Conficker, Cut Cables Show Digital World's FragilityBy Frank Ohlhorst | Posted 2009-04-10 Email Print
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Worms, viruses, cyber-attacks and physical sabotage demonstrate that now is the time to secure IT assets and plan for contingencies.
In the last few days, a collection of events has spelled out how susceptible our data infrastructure really is. It all started with tales of the Conficker worm and has now come to a head with the reported sabotage of fiber-optic cables that blacked out much of Silicon Valley. Add to that the recent intrusions into the electrical grid, spam-clogged communications and the growth of scareware-based fraud and it becomes easy to see how vulnerable critical technology has become to interruption.
While current security technology has done much to protect critical data systems, it is clear that more is needed and the combination of electrical grid intrusions and suspected sabotage in Silicon Valley is sure to culminate in government intervention.
While some will wait for the government to take action, most will realize that the time for action is now! But the big question becomes what action to take and whom to turn to. Luckily, the answers are surprisingly simple, at least when it comes to protecting your business interests.
First off, businesses (and consumers) need to invest in security technology that prevents malware from wreaking havoc—luckily there are dozens of vendors in the market that make that simple. But installing the latest anti-virus product isn't going to be enough to protect systems. Users will need to consider incorporating anti-fraud technologies that include spam filtering, DLP (data leakage protection), content filtering and encryption.
Content and spam filtering can go a long way in preventing malware infestations in the first place, while DLP can prevent personal or business information from being leaked out to characters unknown. Encryption of critical files goes one step further by protecting any data that may be leaked out.
The concept here is not new; it's called a layered approach to protecting data, and has been employed by large businesses for some time. Even so, many small businesses and individual users are unaware of the advantages offered by a layered approach and have resisted investing in additional security technologies. For resellers, that means an opportunity to assemble security technology into packages to meet those customer needs. Those packages can consist of software-only solutions, or a combination of inexpensive security appliances and software to provide protection.
Yet, the most important element here is knowledge—users need to know that they are proactively protected from malware, intrusions, malicious Websites, data leakage and fraud. Users should expect no less from a security solution and those reselling the technology.