The South African small business industry represents a significant portion of the country's economy which is why the safety of its IT systems and resultant security posture are significant considerations that deserve priority, writes Fred Mitchell, Symantec business unit manager at Drive Control Corporation (DCC).
And while these business' systems are not as high-end as their enterprise counterparts', the impact can be equally severe particularly if one considers that in 2008 alone more than 120 million malware variants where discovered which include viruses, worms, Trojan horses, rootkits, spyware and many more.
Furthermore, botnets also known as zombie armies now pose the biggest threat to the Internet according to reports by leading security laboratories while Symantec's Threat Report in 2008 stated that botnets were responsible for the distribution of approximately 90% of all spam e-mail.
Botnets are essentially Internet computers that have been set-up to forward transmissions such as spam and viruses to other computers on the web without their owners being aware it. These zombies or bots serve the wishes of some master spam or virus originator.
The business of developing malicious security is undoubtedly lucrative and opportunistic which is why each business, irrespective of its size, should take heed and arm itself with the best possible solution that is tailored to its unique needs and environment.
The good news is the IT security marketplace is equally sophisticated; businesses can truly benefit from the latest advancements that keep trend with the best that hackers and developers can come up with.
Moreover, the newest security offerings focus on smaller businesses that deliver a myriad of features which is even more promising at it means everyone can benefit from the continuous evolution of security.
Plus, and this is important, it protects small businesses without impacting the overall performance of their systems which is an significant feature as organisations need to operate optimally, despite the security solution running in the background.
New offerings include great functionality such as instant protection against botnets; improved online browsing which include e-commerce; identity protection and secure one-click login to websites.
Importantly, in a time where both the protection and backup of your data is crucial, these security solutions protect files from loss which provides the additional 'peace of mind' that your information is protected throughout the usage lifecycle.
The best news is that these security solutions don't cost an arm and a leg but can save thousands of rands in productivity and service delivery. No business can do without a comprehensive security that protects it against malware and botnets that can cripple its systems.