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BLOG: Don’t let malware overrun your boundaries

Sasi Murthy | April 11, 2011
Web threats challenge traditional security defences by exploiting unsuspecting users.

Is there such a thing as safe social networking?

Yes. But you need more than the average security portfolio to achieve it. Safe social networking against the backdrop of the new threat environment requires an aggressive security strategy that goes beyond firewalls and desktop anti-virus. Here are a few key rules to keep in mind to take your security solution to version3.3 and stay ahead of the cyber criminals.

Three requirements for Security 3.3

First: Proactive web filtering is critical.

 The vast majority of today's attacks use the Web to host malware. These schemes drive users to infected URLs through a variety of routes, including manipulated search engine results, spam and social networking recommendations or "likes." Comprehensive Web filtering provides a front line of defence to block links, scripts and other techniques that either trick users with fake offers ("Update Your Video Player" or "Your Computer Is At Risk") or automatically cause the computer to connect to a malware source, botnet or spyware "phone-home" site that collects stolen login credentials, user information and other sensitive data.

By identifying the URLs of "phone-home" sites, comprehensive Web filtering also enables you to identify and clean compromised systems before the attack spreads. In other words, Web filtering helps increase your visibility into the various sources of malware and phishing attacks and protect your network and users from those attacks.

Second: Move at the speed of malware.

Real-time threats require real-time security. But traditional security solutions, including desktop AV and firewalls, is simply no match for today's complex, fast-moving blended threats - some of which can change in as little as two hours. So if your security approach relies on users to download and install the latest security updates, you're already at risk of attack.

Cloud-connected communities have emerged as the most effective way to quickly identify and block malicious threats in real time. Communities draw on the intelligence of millions of worldwide users through real time URL requests, so as soon as one member encounters a threat, everyone in the community is notified and automatically protected from that threat. Instead of fighting billions of Web threats alone, community members benefit from the safety in numbers and on-demand via the cloud security intelligence.

To keep pace with a rapidly evolving threat landscape, the defences in cloud-connected communities can be seamlessly expanded to protect against the new and emerging threats. These defences can be available to users without requiring manual downloads or updates, ensuring business have the latest protection at all times.

In addition to cloud security and web filtering, security best practices dictate the need for malware scanning at the Web gateway. Large enterprises have used this strategy for a while, but these solutions have been price prohibitive for SMBs. The good news is that affordable, enterprise-class solutions are now coming on the market. 


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