The scale of IT security threats could be bigger than many companies imagine, with new research indicating that almost half of all companies have suffered a disruption due to malware. 

Webroot Software has unveiled a report to alert companies of all sizes to the growth and increasing sophistication of malware.
According to the Webroot State of Internet Security report, 43% of companies surveyed globally have suffered a business disruption due to malware, which leads to significant cost and potential legal implications.
According to the FBI, the organises nature, rapid growth and severity of cybercrime has moved it to their number three priority behind only counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence.
Webroot research, using its PhileasT automated spyware research system, has discovered that 1,7% (4,2-million) of 250-million URLs around the world harbour malware. Almost 3-million of those malicious sites were discovered in 2006 alone.
“Our research has shown that the methods of infection, which just a short time ago were considered incredibly advanced, are now commonplace, demonstrating how quickly today’s threats are evolving into a global security concern,” says Peter Watkins, CEO of Webroot Software.
“Despite the growth and severity of malware, more than 60% of businesses don’t have an information security plan. Businesses need to control this threat by adequately protecting themselves and their customers.”
According to Webroot’s study, more than 40% of the companies surveyed reported business losses from a variety of spyware related issues. The most unsettling finding is that 26% of enterprises reported that confidential information had been compromised as a result of spyware.
At the heart of this alarming trend is the rate of spyware infection:
* 39% of companies reported Trojan horse attacks;
* 24% reported system monitor attacks; and
* 20% reported pharming and keylogger attacks.
Despite this growing threat and the legal and regulatory compliance measures in place, the latest Small Business Technology Institute report has found that 20% of all companies don’t even have adequate virus protection, two-thirds did not have an information security plan, and many only make a security decision after suffering a damaging information security incident.
“It’s obvious from this research that businesses worldwide are operating under a false sense of security. Because of the impact on corporate revenues and reputation that unprotected users can cause, proactive security should be a top priority for every company,” says Watkins.