Security ToolsThe causes of computer security vulnerabilities start with poor programming and end with poor computer user practices. Even the most security aware computer user can't keep a poorly designed system secure, and the best designed security software can't keep a user from exposing a whole network of computers to intrusion.
According to the International Computer Security Association 70 percent of sites with certified commercial Firewalls are still vulnerable to attack due to mis-configuration or improper deployment. On average companies were experiencing more attacks week to week, year to year.
Numerous tools are available, but where to start?
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Security Tips· - Privacy breaches continue to make headlines with increasing frequency. Bank of America, Ameritrade and now Time Warner have all taken a hit in customer perception after unencrypted backup tapes were lost or stolen. Experts say an ounce of prevention can easily prevent resulting lawsuits and damage to the company's reputation.
· - Miscreants are hijacking and linking thousands of compromised computers, called botnets, to launch coordinated attacks. Large enterprises may have hundreds of compromised hosts being used by a single attacker. And numerous attackers are likely using multiple sets of computers. Defending against botnet attacks is challenging and complex. Read Dave Dittrich's list of five practical steps you can take to identify and rid your network of bot infection.
What to Do?What things should a computer security administrator do to help secure a network? · - Perform an online security gap analysis to help determine basic vulnerabilities and legal liabilities.
· - Scan your network from the outside, or have it scanned, for vulnerabilities. Fix them. Scan again. Repeat until your network is invulnerable from the outside. Then start scans on the inside.
· - Install the appropriate security software on all PCs and Servers.
· - Generate and use good, solid passwords. One of the easiest ways to break into a system is via weak passwords.
Hot Topics· - A new type of extortion plot has been identified, unlike any other cyber extortion, according to the FBI. Hackers used an infected website to infect computers with a program that encrypts the users file. Then the criminal demanded money for the key to decrypt the files. Enhanced versions of this attack threaten large numbers of users with loss of important data, loss of money, or both.
· - According to the Anti Phishing Working Group (APWG), the use of keystroke loggers to steal computer users' personal and financial information has increased tenfold in the past six months. The keystroke logging software is surreptitiously placed on users' computers via browsers with unpatched known vulnerabilities.
· - Following the disappearance/loss of 40 backup tapes containing current and former employee data, Time Warner has announced that it will begin encrypting all the data it saves to backup tapes. The container holding the tapes was lost during shipment to an off-site records and storage facility managed by a third party.
· - Time Warner Inc. said Monday that data on 600,000 current and former employees stored on computer backup tapes was lost by an outside storage company and that the Secret Service is now investigating.
· - When evaluating ROI, consider that quantifiable results often can't be demonstrated for security, as more than one company has learned.
Was your information compromised? Do you know? Here are someplaces to get more information on the theft of 26.5 million names from the Veteran's Administration plus 2.2 million active service personnel.
Analyst Says VA Data Loss No Surprise
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