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Understanding Compliance from an IT Point of View
Turn Raw Security Data into an Enterprise Defense System
1. In Focus: The Challenge of Data Destruction
2. Security News and Features
- Recent Security Vulnerabilities
- SurfControl Enters Enterprise Anti-Spyware Market
- Tenebril Gets Funding and a New CEO
- Protecting Data at Rest
3. Security Toolkit
- Security Matters Blog
4. New and Improved
- Fight Fraudulent Web Sites
==== Sponsor: Quest Software ====
Understanding Compliance from an IT Point of View
There are a variety of compliance-related regulations affecting organizations and industries today. These regulations require that differing initiatives be put in place to meet a myriad of requirements. Many of the regulations are vague and cause confusion about what actually needs to be done to become compliant. In this techbrief titled: 'Understanding Compliance from an IT Point of View', you will learn how compliance requirements impact the IT environment, what procedures and policies organizations need to implement to become compliant, and what steps are necessary to meet these objectives. Also, you will find out about solutions you can use to secure internal controls, automate reporting, and prepare for remediation--all components for passing a compliance-related audit. Get your tech brief today.
==== 1. In Focus: The Challenge of Data Destruction ====
by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net
Two weeks ago in my editorial "Wipe Old Hard Disks Clean--Reprise," I wrote about erasing disk data and mentioned some software and hardware tools that can help with that task. This week I want to follow up with some more information.
Sande Nissen wrote to tell me about the difficulties faced by the college he works for. Each year, the college replaces a portion of its computers, and this year he will need to dispose of about 200 computers. Before those systems can be sent to a recycler, the data on the disks must be destroyed. According to Nissen, the college's tool of choice at the moment (Symantec Ghost Solution Suite's GDisk component) requires about 1.5 hours per gigabyte to wipe disk data when using a Department of Defense-certified erasing routine. With so many disk drives and so many gigabytes to erase, the college needs a faster way to ensure data destruction.
Nissen said the college doesn't trust demagnetizers (degaussers), which erase disk data by subjecting the drives to a strong magnetic field. Degaussers are also expensive, costing anywhere from a few thousand dollars to more than $25,000. Even renting the equipment is expensive. Some companies charge $1400 per month per rental unit. If you're interested in degaussers, here are some links to manufacturers and rental companies:
An important thing to know about degaussers is that there are two basic types: open field and closed field. Open field units expose their magnetic fields to the surrounding environment, which means you and anything else that might be within range. That might pose health risks and could damage anything magnetic in the vicinity, including the magnetic strips on your credit cards. Closed field units, which are far more expensive than open field units, typically let you insert the drives inside the unit and contain the magnetic field emissions.
Nissen said the college has tried physically destroying the drives by driving a nail through them or smashing them. A few years ago, I read about people using liquid hydrogen to help destroy disk drives. Liquid hydrogen quickly freezes and makes brittle whatever it comes into contact with. If you dip a drive into it, you can then easily smash the drive with a hammer. This approach is a bit extreme because liquid hydrogen is very dangerous.
If you have only a few drives to erase, destruction is relatively simple. But as we've learned from Nissen's situation, the task becomes much more of a challenge when you have a lot of drives. Do you know of a better way to destroy data on a large number of drives, with a high degree of certainty that no one can recover the data? If so, send me an email message with the details.
Don't miss today's Web chat with Randy Franklin Smith on the topic "The Security Event Log: The Unofficial Guide." It's at 12:00 P.M. Eastern (9:00 A.M. Pacific). For more information, go to
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==== 2. Security News and Features ====
Recent Security Vulnerabilities
If you subscribe to this newsletter, you also receive Security Alerts, which inform you about recently discovered security vulnerabilities. You can also find information about these discoveries at
SurfControl Enters Enterprise Anti-Spyware Market
SurfControl announced its new Enterprise Threat Shield, which is designed to defend against malicious software, including spyware. The product stops adware, spyware, and keyloggers and protects against threats from Instant Messaging (IM) clients, peer-to-peer (P2P) clients, and games.
Tenebril Gets Funding and a New CEO
Tenebril, makers of SpyCatcher Enterprise, secured approximately $6.5 million in new funding. The company also recently hired former Zone Labs President and COO Irfan Salim as CEO.
Protecting Data at Rest
When Ameritrade announced that it had lost backup tapes containing personal information for about 200,000 of its customers, there was a clear sense of deja vu all over again. After all, just 2 months ago, Bank of America revealed that it had lost tapes containing data for 1.2 million federal employees. Elliot King discusses the ramifications in this article on our Web site.
==== Resources and Events ====
Establish a Manageable Desktop Software Configuration and Control IT Costs
Managing desktop software configurations is a manual process, resulting in unplanned costs, deployment delays, and client confusion. In this free Web seminar, find out how you can meet software-package-preparation requirements and increase your desktop reliability, user satisfaction, and IT cost effectiveness. You'll learn about the new application process, issue management during package preparation, historical recording and reporting, and more.
Are You Experiencing Increased Frustration with Your Current Antispam Solution?
With new and more dangerous email threats, in-house software, appliances, and even some services may no longer work effectively. They require too much IT staff time to update and maintain or satisfy the needs of different users. In this free Web seminar, learn firsthand from your colleagues and peers about their search for a better solution. Register today!
Improve The Availability of Your Exchange Servers
Managing storage growth, providing application resiliency, and handling small errors and problems before they grow are all important aspects of boosting your Exchange uptime. In this free Web seminar, discover how storage and application management techniques for Exchange can be used to improve the resiliency and performance of your Exchange infrastructure. Register now!
Get Excited About SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services
In this free Web seminar, explore the new features associated with Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services. You'll discover how to offer the "single version of truth" in your enterprise reporting environment with the integration of Reporting Services 2005 and the Analysis Service 2005 Unified Dimensional Model (UDM). Plus, you'll discover Report Builder and more. Sign up today!
Get Ready for SQL Server 2005 Roadshow in a U.S. City Near You--and in Europe
Get the facts about migrating to SQL Server 2005. SQL Server experts will present real-world information about administration, development, and business intelligence to help you implement a best-practices migration to SQL Server 2005 and improve your database computing environment. Attend and receive a 1-year membership to PASS and 1-year subscription to SQL Server Magazine. Register now!
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==== 3. Security Toolkit ====
Security Matters Blog
by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://www.windowsitpro.com/securitymatters
Stay Away from Googkle Dot Com and MSMN Dot Com
Someone who decided to take advantage of people's inevitable typing errors has set up a Web site at Googkle dot com that's designed to infect visitors' systems with malware. Google isn't the only one whose identity is being misused. The MSMN dot com domain mimics MSN's search site.
by John Savill, http://www.windowsitpro.com/windowsnt20002003faq
Q: How do I use the Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Security Configuration Wizard (SCW)?
Find the answer at
==== Announcements ====
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SQL Server Magazine Gives DBAs and Developers What They Need
With SQL Server 2005 right around the corner, it's important to note that SQL Server Magazine is on target to deliver comprehensive coverage of all betas of the new product and the final release. If you aren't already a subscriber, now is the time to subscribe. Act now and save 47% off the cover price, plus get the new Reporting Services poster.
Windows IT Pro Monthly Pass = Quick Answers!
Sign up today for your Windows IT Pro Monthly Pass and get 24/7 online access to every article on the Windows IT Pro Web site, including exclusive subscriber-only content. That's a database of more than 9000 Windows articles to help you get all the answers you need, when you need them! Sign up now:
==== 4. New and Improved ====
by Renee Munshi, [email protected]
Fight Fraudulent Web Sites
FraudEliminator has released FraudEliminator and FraudEliminator Pro for Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and Mozilla Firefox to fight fraudulent Web sites. FraudEliminator defends against all kinds of online fraud, including phishing, pharming, and DNS exploits, and shows information about each site you visit, including where it's hosted and when the domain name was registered. To identify fraudulent sites, FraudEliminator retrieves new fraud definitions and fraudulent site lists frequently from a central database and uses detection algorithms. FraudEliminator users can also report fraud incidents to the central database. FraudEliminator works with IE 5.0 or later and Firefox 1.0 or later. The basic version of FraudEliminator is free; FraudEliminator Pro, available for $19.99, delivers users more frequent fraud database updates and helps support the ongoing development of the product. For more information, go to
Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!
Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about the product, and we'll send you a T-shirt if we write about the product in a future Windows IT Pro What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with information about how the product has helped you to [email protected]
Editor's note: Share Your Security Discoveries and Get $100
Share your security-related discoveries, comments, or problems and solutions in the Windows IT Security print newsletter's Reader to Reader column. Email your contributions (500 words or less) to [email protected] If we print your submission, you'll get $100. We edit submissions for style, grammar, and length.
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