London, UK, 04 May 2005 - Following recent warnings from leading bank, Lloyds TSB for consumers to keep protection on their PC's up-to-date, StreamShield Networks says this is a near-impossible task given the complexity of the threats faced. The Lloyds TSB survey of 1,400 people showed that only 44% had updated their anti-virus software more than ten times in the last eight months and only four in ten had ever downloaded security patches for their computer's operating system.
Simon Gawne, CEO of StreamShield outlines the difficulty consumers are facing: "Even if consumers updated their virus protection every day (which the vast majority don't) this will still not be enough to guard against the plethora of threats they face. A new virus typically has a few hours to spread and infect computers before an update to anti-virus software is issued - by which time it is too late and a PC could already be infected. This may mean that a key-logging program could have been installed without the users' knowledge which will capture confidential data such as passwords. Or, another form of virus called a DNS poison could direct consumers to bogus websites without their knowledge and potentially result in their bank accounts becoming compromised."
This situation is made worse by the fact that viruses are not the only threat. For instance, spam 'Phishing' e-mails can take advantage of users naivety by conning them into revealing confidential data to crooks.
Gawne concludes: "Even proficient computer users are getting caught out and there has to come a time when banks will cease to pay compensation to customers who fall victim to fraudsters. This represents a massive opportunity for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to seize the initiative and filter all forms of malicious content - be it viruses, Phishing e mails, or spam, and block access to bogus websites. This will give consumers a layer of protection which doesn't exist at present. The technology to do this is available now and offers ISPs the chance to differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace by providing safe, clean Internet services that restore customer confidence."