March 2008


Businesses Under Attack

Malware is becoming stealthier, but it’s not just home computer users that are paying the price of underhanded criminal tactics. Businesses, too, are forced to wage the war against spyware and malware.

This year, as many as 40 percent of organizations will be targeted by financially-motivated cyber crime, research from Gartner has predicted. While trends show that attacks on corporations will continue to rise, they are also becoming more specific in nature.

According to the Computer Security Institute’s 2007 Computer Crime and Security Survey, one-fifth of companies who reported suffering from one or more security incidents said that they had suffered from a targeted attack – a malware attack aimed exclusively at their organization.

“Cyber criminal gangs are increasingly motivated by the potential gains from extortion, theft of credit cards details, and abuse of private information. Sophisticated, persistent groups…are targeting specific enterprises to steal intellectual property and conduct fraud or other money-making activities,” according to a December 2007 cyber attack report by the British-North American Committee of the Atlantic Council.

The current state of the Web is ripe for committing such cyber crime and fraud. Contributing to the problem is the rise in the use of Web 2.0 technologies in the office place, without taking measures to secure the associated risks.

"Today, the Internet is beleaguered with threats such as phishing, viruses, spyware, and botnets, all threatening to challenge your business operations,” said Chenxi Wang, a principal analyst with Forrester, in an Information Week article. “The need for more effective Web protection has never been greater.”

The present threat landscape calls for powerful solutions in place before unwanted infiltrators strike; being proactive in having tough security measures, employee training sessions, and response plans in place before attacks occur can alleviate risks.

While companies need to take added steps to secure their systems, employees, and consumers, many of the security basics necessary for home users – like having effective firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software in place – also apply in the business world.

With Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware anti-spyware, corporations can choose between security for their individual computer stations, or centralized protection control for an entire network of computer users.

In mid February, Lavasoft released the new version of its anti-spyware software optimized for networks, Ad-Aware Enterprise 2.0. The new version offers all of the features of Ad-Aware 2007 Pro, combined with a centralized, efficient management console, protecting companies from costly malware attacks. For more product details, visit the Enterprise 2.0 product page on Lavasoft’s website.

Aside from security software, what additional steps can companies take to prepare for cyber intrusions and attacks? The National Cyber Security Industry Alliance, through its StaySafeOnline.org website, has practical tips to keep your small business safe.
 
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28 Percentage of survey respondents who tried to remove themselves from a spammer’s list by clicking on a link within the spam message.
Source: 2007 Consumer Reports State of the Net Survey

E-mail spamming is the practice of indiscriminately sending recipients mass quantities of unwanted e-mail messages. Spam can contain phishing scams, worms, viruses and malware. Spamming is now seen in many mediums – instant messaging, blogs, mobile phones, Internet forums, and more.
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