- by Chad, "Dream", Weaver
It's that time again to look back at the past year and look forward to what’s coming in 2011. McAfee is doing just that with its recent look forward at the security threats that it thinks will the biggest security threats for the coming year. Some of the items on this list are a no brainer. Others should really be looked at closely as they represent some important insight for the next wave of cyber threats. I want to touch on a couple that everyone should really pay close attention; I am talking to you Mac users. Even if you don’t work in IT support or an enterprise office, some of these should be eye opening to even the most casual user.
Social Media: URL shorting services
You have all seen the tiny URLs that are used on sites like Twitter. These little space savers help you fit long complex URLs into a smaller, easier to read format. McAfee believes these short URLs will be the tool for malicious users, but using these links it is easier to fool someone into following a dangerous link by hiding it behind a shortened URL. They expect these to be used for many different malicious purposes in the future. What makes this scary is that the way to check if a hyperlink was bad was to see where it pointed. But, these hide the destination very well, making it easier to lead unknowing users to somewhere they wouldn’t have gone had they been able to see the destination.
Mobile phones and devices
With the spread of adoption of mobile devices in the enterprise, the rise of attacks aimed at these devices is expected in the new year. With more businesses adopting smart phones for their users, they become a soft spot in security. I would say the mail connected mobile phone has been a threat to businesses for a while now; McAfee is expecting directed attacks to increase against these devices. I think this one is really common sense but something everyone should start to be aware of.
Mac users this one is for you, you are not being ignored by cyber criminals any longer. Given the long standing belief that Apple products are impervious to attacks, and lack of education of these users on how to protect themselves, this makes an important statement. I would expect if these attacks begin to increase we might actually see some type of Mac antivirus products showing up on the market. Given all these factors they expect Apple botnets and Trojans to become very common in the new year.
McAfee is using products like Google TV as an example of a device that may have malicious applications crafted and widely deployed. These applications will aim to extract personal information and or gain control of these and other similar devices to add to the botnets that are spreading around the globe. This one just shows that any internet connected device these days could be exposed to threats and as these threats grow in complexity, almost nothing is safe. I mean, how would you go about protecting a device like this in the first place?
They also touched on the recent outbreak of what they called “hacktivism”, using hacking for a politically motivated purpose. We have all seen the recent news stories surrounding the Wikileaks site and how the managed to actually cause some actual down time to large organizations. They are predicting that these types of attacks will become more organized and spread through social networking in the future. This report gives a glimmer of insight as to what the people fighting these attacks everyday are expecting to see in the not too distant future, for someone concerned about network security it was a very interesting read I would recommend reading the full report. In the meantime, don't hesitate to contact us regarding the security of your business.
by Mark, "The Mind", Sarro.
In short, the answer is no. In a study put together by McAfee and the London-based Bloor Research titled “The Security Paradox” it was found that half of the 1,100 companies surveyed (51 to 1,000 employees) had encountered more security based incidents over the past year. In addition, 40 percent of the companies surveyed admitted to suffering data breaches, accounting for a 13 percent increase over the previous year. Furthermore, about 1/3 of the organizations surveyed reported that they suffered multiple attacks; half of which were considered serious enough to require up to 5 hours of investigation and systems restoration.
In an interview with Cari Jaquet, the director of solutions marketing for McAfee she stated that 58% of businesses spend less than three hours a week on security. A number that has dropped from 65% from the previous year... The economic climate has certainly played its part in contributing to that statistic, but when you stop and think about it: how much money are you saving when you suffer a security breach and have to spend the money for investigation and repair? What about the time lost from a lack of productivity? The impact of such an event can affect a business for years to come.
Trigon Technology has the solutions to help small to mid-size companies with securing their networks, data and information. We start by performing a thorough analysis of your environment and report on our findings and recommendations for remediation then we can implement the solutions and maintain your environment to ensure that you don’t suffer from these types of incidents.
Don’t be caught with your proverbial “guard down” as the impact that this could have on your business could be catastrophic. Whether your business is in Horsham, Paoli, or Warminster - Contact Trigon today!
Is it really time to worry about Intel's possible purchase of McAfee? Will the IT Support sector be faced with another monopoly? Will we all be out of jobs as Intel takes the next step to creating Skynet?
I don't think so. Now, I am not an economic guru, nor am I really that obsessed with the trends of the larger corporations that have products in the Information Technology fields. But this one caught my interest. Intel has chips in EVERYTHING; McAfee has software deployed by users EVERYWHERE. So this move was intriguing to me when I heard about it.
Checking out articles and blogs about this topic I found several opinions and observations. The first is 7.68 Billion dollars is a lot of money for McAfee. It seems like a bid to purposely outdistance the other companies sniffing around MacAfee, almost desperate.
Some feel that the whole purchase is just to get a new foothold and profit sources for Intel. For example, Intel did purchase a company that made microscopes and such, but got out of the business due to poor returns. Others seem to think that this is just another step in Intel's strategic buying initiatives.
Intel is no stranger to acquisitions; they have acquired many companies over the years of ranging technologies, all in the name of diversification and strategic goals. For example, back in 1997 Intel went on a buying spree. They bought stakes in the following companies: One Touch Systems, a maker of interactive broadcast technology; bought a 4.9 percent stake in Internet communications company CMG Information, and previously acquired multiprocessor module vendor Corollary. At the time the interest that Intel was expressing was in broadband and visual technologies. Two quotes from Intel representative at that time indicate their intents:
Gerald Holshammer, GM, Intel Internet and Media Architecture Labs:
"We are excited by the potential of distance learning as an application for the visual connected business PC. Building on our technology, One Touch is now able to deliver the same interactive content to corporate PC desktops as it has already been delivering to satellite-enabled classrooms."
Intel corporate spokesman Tom Waldrop:
"We think it's very important to have wide availability of residential broadband communications to help increase the value of home PCs going forward, for example, you recently saw investments from us in Covad (EN, Dec. 8), which has some ex-Intel employees in the area of DSL (digital subscriber line)." Charles McMinn, Chuck Haas and Dhruv Khanna have formed Covad to enable communications over plain old copper telephone lines. Intel is Covad's first customer.
These statements were made in 1997, 13 years ago. This shows the vision that Intel has for growth and the industry. Both the distance learning and a little thing called broadband have greatly impacted how we interact, work, learn, and shop. Maybe the next step is to put all that into a mobile device instead of the computer and laptops.
Most all observers and Intel itself all say that the move is another strategic step to better position the company in the market. With having McAfee in its corner it will have better access and control of the security it wants to put in place on its devices. Intel is showing a greater interest in the mobile device market from smart phones to tablets. Intel has embraced security as a requirement for its products. Another point is that McAfee has purchased several companies whose prevue is mobile security, so they are already heading down that road.
Will this be a good or bad thing, who knows? But purchasing a product with Intel chips and now possible proprietary security software or even hardware, will limit options for the users.
On the upside, if Intel follows through with their strategic view and gets involved with the security on the smart phones and pads, I will be a happier user. With more personal and financial information being manipulated through mobile devices, the greater the need for security on the mobile devices.
Jared Newman of Pcworld summed this well in his blog Intel's McAfee Buy: 3 Things it Could Mean:
The Boring Answer: Intel Wants McAfee's Acquisitions
As TechCrunch points out, McAfee recently acquired Trust Digital and TenCube, both of which deal in mobile security. The former provides enterprise protection for smartphones, including the iPhone, and the latter is the maker of WaveSecure, software that's available to consumers for Android, Blackberry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile phones.
The Wacky Answer: Intel Computing
Let's not forget Meego, the operating system Intel and Nokia are developing together for smartphones, tablets and netbooks. For Meego to take off, it'll need to be secure, and Intel will have better luck with its own security company.
The Realistic Answer: Security for a Changing Intel
A comment to Reuters from Renee James, head of Intel's software and services group, is most telling: "We have lots of activities going on in growing connected devices ... from connected television to mobile devices," she said, adding that Intel believes it can enhance security with hardware.
Intel's press release speaks of "a product" to be introduced next year. Given Intel's push into television with Google TV, and mobile devices with the upcoming Medfield smartphone chip, my guess is that Intel will launch one security product that's tied to all its new hardware ventures, a kind of guarantee that when you buy a connected device powered by Intel, it'll be safe from threats on the Internet.
Today, there is some relatively big news in the IT support world. In what ended up being a surprising move, Intel purchased McAfee, for, according to various sources, approximately 8 billion dollars (an amount of money I'll never see). Intel is said to have purchased the antivirus software company in order to sure up hardware security in their processors and in order to bridge the gap between software and chips when it comes to protecting against threats. According to electronista.com "Intel is most interested in security for mobile and embedded hardware, which often aren't as secure as full-size computers."
Pretty solid move, I'd say...
It will sure up PC and system security, and make the lives of those in IT Support & IT Security much easier, hopefully.
The deal, however, is not yet solidified. The board members of Intel and McAfee have both approved the merger, but there is still an awful lot to be finalized - including McAfee's share holders giving the go-ahead. I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens, but it should turn out to be quite interesting. Computer security may be changing in the near future...
Anyway, in the meantime, if you need help bolstering your IT Security, contact Trigon Technology today - at 1-888-494-TRIGON or by email at solutions@TrigonIT. With Trigon, you can expect IT to happen!