Security Relaxes as IT Threats Increase

 
 
By Allan Alter  |  Posted 2005-09-15 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Companies are facing IT threats at startling rates as IT's efforts to protect data continues to lag, according to a recent survey. (CIOInsight.com)

The news on the IT security front is alarming. Recent months have seen one report after another of companies exposing, selling or simply losing customer data to criminals.

The reason: The security threat has changed, according to Bruce Schneier, CTO of Counterpane Internet Security Inc., of Mountain View, Calif.
In the past three years, he says, "criminals have taken over from hackers." The latest twist in cybercrime is online extortion.
The August 2 issue of "Newsweek International" reported that online gambling sites have been hit by extortionists who threaten to shut down their Web sites with denial-of-service attacks unless the gambling sites pay off the blackmailers. According to Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, an IT security educational organization located in Bethesda, Md., banks and online retailers have also quietly paid off online extortionists, whose demands have, to date, ranged as high as $1 million. Click here to read about an industry survey showing that SMBs lack minimal security.
And in June, the U.K.s National Infrastructure Security Co-Ordination Centre warned that Trojan horses (transmitted by e-mail or through Web sites) that appear to come from legitimate sources, and so can evade antivirus software and firewalls, were specifically targeting individuals who work with sensitive "commercially or economically valuable information." The latest update from IBM Corp.s "Global Business Security Index" indicates that such targeted attacks are a fast-growing percentage of the 237 million infected e-mails and attacks perpetrated in the first half of 2005. In light of these reports, our latest security survey of nearly 300 IT executives presents some pretty grim findings. Three out of ten respondents admit that their companys attitude toward security has become more relaxed as the events of Sept. 11 fade into the past. Two-thirds report some kind of security breach, from penetration by viruses or spyware, to lost data and inappropriate access. Read the full story on CIOInsight.com: Security Relaxes as IT Threats Increase Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.
 
 
 
 
Executive Editor

Allan Alter has been a specialist on information technology management, strategy and leadership for many years. Most recently, he was editor-in-chief and the director of new content development for the MIT Sloan Management Review. He has been a columnist and department editor at Computerworld, where he won three awards from the American Society of Business Press Editors. Previously he was a special projects editor, senior editor and senior writer for CIO magazine. Earlier, Alter was an associate editor for Mass High Tech. He has edited two books: The Squandered Computer: Evaluating the Business Alignment of Business Technologies and Redesigning the Firm.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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