The publicity created by the 'Love Bug' virus, which caused billions of pounds worth of estimated damage to the world's PCs last week, has presented resellers with their greatest opportunity to sell security products and services.
But for many IT industry observers, the bug has also highlighted the limitations of 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 distribute a patch, there will be demand for more sophisticated packages. "Companies must consider managed services," he said.
But VARs offering anti-virus service-level agreements can guarantee 'best endeavours', not effectiveness, he said.
Matt Tomlinson, business development director at MIS Corporate Defence Solutions, predicted firms that cannot afford to dedicate internal resources to security management will outsource it. He said VARs have to rely on anti-virus vendors to come up with a fix, by which time the damage has been done.
Aled Miles, UK and Ireland regional director at 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."
David Lannin, product manager at CenturyCom, said content management software can scan email attachments for words commonly used in malicious visual basic script, picking up new viruses.
Terry Radford, managing director at Harrier Group, said: "Customers will outsource for experts to handle an area of potential loss." But resellers need to help their customers enforce security policies, he added.
- The Bug led analyst Gartner to attack Microsoft's attitude to security as "too permissive". Gartner has called for the unrestricted use of its email product to be "prevented".
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