Network Security Essentials

Network security problems are part of daily IT life these days. There are myriad issues, from patching Windows machines to stopping worms and protecting your assets from nasty insider threats. Here's a round up of the hottest recent network security news.

More essentials: Network routers, desktop virtualization, IPv6, 4G

What would your ultimate network security look like?

Is it possible that given a clean slate and likely millions of dollars, engineers could come up with the ultimate in secure network technology? The scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) think so and this week announced the Clean–Slate Design of Resilient, Adaptive, Secure Hosts (CRASH) program that looks to lean heavily on human biology to develop super-smart, highly adaptive, supremely secure networks.

Unique network security algorithm stops worms from spreading

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University say they can block the spread of self-propagating worms on corporate networks while keeping infected machines online so they can continue performing their legitimate duties.

Cloud computing exacerbates government security issues

While it is the same in many public and private corporations, government cloud computing projects can be a double-edged sword: while cloud computing offers many benefits, it can also create numerous information security risks. That was the bottom line from a report issued today by the watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office that stated until rules that specifically address information security for cloud computing are developed, federal agencies may be hesitant to implement cloud computing, and those programs that have been implemented may not have effective information security controls in place placing information at risk.

Honeypots for hacker detection

Most corporate networks lack serious oversight, that is, no one is really watching. Watching the network and computer systems is expensive, overwhelming and fraught with false positives. No wonder then that insider attacks go undetected for months, malware proliferates stealthily and hackers can spend their time gradually infiltrating deeper and deeper, undetected. It's simply too hard to discern between legitimate activities and illegitimate or malicious activities. Without context, wading in the enormous volume of logs or network traffic leads to information overload. How to tell who's up to no good? Well, you shall know them by their deeds.

Most firms face security 'red alert' as XP SP2's retirement looms

Three out of four companies will soon face more security risks because they continue to run the soon-to-be-retired Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), a report published recently claimed. According to Toronto, Canada-based technology provider Softchoice, 77% of the organizations it surveyed are running Windows XP SP2 on 10% or more of their PCs. Nearly 46% of the 280,000 business computers Softchoice analyzed rely on the aged operating system.

Ultimate guide to network access control products

Despite the fact that network access control hasn't yet lived up to its initial promise, network access control is very much alive, as evidenced by the fact that 12 vendors participated in our network access control test, including industry leaders Microsoft, HP, Juniper, McAfee, Symantec and Alcatel-Lucent.

Quiz: Do you know IT security?

Security is the No.1 priority for corporate networking executives, which means staying on top of the broad range of technologies used to fulfill the predominant model of network protection - defense in depth. Here is a quiz that draws questions from the vast spectrum of security options, including authentication, cryptograpy, firewalls, VPNs and more. Keep track of your score and see how well you do at the end.

The six greatest threats to US network security

It's not a very good day when a security report concludes: Disruptive cyber activities expected to become the norm in future political and military conflicts. But such was the case today as the Government Accountability Office today took yet another critical look at the US federal security systems and found most of them lacking.

FBI: Finding criminal data on cell phones and game consoles is tough

Non-traditional communications devices such as smartphones and game consoles pose a particular problem to law enforcement agencies trying to milk them for forensic data that reveals criminal activity, attendees were told at the 2010 Computer Forensics Show in New York City.

"Help, I am stranded!" scam haunting social networks

The FBI and its Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) today said they are seeing an uptick in the complaints about online scammers trying to steal your money posing as a good friend left stranded somewhere in need of quick cash.

Secrecy of cloud computing providers raises IT security risks

Despite how attractive cloud computing can sound as an outsourcing option, there's widespread concern that it presents a security and legal minefield for businesses and government. Cloud service providers often cultivate an aura of secrecy about data centers and operations, claiming this stance improves their security even if it leaves everyone else in the dark.

Four critical US cybersecurity projects that need constant pressure

When it comes to our nation's information systems and cyber infrastructures, the hackers never stop trying to smash it and the government should never stop trying to protect it. But while threats to information systems are evolving, federal information systems in particular are not keeping up to consistently thwart threats.

Study: Advanced threats a growing problem for security

Most organizations have been the target of an advanced threat, according to results of a study released this week by Ponemon Institute and sponsored by NetWitness. The research includes the responses of 591 IT and IT security practitioners and found 83% believe their organization has been the target of an advanced threat, with 71% reporting an increase in advanced threats over the past 12 months. The majority of those polled, 70%, said that advanced threats suggest a new, more dangerous threat landscape.

Report: CISOs Keep Breach Costs Lower

Companies continue to pay a high price to clean up the mess created by a data breach, but having a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) may offer some protection. That is the conclusion of a study released Monday by the Ponemon Institute, a Michigan-based consultancy that conducts independent research on privacy, data protection and information security policy.

Is Network Security a Dead End Career?

Hard to believe that I ever thought I would be sitting here wondering about the state of security as a viable career path. I have built my career up as a security dude/hacker for years, but lately I have been noticing a few things: Vendors are getting really good at detecting network anomalies and the interfaces are getting easier and easier to program. Threat vectors have become so large that now we look at a multi-tiered attack surface instead of a laser-beamed attack point.

The importance of sharing security know-how

In an ongoing effort to promote a more secure computing environment, software giant Microsoft has increased its efforts to share its in-house SDL [secure development lifecycle] practice throughout the industry. Adoption of this secure architecture would help reduce the number of vulnerabilities as well as promote continuous improvements, it said.

DHS has dropped the ball on network security: report

Bleak doesn't begin to describe the picture painted by this morning's news coverage of a 35-page government report scoring - and excoriating - the nation's ongoing inability to protect critical network operations from cyber attack.

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