44% of consumers do not want to share personal info

About two in three people surveyed use fewer than five passwords, while more than 10% use only one password for everything. About 65% of respondents said that they themselves were “very responsible” for protecting their identities, while 53% felt it was the job of the bank or the financial institution concerned. To a lesser degree, they said that level of responsibility fell to law enforcement agencies (29%), the federal government (27%) and merchants (24%). The survey allowed more than one response. The study found that the number of consumers unwilling to share personal information with online retailers rose from 35% last year to 44% this year. Of the 64% of respondents who considered themselves “more informed” about identity theft issues compared with a year ago, nearly half said they don’t consider themselves any safer, and one-quarter said they felt more vulnerable.

Malware damage for February estimated at $50 bln

mi2g Intelligence Unit data shows that partially as a result of the growth of the MyDoom family of malware, lingering effects of Mimail, Dumaru, Sobig, Swen, Klez, Sober, Yaha, BugBear and Fizzer, and also as a result of new strains of Bagle, February 2004 has already become the worst month for malware proliferation on record with 10 days to go. As of today, the total economic damage from all malware epidemics in February is estimated to lie between $43.8 bln and $53.6 bln worldwide, two thirds more than the record breaking previous month of January.

Firewall and VPN market to reach $6 bln in 2007

Global spending on firewall and virtual private network (VPN) technology will double over the next three years to reach almost $6 bln in 2007. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) VPNs will be the fastest growing segment of the market. Datamonitor’s report Firewall and VPN solutions forecasts that home working and the push for mobility/anywhere-anytime access for workers will see enterprise investment in Secure Socket Layer (SSL) VPNs grow 74% a year between 2003-2007. Datamonitor estimates that the SSL VPN market will rise from $120 mln in 2003 to just over $1 bln in 2007.

Network security appliances sales surge

Sales of high-end security appliances have surged in Q3 2003 as enterprises install them in their main networks, having seen lower-end devices prove themselves in branch offices, according to the latest figures from analyst firm IDC. Companies are also waking up to the fact that security appliances can be much easier to manage than software. Some 20% of these cost over $25,000, compared to just 10% in Q2, according to IDC’s figures.

Cisco and NetScreen continue to dominate the market for security appliances, said IDC, and both companies have seen revenue growth of over 20% compared to the same period last year. Of the big players, Nokia has fared the worst, losing market share both in terms of units and revenue. While it is now number two for revenue, with 15.1% of the market, it is comes fifth in unit shipments, with only 6.8% of the market, behind Cisco (27.7%), NetScreen (20.8%), SonicWall (13.2%), and WatchGuard (12.1%). Western Europe now accounts for a quarter of security appliance sales, with 43,303 units generating $97.2m worth of shipments in Western Europe during the quarter. The market grew 22% in Q3 2003 against the third quarter of 2002.

Business cyberattacks

Companies now get hacked, on average, 30 times a week, with 15 percent of attacks resulting in system entry. For the first three months of this year, more than 42,000 attacks were reported to CERT monitors. And that’s only a partial reading: The FBI says just one in five attacks are reported, thanks to reluctance on the part of companies to broadcast security failings to customers and shareholders. Worse yet? The new viruses are becoming more sophisticated: Slammer scanned more than 55 million computer systems per second, 100 times faster than the previous Code Red virus, says Allan Paller, director of research at the SANs Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based security information center.
Virus attacks getting stronger