NW_20070510_en_VASCO aXs GUARD Survey_ Swift Rise of Spam and Malware Threats for SME’s
OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill., and ZURICH, Switzerland, May 10, 2007 - VASCO Data Security International, Inc. (Nasdaq: VDSI) ( www.vasco.com), the leading software security company specializing in authentication products, today announced the results of its aXs GUARD Internet Threat Survey. aXs GUARD is VASCO’s authentication appliance product line, based on VACMAN, VASCO’s core authentication platform.
In the period between January and December 2006, VASCO charted the Internet dangers that aXs GUARD neutralized at the e-premises of 400 SME’s with 5 to 250 users, by measuring the companies’ Internet and e-mail traffic.
The main conclusions of VASCO’s aXs GUARD survey are:
1. the amount of SPAM has exploded;
2. botnets are becoming an ever greater risk;
3. phishing and malware attempts are growing rapidly in amount and complexity;
4. the number of viruses has declined slightly;
5. the overall Internet traffic and the number of mails sent have grown spectacularly over 12 months.
The first main trend of the survey shows the explosion of SPAM and related traffic. In January 2006, 64% of mails sent to the investigated companies, was identified as SPAM and consequently blocked. In December 2006, the SPAM-amount rose to 85% of the total amount of e-mails.
Another trend shows the upward evolution of attempts to get into a company’s Local Area Network (LAN) and send SPAM on behalf of the “host”, from 15% in January to almost 40% in December. The number of PC’s inside corporate LAN’s that are infected with “botnets” is rising quickly. Although the attempts by these “botnets” to send SPAM are blocked at the gateway, it wastes an important part of the network’s processing power. There is an even more dangerous side-effect. Botnets are often used for “keystroke logging” and “password sniffing” fraud attempts.
The techniques used by spammers and fraudsters to get access to a company’s network, are becoming more complex. This is clearly indicated by the fact that the content scanning functionality of aXs GUARD has an increasingly busy job. In January, approximately 6% of controlled e-mails were blocked via content scanning. In December, the amount of mails blocked due to their content grew to 26%.
With regards to the Internet surfing behavior of the surveyed companies’ employees, VASCO noted a surge in the number of phishing and malware related surf requests. In January 2006, 3% of unaccepted surfing requests were related to employees stepping into a phishing/malware related trap. In December of that year, 77% of all blocked surfing requests had to do with phishing/malware.
The number of virus types has stagnated. There is even a slight decline from 111 types in January to 95 in December. Nevertheless, the virus threat increases, due to the fact that the total e-mail traffic of the 400 surveyed companies has grown from approximately 6 million mails in January, to almost 20 million in December 2006.
“Taken the results of VASCO’s aXs GUARD Survey into account, it is clear that any company active on the Internet needs to arm itself against possible online threats,” said Jan Valcke, VASCO’s President and COO. “Every company, regardless their size and sector, is vulnerable and needs sizeable and flexible tools to protect their business. VASCO’s aXs GUARD is the perfect match for such companies.”
The 400 scanned companies volunteered to participate in the survey.
For more detailed information about the aXs GUARD Survey, please contact [email protected] .
About VASCO: VASCO is the number one supplier of strong authentication and e-signature solutions and services. VASCO has established itself as the world’s leading software company specialized in Internet Security, with a customer base of over 4,800 companies in more than 100 countries, including close to 750 international financial institutions. VASCO’s prime markets are the financial sector, enterprise security, e-commerce and e-government.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements made in this news release that relate to future plans, events or performances are forward-looking statements. Any statement containing words such as “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” and similar words, is forward-looking, and these statements involve risks and uncertainties and are based on current expectations. Consequently, actual results could differ materially from the expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements.
Reference is made to the Company's public filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for further information regarding the Company and its operations.
For more information contact:
Jochem Binst, +32 2 609 97 40, [email protected]