place.

"Small businesses realise they are feeling the pain of spam, but most are doing nothing to prevent it," continued Cluley. "It seems bizarre that so many companies are suffering from spam every day, but taking no measures to protect themselves. It's possible some of these companies have had bad experiences of anti-spam products in the past, and don't realise that effective solutions are available."

With the growing convergence of spam and viruses, Sophos recommends that small businesses introduce a consolidated defence against the virus and spam threat. The Sophos Small Business Suite provides full protection against today's virus and spam threats at all points of entry. Comprised in this suite are the Sophos PureMessage Small Business Edition, which combines award-winning virus and spam protection for the email gateway, and Sophos Anti-Virus Small Business Edition, which offers a comprehensive desktop and server defence against the virus threat.

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos’ complete security solutions as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Simple to deploy, manage, and use, Sophos’ award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions are backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers. Sophos is headquartered in Oxford, U.K., and is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol “SOPH.” More information is available at