Posts Tagged ‘internet security’

Congressional efforts to introduce cybersecurity legislation have failed this summer, at least for the time being, but the private sector has hardly been idle in creating defenses against hackers and viral threats.

Some details of this security activity must necessarily be kept secret, because cyber-war defenders cannot afford to tip their hand to hackers. Online security is analogous to a military intelligence operation at every level, from vendors providing anti-viral solutions for home users, to massive corporate security structures.

This makes it difficult to put together a broad picture of private security efforts, but Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, estimated before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee in February that private sector security spending totaled an astonishing $80 billion in 2011.

This expense covers a constantly evolving defensive architecture, which must cope with eternally mutating viral threats and innovative hacking techniques. Most personal users can get a faint impression of how quickly this game of cat-and-mouse plays out by noting how frequently their personal anti-virus software is updated.

Multiply that sense of urgency by a billion, and you have an idea of the challenge faced by top-level Internet security experts.

Nothing to sneeze at

Those little personal-computer antivirus programs are nothing to sneeze at. A huge amount of work goes into designing and updating them. Top security software companies, such as Symantec and McAfee, publish enormous databases of viral threats, which they update daily. McAfee offers visitors to its website a global virus map, and a viral threat level indicator similar to the one used by the Department of Homeland Security for terrorist threats. Symantec has a global risk timeline, which graphically tracks the detection and defeat of viral threats from day to day.

Market research firm Canalys projects that 2012 will see a nearly 9 percent increase in sales of security software, bringing the global value of that market to $22.9 billion. Heated competition from many different vendors for a share of that immense market has kept the cost of security software for home users remarkably low. In fact, programs from some vendors can be downloaded for free, while even the more powerful and highly regarded packages for home users cost about the same as a video game.

And yet, some observers believe that even this enormous private-sector investment in security is not sufficient. A study prepared by Bloomberg News, in cooperation with a research firm called the Ponemon Institute, concluded that a core group of industries and government agencies would need to boost security spending by nearly 800 percent to achieve 95 percent protection against electronic attack.

Financial companies were said to require a 1,300 percent increase in spending to achieve such a level of safety. The Ponemon Institute estimated that the current average level of safety from online attack is only about 69 percent.

Interestingly, respondents to this study had to be promised anonymity to participate, because it is so risky to discuss the details of cybersecurity programs.

Storm-tossed electronic ocean

This, of course, led to calls for government to compel the necessary increases in security spending, through some combinations of incentives and mandates. Part of the problem is that computer systems have become tightly connected through the Internet. A high-security system exposes itself to danger by allowing connections from a lower-security system. This leads high-security system operators to desire minimum standards of integrity for every system they interact with.

That was much easier to arrange when “online” connections involved modems dialing into carefully protected phone numbers. Now that online interconnectivity is a real-time, always-on sea of high-speed communications, security threats are greatly magnified. Nearly every computer device has a theoretical connection to every other device.

Yesterday’s critical systems were fortresses with occasional leaks in their data plumbing; now they’re tiny boats forever adrift in a storm-tossed electronic ocean. And we have yet to witness the Internet equivalent of a hurricane sweeping across that sea of data: an orchestrated cyber-attack launched by a hostile foreign power.

One of the greatest concerns facing private-sector security operations is the question of legal liability. Legislators want private teams to coordinate with each other, and the government, to detect and defeat large-scale online threats. Private corporations worry this could get them sued by angry users for violating their privacy.

The value of the data at risk from electronic sabotage is difficult to determine, and no corporate manager relishes the thought of conducting that evaluation before a jury, with millions of dollars in damages on the line. It’s difficult to determine what a reasonable investment in defense measures should be, when the value of the digital property at risk cannot be readily calculated.

Another serious problem facing private security teams is the danger of making their defenses so tough that legitimate users find it difficult to access their systems, compromising the value of the products and services they offer. There’s an old saying in the computer world that 100 percent security can be achieved only by unplugging your computer. No profitable electronic enterprise wants to risk “unplugging” itself from the Internet, by implementing security procedures its customers find excessively inconvenient.

Even the strongest proponents of cybersecurity legislation acknowledge that the private sector will take a leadership role in protecting America’s online infrastructure. The challenge is to achieve the right level of  information sharing and data security without imposing ruinous costs on private enterprises, or compromising the flexibility of the fast-moving online security industry by submerging it beneath a bureaucratic quagmire.

Business managers are keenly interested in defending their operations from serious threats, but less enthusiastic about spending massive sums to buy protection from hypothetical menaces. On the Internet, hypothesis can become practical reality with astonishing speed.

By: John Hayward

AVG Technologies, a leading provider of Internet and mobile security, recently announced the publication of the results of management usability testing of IT endpoint security software products for small businesses*. In tests, AVG’s Internet Security Business Edition 2012 was rated Best-in-Class Usability against competing security software suites tested for performing a number of software management tasks.

The comparative evaluation, which tested similar products from ten of the leading security brands, was commissioned by AVG and conducted by The Tolly Group, one of the world’s leading independent product testing labs. The evaluation underlines the credentials of AVG’s latest endpoint protection for managing small business networks – for which ease-of-use is of paramount importance.

Compared to competing software tested overall, AVG Business Internet Edition 2012 presents a number of SMB benefits and advantages. Among those highlighted by The Tolly Group are: the ease with which users can locate and deploy protection to a new endpoint; the simplicity of creating a new policy (for example to identify a new potentially unwanted program and allow an exception for a single endpoint); the straightforward execution of remote cleaning of an infected machine; and the effortless ability to configure updates to include application, engine and patches.

The Tolly Group recommends that users seek a security software solution that provides robust protection in an easy-to-install and easy-to-use package. This allows users to save time using the software while faster deployment can reduce risk of viruses spreading across the business network… says the report.

“The security needs of small and medium businesses (SMBs) are no different from those of major enterprise,” said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, chief technology officer for AVG. “Just because SMBs don’t have the same IT resources available to manage installation and policy updates should not mean they have to settle for second best.”

“Our testing showed that AVG’s solution can save users valuable management time and is one of the easiest to use for such common tasks as running scans and installing software across a small business network,” said Kevin Tolly, founder of The Tolly Group.

AVG Internet Security Business Edition 2012 is designed to help SMBs deal with an evolving threat landscape. Features include innovative combination of improved speed, protection, cost and time savings; smart scanning for fewer interruptions and smaller footprint; antivirus protection and Internet security across multiple touch-points (from e-mail and the web to emerging threats like information theft, social engineering and use of social media for business) and easy-to-use centralised management.

The ease of management and usability evaluation from The Tolly Group complements a 2011 review by SC Magazine that gave the solution five stars for value-for-money.

You can read the detailed report from The Tolly Group here: http://tolly.com/DocDetail.aspx?DocNumber=212102

*Tests performed in November 2011, findings compiled by Tolly Group in February 2012.

About AVG Technologies
AVG’s mission is to simplify, optimize and secure the Internet experience, providing peace of mind to a connected world. AVG’s powerful yet easy-to-use software and online services put users in control of their Internet experience. By choosing AVG’s software and services, users become part of a trusted global community that benefits from inherent network effects, mutual protection and support. AVG has grown its user base to approximately 108 million active users as of December 31, 2011 and offers a product portfolio that targets the consumer and small business markets and includes Internet security, PC performance optimization, online backup, mobile security, identity protection and family safety software.

SOURCE: AVG Technologies

Securing the data in a network is always very important because you may lose the privacy if your data content has no security. There are some companies that provide security services for IT organizations. You can find them in your local adverts. You can also search over internet if anyone can provide you services online. Clone systems is a kind of company that provides these services.
Network security is a high priority because many hackers try to infect as many computers possible so they can get an arm of zombie machines for attacks. For corporations, its to stop industry sabotage and/or espionage. Imagine what happens if they lost network integrity at banks, power grids, stock exchanges, etc.
How would you like multiple people on your network connection, hogging up your internet and slowing everything down? How would you like people constantly crashing your internet? How would you like getting a huge bill from your ISP? How would you like people logging all the information going through your network and ruin your credit, steal your identity, etc?
In a way, this is like a car mechanic, except for computers:They make sure no bad things occur, and fix all issues before they arise.Also, NW Security ensures people don’t go on illegal sites.

Nothing bad can really happen. Unless you have a wired network. It is highly unlikely some one will have access to your information. The only real benefit I see from having a secure wireless network is to avoid others from using your wi-fi connection.
Amongst the nasties that can happen are
1) Someone uses you as a gateway to the Internet. If you have a limit/month on downloads you might find yourself way over the top in a very short time.
2) Someone accesses your router, changes various parameters and then sets a password. You can always reset the router but from your question I doubt if you would know what was happening when your Internet access suddenly stopped.
An unsecured network is open to attack from any number of happy go lucky idiots who at the very least benefit from free internet access via your freely provided service – If your ISP imposes usage limits for the service they provide to you, then your limit will mysteriously be eaten up before your expected limit is reached, meaning that you will incur additional costs for every byte over your limit, to real hackers who will use your stored information for illegal purposes. You may be lumbered with unexpected bills – goods, etc all of which will have to be paid for by yourself.