McAfee security specialist Lee Fisher, author of the report, said the biggest risk for companies is their own apathy.
"Firms believe (wrongly) that viruses and code are a benign risk, that because they have a firewall they are protected," he
said, adding that "about 70 percent" of internet threats are driven by profit, not a desire for notoriety.Fisher
said that firms face a number of separate dangers."The fast-spreading viruses make all the headlines, but they are not the biggest threats."The biggest dangers include key-logging tools and bot network tools that could be used for distributed denial-of-service attacks.
To help firms protect themselves against these risks, in March McAfee will start updating its virus alerts and tools on a daily basis.Fisher
said that this requirement was unimaginable five years ago, but the firm is now seeing about 50 new threats or viruses each day.
McAfee's report emphasises that the internet is global, fast and virtual, adding, "In the wrong hands, this adds up to the potential to make vast sums of money illegally."Fisher
worked with enforcement experts and academics for seven months to draw up what he
described as "the first in-depth picture of (the) new invisible threats we face".