Wed, Feb 11, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Protection against viruses getting more complicated

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER

As computer viruses become more sophisticated, computer users will have to move beyond relying on anti-virus software and strengthen the management of their information systems, an anti-virus software maker said yesterday.

"Computers with anti-virus software installed will not necessarily be immune to virus attacks," Marvin Chiu (丘立全), general manager of Trend Micro Inc's Taiwanese business unit, told a press conference yesterday.

The key to block the nuisances -- such as the "Blaster" and "Sobig" worms last year and "Mydoom" virus this year -- is efficient management of the network, including updating the latest virus codes, applying patches as early as possible and monitoring the network system, Chiu said.

Trend Micro, the world's third largest anti-virus software maker, reported a record net income of US$87.3 million last year, 20 percent up from the previous year.

The earnings were mainly generated from solutions and services for enterprises, showing that companies are generally aware of network safety, Chiu said.

The strong growth was also attributed to the increasing numbers of malicious codes on the Internet, which triggered higher demand for virus-protection software and programs to eliminate unwanted e-mail, or spam, the company said.

The "Blaster" and "Sobig" worms appeared in August last year and infected more than 600,000 computers, causing losses valued at US$2 billion worldwide. "Mydoom," the fastest spreading worm attack ever, which erupted late last month, infected 2 million computers.

To expand its customer base to small and medium-sized companies with limited budgets, Trend Micro yesterday announced a strategic alliance with six local networking and software companies to offer anti-virus services and consulting at more affordable rates.

Trand Micro's partners are: Systex Corp (精業公司); Qware Systems (安源資訊); Welltake Computer (威策電腦); Twp Corp (第三波資訊); Ucom Information Technology Co (恆逸資訊) and Jetwell Computer Co (大綜電腦).

As demand for network security is still increasing, Chiu said Trend Micro hoped to find 20 more partners soon.

Last year, Trend Micro's sales grew 20 percent in Taiwan, where half of the company's revenue in the Asia-Pacific region is generated, Chiu said.

The company declined to offer specific figures.

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