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Small businesses easy prey to cyber crime: Symantec study

Veronica C. Silva | July 19, 2012
More than 30 percent of small businesses are being targeted.

For Web-based malware, Symantec Intelligence identified an average of 2,106 websites harbouring malware or potentially "unwanted programs" with the WS.Trojan.H as the most frequently blocked malware for the month.

Geography and company size

Location-wise, Symantec reported that in Australia, 66.1 percent of e-mail was blocked as spam, 65.9 percent in Hong Kong and 65.8 percent in Singapore, compared with 63.4 percent in Japan.

Phishing in Australia accounted for one in 708.2 e-mails and one in 1,182.9 in Hong Kong; for Japan it was one in 8,005.7 and one in 2,679 for Singapore.

For e-mails, the rate of malicious e-mails in Japan was one in 2,372.8, compared with one in 862.7 in Singapore and one in 598.3 in Australia.

In terms of company size, Symantec noted that the spam rate for small to medium-sized businesses was 66.4 percent, compared with 66.9 percent for large enterprises. Phishing attacks targeting small to medium-sized businesses accounted for one in 401.6 e-mails, compared with one in 402.9 for large enterprises. And for malicious e-mail-borne attacks, those destined for small to medium-sized businesses accounted for one in 360.8 e-mails, compared with one in 269.0 for large enterprises.

"It is important to remember that although on the increase, targeted attacks are still very rare. Targeted attacks use customised malware and refined targeted social engineering to gain unauthorised access to sensitive information. We regard this as the next evolution of social engineering, where victims are researched in advance and specifically targeted," Wood added.


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