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By Dal Gemmell

As small businesses become more "connected" and reliant on the Internet, they become more exposed to profit-motivated Internet threats commonly known as crimeware. Crimeware is focused on stealing financial information and other sensitive data from consumers and businesses and the numbers are staggering. According to data from TrendLabs*, compared with 2005 these digital threats increased 163% in 2006, an average of 1.4 million threats per month.

According to the results of IDC’s 2006 Security Survey, small businesses face a unique dilemma in that they are likely to be targeted by cyber criminals who know they lack sophisticated security defenses, yet the very security solutions they require are often too complex for business owners to implement without the help of expensive IT consultants.

Today, smart businesses are looking for ways to close this critical gap with security solutions that are fast and straightforward to implement, ease-of-use, low maintenance, and minimal impact on system performance and staff productivity.

In summary, small business owners need security solutions they don’t have to worry about or cause them to become overly involved in the implementation and management of security systems, freeing them to dedicate time to what matters most: growing their businesses.

This article provides a series of ideas and suggestions an organization can use to evaluate its security solutions.

Making Security for Your Business Worry-Free

In a flattening world, small businesses are increasingly relying on the Internet to become more “connected,” competitive and customer-responsive. The Internet is a powerful force-multiplayer that gives small businesses the ability to maximize limited resources and do more with less.

Technological advances cut both ways: improved connectivity, communication, and collaboration, provide great benefits to small businesses, however it has meant an increase in the prevalence of Web threats, specifically crime-driven malware, or crimeware.

According to data from TrendLabs, Web threats increased 163% in 2006 or an average of 1.4 million threats per month versus the same period in 2005 Motivated by financial gain, sophisticated and blended tactics such as password stealing, keylogging, and other related activities are the fastest-growing threats in the malware category. Far from software pranks aimed at publicity or notoriety, crimeware puts the small business assets at risk, including:

Digital assets: Threats can modify, delete, or steal critical digital assets such as contracts, price lists, proprietary data, source code, etc. Examples of threats include viruses, worms, and spyware.

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Dal Gemmell is a global product marketing manager in the Trend Micro Small Business solutions team.
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