Articles about Security

Next-gen firewalls need to evolve to avoid becoming irrelevant

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When Gartner coined the phrase "next generation firewall", in 2003, it captured a then-nascent approach to traffic classification and control. Combining traditional packet filtering with some application control and IPS layered on top, today's 'legacy' NGFWs do pretty much what they say on the tin.

However, while NGFWs continue to be a vital part of an organization’s protection, they were designed for a time before advanced targeted threats started attacking our enterprises -- threats which often go undetected until it's too late.

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Getting the basics of network security right

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With every new breach, network security hits the news, yet many people and companies still don’t get the basics right.

UK-based wireless network specialist Exigent Networks has produced an infographic that looks at the importance of network security and offers tips and expert advice.

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What's your password backup plan?

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After news broke earlier this month that hackers had gotten their hands on nearly 7 million Dropbox login credentials, the familiar media chorus of password safety tips soon followed. You likely saw the headlines: "How to Change Your Dropbox Password". "It’s Time to Enable Two-Step Authentication on Everything". "Never Ever Reuse Your Passwords".

It’s not that good password hygiene isn’t important. Enabling two-factor authentication, not using the same passwords for multiple sites, changing passwords every couple of months -- these are all aspects of a smart and savvy approach to protecting the files and data that you store online. But they’re not foolproof. As hackers grow increasingly sophisticated, even users following all the "rules" may see their login credentials compromised as part of an attack. Additionally, for companies whose employees use consumer-facing platforms, enforcing password safety rules can sometimes be a challenge. Whether it’s a result of hacker expertise or human error, when passwords fail, companies must make sure they have a backup plan in place.

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How multimodal biometrics improves border control security

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The use of biometrics by border control agencies worldwide is now commonplace. Many countries around the world are deploying or have already deployed biometric border security systems for accurate and fast identification of citizens and foreign travelers.

Border security biometric systems include national database deployments in entrance and exit systems, immigration, and e-passports, to track and manage the flow of humans across borders. More sophisticated technologies like multimodal biometrics identification are now considered more reliable to improve border control security.

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Samaritans Radar puts Twitter users on suicide watch

Samaritans Radar puts Twitter users on suicide watch

We all go through difficult times, and it can often be hard to cope with what life throws at us. Whether you're going through a particularly tricky patch and feeling low, or you're struggling with depression, it can be helpful to know that there are people you can talk to. But reaching out to people can be hard and it often falls to friends to notice signs of someone in trouble so they can be there when required.

Everyone would like to think they would notice when a friend starts to post worrying messages online, but the sheer volume of content we all consume each day means that it is easy to miss something important. Suicide prevention charity, Samaritans, has launched a new online venture, Samaritans Radar, which monitors the Twitter feeds of those who sign up, looking out for "potentially worrying tweets".

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Feedly kills URL shortener to improve speed, security, and privacy

Feedly kills URL shortener to improve speed, security, and privacy

Back in January feedly -- the RSS reader that tried to fill the gap left by the death of Google Reader -- introduced a URL shortener. At the time it was billed as a "captur[ing] analytics about how people are engaging with the content you are sharing". Ten months later, the news service realized that this could be seen as being overly intrusive and has killed the tool.

The original blog post that heralded the launch of feedly.com/e has been updated to reflect the fact that the shortener is no more. "With hindsight this was a bad idea. We focused too much on feedly's growth versus doing what is right for users and for the Web. Sorry".

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How to defeat network zombies this Halloween

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Zombies are a staple of the horror film industry despite being absurdly ill-equipped to play the role of a predatory force unleashing Armageddon on the human race. They're embarrassingly slow and brainless, for starters. They have terrible personal hygiene, can't operate machinery of any kind, they can't drive and they even don't know how to use a computer or a smartphone. As if that wasn't bad enough, no one has properly explained why some people they kill become zombies and others are completely gobbled up.

Network zombies, on the other hand, are an all too real menace for the modern-day IT administrator. They are smarter than the average zombie, impossible to predict because they appear randomly without warning and dangerous because they cause downtime and lost productivity. Without the right approach, they are nearly impossible to locate and kill.

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Breach detection market expected to exceed $1.3 billion by 2018

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Security breaches have become a major worry for businesses in the last two years and that's reflected in strong growth of the market for breach detection products.

A new market intelligence brief by NSS Labs looks at the rapid rise of breach detection systems (BDS). In 2013 the BDS market was worth over $289 million dollars, up 99 percent over the previous year.

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Apple Pay rival CurrentC hacked -- email addresses stolen

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Yesterday, Ed Oswald wrote a story about the retailer-backed payment network CurrentC, describing it as a threat to iPhone and Android users alike. In the article he spoke about the security of the system, saying "CurrentC is overly complicated, and just leaves too many opportunities for something to go wrong, or a hacker to make their way in".

He turns out to have been spot on, as today MCX admits its service has already been hacked, with email addresses of participants in the pilot program and other interested individuals being stolen. Hardly the most auspicious of starts. The following email was sent to those affected:

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Tor user? Your computer could be infected with malware

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Authorities are advising all users of the Tor network to check their computers for malware after it emerged that a Russian hacker has been using the network to spread a powerful virus.

Tor, which began as a secret project from the US Naval Research Laboratory, works by piling up layers of encryption over data, nested like the layers of an onion, which gave the network its original name, The Onion Router (TOR).

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Keyless cars being targeted by high-tech thieves in London

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Thefts of cars that use keyless fobs to gain access are on the rise after criminals gained the ability to hack into the car’s onboard computer and it is causing some luxury car owners to be refused insurance.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers [SMMT] reports that organized crime syndicates have been able to bypass the onboard security by using software only meant for mechanics and start vehicles using the ignition button present in many high end models, such as Range Rovers and BMWs.

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Incapsula launches how-to guide for dealing with DDoS attacks

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We reported back in March that DDoS attacks had risen sharply to become a major threat for online businesses.

In order to help companies cope, cloud security provider Incapsula is today launching a DDoS Playbook analyzing the threat landscape and providing businesses with a how-to guide to fend off attacks.

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HP launches free executive tools to reduce the impact of security incidents

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More than 70 percent of executives think their organization only partly understands the risks it could be exposed to as a result of a data breach. This is among the results of a study from technology giant HP into the importance of executive involvement in breach responses.

In addition less than half of board-level executives are kept informed about the breach response process and only 45 percent believe they are accountable for the incident response process.

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Targeted attacks against businesses are on the rise

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In the last year 94 percent of organizations have encountered at least one cyber security incident, with 12 percent indicating that they’d been on the receiving end of a targeted attack.

These are among the findings of a survey of worldwide IT professionals by security company Kaspersky Lab and research specialist B2B International. Damages from one successful targeted attack could cost a company as much as $2.54 million for enterprises and $84,000 for small businesses.

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Facebook teams up with Yahoo to create safe email standard

Facebook teams up with Yahoo to create new, safe email standard

A new email standard called RRVS (Require-Recipient-Valid-Since) has been unveiled by Facebook. The new standard comes through the social network working in conjunction with Yahoo, and is designed to protect users against potential account hijacking.

It's now over a year since Yahoo decided that the time had come to start recycling email addresses that had lain dormant and unused. Concerns were voiced that little used email addresses could end up falling into the wrong hands and be used for nefarious purposes. With email addresses used for much more than just email communication -- often doubling up as login credentials -- the need for security in this area is apparent.

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