Security practices inadequate: survey

Small companies better than larger ones at using antispyware and anitvirus software

Inconsistent maintenance of security is costing New Zealand businesses heavily, according to a survey conducted in November by the Northern branch of the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA).

The association took the results from 356 businesses that took part in the survey as a representative sample and concluded that security costs $140-$240 million a year — a conservative estimate, says EMA communications manager Gilbert Peterson.

The survey indicates that use of antivirus and antispyware protection is far from universal, with smaller companies performing better than larger ones. “For instance, 91% of companies employing 20 people or less have antivirus software installed, compared with 84% of companies employing more than 20 people,” Peterson says.

Similarly, 55% of smaller companies have deployed antispyware, compared with 49% of larger firms.

“It’s disturbing that the number [of companies] automatically updating their internet security systems has dropped from 90.3% in 2004 down to 75.2% in 2005,” Peterson says.

“If these systems products are not regularly updated there is little point in having them.”

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Tags antivirus softwareantispywareEMA

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