Security Pro VIP Update--January 3, 2008

As one year ends and another begins, it's fun to review what happened over the last 12 months and peek forward to what's coming in the next 12. Also, see what articles are coming this month.

Renee Munshi

January 2, 2008

6 Min Read
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In this Issue:

  • Perspective: Security Stories Past and Future

  • Identifying the Top Internal Threats

  • Coming this Month

  • December 2007 Articles in Print-Friendly Format

  • Share Your Security Tips and Get $100

  • The Security Pro VIP Forum


Perspective: Security Stories Past and Future

It's January 2008, and that means Security Pro VIP has now been bringing you great security how-to articles on the Web and in .pdf format for a full year. I hope the Web and .pdf delivery mechanisms are working well for you.

As one year ends and another begins, it's fun to review what happened over the last 12 months and peek forward to what's coming in the next 12. I glanced back over our security news coverage of the last year and was not surprised to find that consolidation among security product vendors was a big story in 2007, as it was in 2006. In June 2007 alone, we learned about HP buying SPI Dynamics, PatchLink buying SecureWave (the combined company now goes by the name Lumension Security), SonicWALL buying Aventail, and IBM buying Watchfire.

Companies and other organizations losing sensitive customer data also continued to be a big story in 2007. At the beginning of the year, we probably heard way more than we wanted to about retailer TJX losing customer data to theft. More recently, two disks containing the unencrypted personal information of 25 million British citizens were lost in transit between two British government offices, causing much concern and governmental embarrassment. Unfortunately, these probably won't be the last stories we hear about data losses.

The Apple iPhone got a lot of attention in mid-2007—first, when it debuted and then when the phone was hacked to untether it from its exclusive AT&T network affiliation and to install various unapproved applications onto it.

Hackers continue to find inventive ways to disrupt our lives. New attacks that appeared in 2007 and that are likely to continue this year involve malware and phishing attempts distributed via popular Web and Web 2.0 sites.

Windows Vista was released in 2007, and Windows Server 2008 is coming soon. Microsoft releasing new OSs is always big news, and the two OS versions have a lot of security enhancements. Security Pro VIP has already featured quite a few articles describing how to work with the new capabilities, and more are in the works. I hope you find this information helpful as you move to the new Windows versions over time.

To keep up with security news throughout 2008, visit the Security Pro VIP Web site regularly. Security news stories are archived at Windows IT Pro's Security News page. You can check the Security Pro VIP article archive to find the Vista, Server 2008, and other security how-to articles we published on the Web in 2007.

Here's hoping we all have a happy and secure New Year!

Renee Munshi, Security Pro VIP Editor


Identifying the Top Internal Threats

Speaking of current security stories, insider threats get frequent mentions as being potentially very dangerous but often inadequately addressed. Promisec recently launched the Promisec Risk Center for Internal Network Threats, a free Web resource to help businesses stay on top of possible trouble spots. The Risk Center features a barometer of internal network threats, showing which types of threats (e.g., missing Microsoft service packs, unauthorized removable storage devices, unauthorized IM-ing) are currently most prevalent on Promisec-audited systems. The site also has a Latest Risks section that lists recent file sharing, remote control, IM, and other potentially problematic applications. Ari Tammam, channels VP for Promisec, told me that Promisec maintains the largest database of P2P applications, but Latest Risks showed what must be only a tiny fraction of these applications when I checked it soon after the Risk Center launch.

The most recent Promisec summary audit of customer machines, conducted over a 12-month period, revealed that 13 percent of the audited corporate PCs had unauthorized USB devices attached to them, 4 percent had P2P applications installed, 1.7 percent had antivirus monitoring and remediation problems, and 1.5 percent didn't have the latest Microsoft service packs.


Coming this Month

"Managing Windows Firewall with VBScript" by Dan Griffin
Windows Firewall's default rules aren't very secure, but you can create your own rules by using VBScript. Download 3 scripts, plus learn how to use the MMC Windows Firewall with Advanced Security snap-in to control the overall state of the firewall.
This article is now live on the Web.

Toolbox: "TrueCrypt" by Jeff Fellinge
TrueCrypt encrypts a container you create on your flash drive, CD-ROM, or hard drive—and it lets you encrypt a hidden volume within another volume to thwart attackers.
Coming January 10.

"5 Tips for Buying Managed Security Services" by Jeremy Smith
Before you invest in patch management software, consider whether a patching service might serve you better. Likewise, SMBs can benefit from anti-malware, antispam, backup/restore, and compliance-scanning managed services.
Coming January 17.

Access Denied
Randy Franklin Smith answers your Windows security questions.
Coming January 24.


If you're someone who prefers your newsletters in printed form, check out this .pdf file. It contains all the security articles posted on the Security Pro VIP Web site in December. Print and enjoy!


Share Your Security Tips and Get $100

Share your security-related tips, comments, or problems and solutions in Security Pro VIP's Reader to Reader column. Email your contributions to [email protected]. If we print your submission, you'll get $100. We edit submissions for style, grammar, and length.


The Security Pro VIP Forum

The Security Pro VIP forum is your place to ask questions about security topics and about articles posted on the Security Pro VIP Web site and to get answers from other forum members, including Orin Thomas, forum moderator, and article authors. Let's talk!


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