Firewalls, Patches and Updates. Oh My!

More than 1.5 million computers fell prey to viruses and worms in 2003. High-tech analyst Cheryl Currid says that means big opportunities for solutions providers.

Microsoft products, chief target of every deranged real and would-be hacker, have many vulnerable holes. This year large companies and government agencies became collateral damage when hormonal driven hackers set about to flex muscles. Over one and a half a million computers fell prey to viruses and worms. Lost productivity was measured in the billions.

But big problems usually mean big opportunities. These issues are understood by customers and they need help executing solutions—software patches and products that scan for vulnerable areas. For those who can put together the brain-power and tools, today could be a great day to start selling vulnerability assessments and regular follow ups.

Look at the warnings that came before the "Blaster" virus. Microsoft knew about the problem and on July 16th published a fix for the vulnerability. The software company reported that about 40 million users downloaded the patch during the first two weeks of August. Unfortunately, millions more failed to do so. They and their problems made history along with accused perpetrator Jeffrey Lee Parson (aka TeeKid).

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