Security Beyond the Desktop

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Robert Siciliano

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A defensive posture no longer suffices for the protection of the devices and data that have become ubiquitous in today’s digital world.

Rather than simply rushing to install defenses on computers, in networks, and in the cloud, we urgently need to step back and take a broader view of the security landscape, in order to take more calculated preemptive measures.

McAfee Security Journal is a publication intended to keep security executives and technical personnel informed about various cutting edge topics in order to help them make better-informed security decisions.

Regular, everyday computer users can increase their security intelligence by having a read. The report details the following highlights on the evolution of cyber threats and the necessity of a more inclusive security strategy:

The human link: There is an ever-widening disparity between the sophistication of networks and the people who use them. When direct attacks on an organization’s defenses fail, cybercriminals often use social engineering toolkits to exploit unsuspecting employees.

Educating employees on secure practices is not enough—organizations need to install a proper framework to empower and encourage employees to make a habit of using these practices.

Mobile is everywhere: Mobile attacks are becoming more sophisticated every year. Instead of rendering a device unusable, hackers are now finding ways to steal sensitive personal data that can be lucratively exploited.

Hackers are also broadening their target range to include less common mobile systems, such as the GPS system in your car, for example.

Cloud-based apps on the rise: The popularity of cloud-based applications has made them an attractive target for hackers and other cybercriminals. However, the cloud is also a highly efficient way to scale security and protection for a business.

Leveraged correctly, the cloud both helps reduce your security costs and can actually increase your overall security posture.

Data is king: Whether it’s stored on a smartphone, in the cloud, or on a network, cybercriminals are after your data. It is crucial that organizations take proper precautions to secure this data.

Learn from mistakes: For those who take the time to study it, history is a great teacher. Analytics help identify patterns, vulnerabilities, and even motives.

Understanding these concepts can help prevent attacks in the future. For a full copy of the McAfee Security Journal: Security Beyond the Desktop, visit McAfee.com.

Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Evangelist to McAfee. See him discussing identity theft on YouTube.(Disclosures)

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