Trojan activity via social networking site Linkedin is on the rise and is the biggest single end-user security threat, a new study reveals.

The ESET semi-annual threat report is based on end-user device activity analyzed within ThreatSense.NET, ESET's in-the-cloud malware collection system, including also interactions across a wide range of Australian businesses, government organisations, SMB's and other organisations over a six month period.

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The report shows that from January to August this year, the biggest single threats came from the group of malicious software commonly grouped as Trojans.

Trojans are typically used by criminals to steal data.

According to the report, Trojan activity has been on the rise over the past six months. Small to medium businesses are being targeted in particular, and especially via LinkedIn, a software platform increasingly used by people seeking work opportunities or employers looking to find staff.

ESET senior executives were recently in Sydney for the opening of the company's first Australian office and the launch of a renewed partner push.

ESET Asia-Pacific marketing director, Parvinder Walia, said the report highlighted the need for businesses to be ready for unknown threats, and to create a defence-in-depth approach for security.

"The malware threat is not insurmountable, even for smaller businesses which often don't have in-house IT or security staff," he said.

"It is important to remember, that with the available security software, small to medium businesses can achieve the same level of threat coverage as the larger enterprises - and therefore continue to access important applications such as LinkedIn. "They can also deploy antivirus solutions without dramatically stifling their network and computing resources and can protect against zero day or unknown threats."

The company also announced the appointment of Florin Vasile to the role of Country Manager, Australia, to grow the local business and provide renewed focus on developing the ESET partner program. Florin said:" "When we look at the Threat Report's findings, and more generally at the landscape for information security, it is critical that end user customers, including small to medium businesses, establish practices that enable key applications to be run across their networks without taking up considerable resources to do it," he said.

"We will be working closely with our partner base to make sure our customers understand the options available to them when faced with an ever increasing complex threat landscape."