Two thirds of corporate business computers at risk

The majority of business computers are not properly protected, claims security vendor

Two thirds of corporate managed business computers are not fully secure, according to security vendor Sophos.

Computers are failing to meet standards because of out-of-date antivirus, missing security patches or disabled firewalls, according to research by the vendor.

"This is not surprising to us because we've run tests in the past in this area, but I suspect these findings are going to be quite shocking to IT managers," said John Shaw, group product manager at Sophos.

He said that although companies might give end users software that automatically keeps itself up to date, that was only part of the issue.

"It's a lot to do with how difficult it is for IT managers to keep control of what end users are doing with their computers. You might send out computers to users in a good and healthy state but it's hard to do anything once it's in the user's hands.

"Can you be confident that the user hasn't turned something off, they haven't put some other software on that maybe isn't supported by you and isn't getting in the way, providing a security risk?," Shaw added.

Sophos said that this was where the future challenges would come for end-point users, as well as keeping up to date with new technology.

Sophos believes that businesses can improve their information security by bringing together end-point security and network access control (NAC). This, the vendor says, offers companies preventative protection as well as the more common, reactive protection offered by anti-virus software.

Sophos acquired NAC company Endforce just over a year ago and is launching a new product, Endpoint Security and Control, which incorporates Endforce technology.

"It's not just the old style anti-virus prevention, but about what we and other vendors have done recently which is about stopping threats before we see them," said Shaw.

"It's about making sure that computers are healthy when an attack comes, rather like preventive health."

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