The publicity created by the 'Love Bug' virus, which caused damage to the world's PCs last week estimated to be in the billions of pounds, presents the channel with its greatest opportunity to sell security products and services.
But to many industry observers, the bug has also highlighted the limitations of current anti-virus software.
Steve Webb, business development director at Integralis, said resellers can exploit the demand for products and services to stop it happening again. But because the virus caused so much damage before anti-virus vendors were able to issue and distribute a patch, there will be demand for more sophisticated packages. "Companies have to consider managed services," he said.
But companies offering service level agreements can only guarantee system availability and best endeavours, not effectiveness. No service can guarantee that a new virus will not do some damage, he said.
Matt Tomlinson, business development director at MIS Corporate Defence Solutions, also predicted that companies which cannot afford to dedicate internal resources to security management will turn to managed service providers. He said resellers have to rely on anti-virus vendors to come up with a fix, by which time the damage has often already been done.
Aled Miles, UK and Ireland regional director at anti-virus vendor Symantec, said: "There is a misconception that anti-virus products did not deliver, but people don't understand that for every virus you need an antibody. This is about how quickly you can respond, generate an automatic update for customers and send it out."
David Lannin, product manager at security specialist CenturyCom, said content management software can scan email attachments for words commonly used in visual basic viruses, and could pick up new examples yet to be registered in anti-virus software.
Terry Radford, managing director at Harrier Group, said: "Customers will outsource for experts to handle an area of potential commercial loss." But resellers really need to help their customers design and enforce security policies, he added.
First appeared in Computer Reseller News
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