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Converged Threats Catch Out IT Managers

Converged Threats Catch Out IT Managers

-Galaxy Research shows Australian and New Zealand Enterprise IT Managers lack confidence in software security's ability to protect -

SYDNEY, Australia 29 April - MessageLabs , the leading provider of messaging security and management services to businesses today announced Galaxy Research report findings that reveal only 33 percent of IT managers in Australia and New Zealand consider the convergence and sophistication of online threats to be the biggest threat to security systems.

The research suggests IT managers responsible for maintaining security systems have a lower than expected awareness of the advanced threats being used by cybercriminals . Despite this, MessageLabs found 2.9 million spam emails received in March this year contained links to Storm malware : a clear example of a converged threat with spam emails containing hyperlinks to malicious content online.

Andrew Antal , country manager ANZ said, "We are increasingly seeing a merging of security breaching techniques, such as spam, spyware, viruses and phishing, creating a single more advanced threat." He continued, "As security providers become smarter at protecting against email threats, the cybercriminals are coming up with more sophisticated ways to disrupt corporate networks and access confidential information via the internet."

The research also revealed the most popular web security system is software technology with 49 percent of IT managers classifying this method as their main security system. Although software is the most widely used solution, it was not considered by respondents to be highly secure. Despite its widespread adoption, only 39 percent of respondents viewed this type of technology as highly secure. The highest rating of security instead went to managed services, as decided by 63 percent of respondents.

Findings from the report also reveal:

* 26 percent of those interviewed consider instant messaging to be the messaging protocol carrying the biggest risk to an organisation * 22 percent believe email is the biggest risk * The platforms considered to have the lowest risk were Bluetooth with 2 percent and SMS also with 2 percent * In terms of threats, trojans are considered to be the highest risk at 90 percent, followed by spyware at 81 percent, bots and botnets at 70 percent and phishing at 65 percent.

Antal commented, "The statistics are interesting and these are well known areas of concern. While IT managers have correctly recognised they are serious threats, organisations need to become more aware of the increased security battle to protect corporate information as these threats merge together. Unfortunately these criminal techniques can no longer be tackled in isolation."

Converged Threat Analysis (CTA) is an innovative concept in messaging and web security, specifically designed by MessageLabs to combat this new, growing and potentially serious breed of security threats. CTA represents an effective, proactive solution to the emergence of threats that are not specific to email, web or IM environments. CTA involves analysing threats across all protocols to see if techniques are being shared or combined to create a single threat.

The MessageLabs web and mail security services are backed by the industry's strongest SLA's.

- Ends -

About the research The Galaxy survey commissioned by MessageLabs was conducted among IT Managers of large organisations throughout Australia and New Zealand. The minimum requirement was 500 employees with email access and within each of these organisations the interview was administered with the IT Manager with responsibility for systems security.

About MessageLabs

MessageLabs is a leading provider of integrated messaging and web security services, with over 17,000 clients ranging from small business to the Fortune 500 located in more than 86 countries. MessageLabs provides a range of managed security services to protect, control, encrypt and archive communications across Email, Web and Instant Messaging.

These services are delivered by MessageLabs globally distributed infrastructure and supported 24/7 by security experts. This provides a convenient and cost-effective solution for managing and reducing risk and providing certainty in the exchange of business information. For more information, please visit


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