Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Protecting Yourself from Escalating Network Threats

Posted by Mark Brousseau

While firms are cutting costs anyway they can, security professionals running IT departments are unwilling to let budgets compromise their ability to fend off malware, spam and denial of service attacks with good reason.

The volume, severity and sophistication of attacks have never been greater, and an integrated security suite that includes a firewall, intrusion detection system, network access control and spam filtering has never been more important.

As much as 85 percent of malicious computer code reaching companies’ computers is now coming from Websites, according to research. Google recently found that the number of infected pages returned by web searches increased from 0.3 per cent to 1.3 per cent within just 12 months.

Yet IT departments are being pressured in the down economy to trim cost yet maintain network integrity, essentially, doing more with less.

And while most organizations have web filtering, most have not set it up to cope with fast-moving content. Websites and online services, including social networking sites and user generated content, have now overtaken both spam e-mail and removable media, such as disks or USB drives, as the main way malware is spread to PCs.

The threat is made more serious still, because conventional IT security measures are not well placed to protect against web-based “attack vectors“. The vast majority of businesses have yet to take any steps to protect themselves against web-based malware. Standard desktop anti-malware scanners are only a partial answer as they are generally too slow to prevent malicious code reaching the host PC.

And Gartner estimates that just 15 percent of U.S. and European Union companies run malware filtering of any kind for web content, although as many as 70 percent run URL (address) filtering, to block access to sites containing unsuitable content. As a solution, Secpoint offers Secpoint Protector 5.5 UTM with Anti Spam, Grey Listing, Antivirus, Web Filter and Intrusion Prevention. The solution is designed to operate independently from an end-user’s network, without putting any additional processor strain on it. In fact, you can even link two units or more to protect data centers and larger networks in real-time.

What do you think? Post your comments below.

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