Next computer virus could cost UK £2.1bn

Link: Quarter of all email viruses hit UK companies

Anti-virus company McAfee claims an attack could result in 2.2 million office days lost in downtime.

It says that the worst hit will be small and medium sized businesses which had failed to have adequate virus protection.

Despite media publicity about viruses in recent years, keeping AV protection software up-to-date is something that is widely ignored by SMEs, the report said.

The £2.1bn figure was based on the impact of previous virus attacks on SMEs, McAfee said.

The company estimated that 70% of all SMEs had received a virus, with each losing an average £843, and 7.2 hours in lost computer time.

Only half of all respondents regularly schedule virus scanning of company computers, it added.

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