The Internet has been around less than a decade, and already it has proved to be the quintessential double-edged sword-a potent weapon as well as a useful tool. The Melissa virus unleashed in 1999 cost companies as much as $385 million, followed shortly after by the Love Bug in 2000, which infected more than 10 million systems and cost businesses an estimated $10 billion.

For the fourth year in a row, more security professionals (70%) cited their Internet connection as a frequent point of attack than cited their internal systems (31%), according to a survey by the San Francisco-based Computer Security Institute and the FBI. Threats of unauthorized Internet access to corporate systems, denial of service, and tampering with company and customer information are only expected to grow.

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