Security UPDATE--Security Diligence Is Overdue--June 28, 2006

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1. In Focus: Security Diligence Is Overdue

2. Security News and Features
- Recent Security Vulnerabilities
- Two New Excel Vulnerabilities Surface
- Workarounds for the First of Two Excel Vulnerabilities
- Windows Defender

3. Security Toolkit
- Security Matters Blog
- Share Your Security Tips

4. New and Improved
- Faster Intrusion Protection


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==== 1. In Focus: Security Diligence Is Overdue ====
by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net

I recently came across some very interesting survey information published by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT). The company conducted a survey of security executives in 150 companies from 30 countries whose business relates to technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT). The results shed some light on why some companies are open to security breaches.,1014,sid%253D2283%2526cid%253D122077,00.html

According to the survey results, the majority of the surveyed companies consider themselves reactive (as opposed to proactive) when it comes to investing in information security. In other words, they spend money in response to breaches but don't typically spend nearly as much money to prevent breaches.

Only 4 percent of the companies think they're addressing the problem sufficiently; only 25 percent have already implemented or are in the process of implementing antiphishing protection; only 37 percent provided security training to employees over the past 12 months; only 24 percent believe their current security tools are being used effectively; and only 33 percent perform security risk assessments.

Another interesting pair of findings is that half of the companies who suffered breaches over the past 12 months were victims of insider attacks and only 47 percent of the companies believe they are adequately protected against such internal attacks.

Brian Geffert, principal of Deloitte Security and Privacy Services, said about the survey findings, "When it comes to security, TMT companies are talking the talk but not yet walking the walk. Survey respondents say that security is a top concern, but it is still not being addressed across the organization from a risk-based perspective, despite recent breaches costing million\[s\] of dollars of damage and inestimable harm to companies' reputations, brands, revenue and productivity. In fact, more than half of security executives surveyed admit that their security investments are falling behind the threats or at best just catching up."

Eye opening, isn't it? In a parallel study, DTT polled financial institutions as well as life sciences and health care companies. Although DTT didn't say how many companies took part in those studies, it did say that 78 percent of the financial institutions had experienced an external security breach and 49 percent had experienced an internal security breach in the past year. Seventeen percent of life sciences and health care companies had experienced an external security breach and 9 percent had experienced internal breaches. Wow!

How many news stories have you read over the past several months about some company suffering either an intrusion or equipment loss that exposed people's private information? We can't go more than a week or so without yet another of these stories coming to the surface, which just reinforces DTT's findings.

It seems to me, even more so in light of DTT's survey results, that the problems of intrusion and identity theft must be due to a lack of diligence, or maybe a lack of funding to support proper diligence.

After all, with proper funding, how hard is it to diligently defend your enterprise network, and how hard is it to diligently protect your mobile computing devices and backup media? The former can be tedious, of course, but not overly difficult. The latter requires mostly attentiveness and common sense on the part of users to avoid theft or other forms of loss.

If, in your opinion, your company isn't providing adequate resources for a diligent approach to information security, consider pointing your executives or decision makers to this editorial and DTT's press release. Maybe it'll help open some eyes.


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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

Two New Excel Vulnerabilities Surface
You know the adage: When it rains it pours. On the heels of a zero-day Excel vulnerability reported two weeks ago come two more Microsoft-related vulnerabilities, one in Excel and one in Windows.

Workarounds for the First of Two Excel Vulnerabilities
Two weeks ago, a zero-day exploit was discovered that affects Microsoft Excel. The vulnerability could allow the execution of arbitrary code on an affected computer. Microsoft has published a security advisory that includes possible workarounds to help you protect your systems.

Windows Defender
Windows Defender Beta 2 is Microsoft's second antispyware beta release, but it really feels more like a new program. New graphics, tighter integration into the OS, and a streamlined interface all set this release apart from its predecessor, Microsoft AntiSpyware Beta 1. Jeff Fellinge gives you the skinny in this article on our Web site.


==== Resources and Events ====

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Event Log (for Windows systems) and Syslog (for UNIX/Linux systems) contain a wealth of information. In this free Web seminar, you'll learn about the processes, challenges, and benefits of consolidating events on a centralized server. Plus--identify the 50 critical events that should be monitored in your enterprise. Live Event: Thursday, June 29

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Learn the essentials about how consolidating hardware and updating selected technologies can help you build an infrastructure that can handle change effectively.

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==== 3. Security Toolkit ====

Security Matters Blog: WildPackets' OmniPeek Personal
by Mark Joseph Edwards,

Need an alternative to Ethereal and Wireshark? The OmniPeek Personal packet capture and analysis tool might be your answer.

by John Savill,

Q: Where is the remote wipe facility in Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2)?

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Share Your Security Tips and Get $100
Share your security-related tips, 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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==== 4. New and Improved ====
by Renee Munshi, [email protected]

Faster Intrusion Protection
Third Brigade announced Deep Security 4.5, the newest release of its intrusion prevention system (IPS) that protects mission-critical hosts, applications, and data from malicious attacks. New features are designed to help customers deploy Deep Security more quickly. Customers can purchase Third Brigade Deep Security Manager to place Deep Security Agent software in IPS-ready mode on any number of hosts at no extra cost. Then when they're ready, they can switch the Agent from detection to prevention mode. Deep Security 4.5 also offers preconfigured security profiles for more than 80 software applications that run on Windows, Linux, and Solaris. And Third Brigade says it delivers new filters within hours of the announcement of new software vulnerabilities. For more information, go to

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