IBM has unveiled patch management, anti-spam and anti-virus services for mid-sized companies. Mid-sized firms are tired of the “”neverending race”” to keep operating systems updated with individual virus patches, says Beth Feeney of IBM Global Services in Armonk, N.Y. According to mi2g, a U.K.-based

security firm, by the end of March, MyDoom, Bagel and Nesky viruses had caused an estimated $85 billion (US) in lost productivity, clean-up expenses and lost sales.

Anti-virus firm Sophos and Sun Microsystems Inc. have also announced a managed spam and virus offering for high-volume messaging environments like telecommunication carriers, universities and large enterprises.

Though security tools have become commoditized, the market is ripe for outsourced offerings, especially as a springboard to other services, said Michael O’Neil, managing director of IDC Canada in Toronto.

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