The beauty of information technology is that users generally benefit from its evolution.
The beauty of information technology is that users generally benefit from its evolution. Hardware prices drop as functionality increases. Software becomes more agile and productive. Labor-intensive manual processes are automated, freeing up people to focus on other tasks.
In the case of network security, however, one very small user group is benefiting while the rest of us suffer-hackers. These individuals get their kicks by gaining network access and destroying other peoples data. Unfortunately for the millions of victims who suffer at the hands of these criminals, hackers are getting better and better at their craft.
Case in point: Since its introduction on January 25, the MyDoom virus has become the most active ever, according to MessageLabs, which has caught more than 54 million copies of it. Worse yet, this marauder has opened doors for two more viruses, Doomjuice and Deadhat. Unlike MyDoom, these two viruses do not travel by e-mail. Instead, they randomly scan network addresses and upload themselves to any machines they find that are infected with MyDoom. As a result, the hackers are able to control infected PCs remotely.
Lost and stolen data is another enormous problem. Stolen laptops are the second-largest source of corporate data loss - and that doesnt include those that get left behind in airports and hotel lobbies. Unscrupulous contractors or employees steal business-critical information by e-mailing it to blind destinations, or storing it on removable media and walking away. The frequent service calls associated with PC problems yield yet another opportunity for outsiders to access and remove data.