Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hacker Series (part 2)

A final but perhaps unworkable solution to many problems is to ban the use of social networking sites from a company computer. IT security and data protection firm Sophos has published new research into the first six months of cybercrime in 2009. They reported existing and emerging security trends and identified that criminals have increased the focus of attacks on social networking sites. Several major recent attacks have been made because of information that was taken from an individual’s social networking site like Facebook or Twitter. IT teams are worried that employees share too much personal information via social networking sites even on their personal computers, putting their corporate infrastructure - and the sensitive data - at risk. The findings also indicate that a quarter of organizations have been exposed to spam, phishing or malware attacks via sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace. Internet security is a critical factor in an organization's performance, impacting everything from business continuity to cost management. The challenges with Internet security and privacy include hackers, worms, Spyware, firewalls, spam filters, object request brokers, authentication of users, encryption of data, security architecture, limits on protection from threats, and government regulations.

The Internet allows a company to potentially expand its customer base to any Internet enabled area of the world, but outside threats such as worms and viruses could potentially corrupt the data being transmitted to customers. Also, employees are able to conduct business from anywhere in the world, but unauthorized users can "hack" into confidential company data being transmitted over the web to or from the employee. When a corporation begins exchanging any type of business transaction over the Internet, the Internet becomes part of the "corporate computer network". Access is now available not only to the customers or employees, but potentially to anyone else on the Internet, so the scope of concern for security expands significantly (Bunton, 2005). The techniques used by the attackers highlight the dangers of a broader trend toward storing more data online, instead of on computers under your control.

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