Resellers stand to gain from a boom in spending on IT security among small and medium sized companies, following publication of advice on computer crime from the National High Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU).
The 'framework for protection' offers guidelines on the risks of computer crime, amid concerns that SMEs are losing their way in the battle against hi-tech offences.
Although currently in draft, a revised version of the guidance incorporating feedback from business and industry is due early next year.
But experts believe the framework could also prove good news for resellers looking to tap into the rapidly expanding IT security market.
Tony Neate, NHTCU industry liaison officer, told vnunet.com that many companies, SMEs in particular, are unsure about how to deal with computer crime.
"This is about offering basic advice on the minimum requirements. It is not meant to be an absolute bible, just a reference," he said.
A survey conducted last year by the British Chambers of Commerce found that 60 per cent of SMEs had been victims of computer-related crime, and three-quarters were worried about the security issues of doing business online.
Chris McNab, technical director at security consultancy Matta Security, said: "Small businesses do not have the technical expertise to keep on top of the ever changing hacker landscape relating to internet viruses, worms and determined threats."
The complexity of networks, combined with outdated components, meant that implementing a secure business network is a significant challenge for many companies.
McNab suggested that this will open up opportunities to third parties for security products and related services.
Glen Morrison, managing director at Upgrade Options, said: "There's a great opportunity for all of this.
"Computer related crime is only going to increase and the vast majority of SMEs are woefully unprotected as are large corporations.
"SMEs tend to react to things that will lose them money, but security is one of those areas where people are playing catch up. I wonder how many of them have security on the boardroom agenda."
Richard Hollis, managing director of security consultancy Orthus, maintained that the channel should focus the SME security sell at a compliance and legislative level.
"There's a lot of confusion about legislation and SMEs are trying to clarify which standards are applicable to them," he explained.
"They have limited budgets and want to make sure that what they buy is in line with legislative requirements. The channel needs to focus its sales pitch."
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