By Dennis Fisher  |  Posted 2004-02-02 Print this article Print

All this has left many in the industry wondering when the tide will turn. Much of the problem, experts say, is that security still does not get the attention it deserves inside enterprises. "I think [that executives] are aware that something needs to be done but not what," said Karen Worstell, chief security officer at AT&T Wireless Services Inc., in Redmond, Wash. "We have to tell them that its not paranoia. Its good sense."

Dan Geer, principal scientist at Verdasys Inc., said in his keynote at the Black Hat Briefings conference here that he believes its time for a kind of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the Internet. But to work properly, the center would need real-time data from across the Internet, which would require victims to report whats happened to them, something that is exceedingly rare right now.

For some companies, educating executives and other employees about security issues and best practices has been just as important as any piece of technology for improving security. Premera Blue Cross, a health care company in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., requires that every employee go through a 90-minute training session on security and sends out regular e-mail flashes reminding workers of policies and procedures and warning of new threats.


The estimated cost of the worst viruses

  • Sobig ($37.1 billion)
  • MyDoom ($22.6 billion)*
  • Klez ($19.8 billion)
  • Mimail ($11.5 billion)
  • Yaha ($11.5 billion)
  • Swen ($10.4 billion)
  • Love Bug ($8.8 billion)
  • Bugbear ($3.9 billion)
  • Dumaru ($3.8 billion)
  • SirCam ($3 billion)
  • As of Thursday, Jan. 29 Source: mi2g Intelligence Unit

  • "We want everyone to know about security. The average top executive doesnt understand security, but we have to change that," said Allen Kerr, vice president of IT infrastructure and information security officer at Premera. "Security is an imperative. Its no longer just a good idea."


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