Integrated messaging and web security provider, MessageLabs, is entering into the small business market with the launch of its Small Business Solutions.

The US based company claims the product will address the challenges of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), such as limited IT resources, smaller budgets, lack of staff with security expertise and the increasing sophistication of threats.

According to the security firm the package is simple to install and requires minimal management, suiting the small business market. The solution aims to protect companies against email and web threats including viruses, spam, phishing attacks and spyware plus URL filtering for setting and enforcing corporate web usage policies.

Jos White, president of MessageLabs said: "Security has a direct impact on every critical part of a business including reputation, productivity and business continuity and unfortunately small businesses do not receive a proportionately smaller threat, in fact they face a greater volume with fewer resources to tackle it."

New research from MessageLabs shows that small businesses receive almost twice as much spam than medium sized companies and 1.3 times more than large organisations. The report also found that spam continued to rise this month peaking at 74 per cent of all email traffic - the highest level since early 2005.

Brian Czarny, vice president of product management at MessageLabs said: "Spam and phishing are the biggest threats to small companies and we will continue to see the levels of spam grow leading up to Christmas.

"Small businesses face the same challenges as large companies but have fewer resources to fight them. But, they are not getting the support from managed services so it makes sense for us to enter into this area to take the burden away from small organisations."

However, he argues that next year small businesses will increasingly face web based security threats, such as spyware and other web sourced malware.

"In 2007 more attention will be needed to tackle web threats to SMEs. At the moment there is not much focus on web security, this is mainly a concern for large companies. But, next year small organisations will need to start protecting end users against downloadable threats such as trojans and other spyware," he said.