Category Archives: Defense in Depth

Security for Web 2.0

Technology has always been about making our lives easier and one area it has had a significant impact on is communications and collaboration.  Can you imagine our lives without mobile phones, email, text messaging and social media. I am sure we all know people (I know a few) who claim they cannot live without Internet.  Businesses have reluctantly accepted social media tools as they have seen how it helps the employees become more productive, helps improve communications with customers and vendors and helps improve sales.

As the technology has facilitated business communications and collaboration, it has also facilitated security exploits.  A Osterman Research conducted in 2009 found that 55% of large and midsized organizations had been infiltrated by a Web exploit within previous 12 months.  According to Kaspersky Labs security bulletin, “infecting via the Web has, over the past few years, become the main method used to infect victim machines”.  Small and Medium businesses face these same security exploits as they are surfing the same Internet, however they may not have proper resources to secure their networks.

Cybercriminals are one step ahead and are already taking advantage of the social networks and its trust based model. According to Kaspersky Labs security report, “The likelihood that a member of a social network will launch a file or click on a link sent to him/her by a “friend” is approximately 10 times greater than if the file or the link arrives via email”.

A proper defense in-depth security solution should be deployed to ensure effective security in an organization because it takes a comprehensive approach to address the three variables in an organization – People, Technology and Operations.

A Firewall is an essential part of any security solution, but a traditional firewall may not be enough to remediate the security threats posed by Web 2.0.  The new social media applications are utilized over the web browser and the security threats within can bypass the traditional detection techniques.

In order to effectively secure the perimeter a next generation, Unified Threat Management (UTM) Firewall is necessary.  A next generation UTM firewall integrates best-of-breed security and productivity solutions; it integrates key security applications – firewall, VPN, intrusion prevention, and antivirus and antispam, content and application filtering – into the single, efficiently managed solution.  So what’s next generation – it would additionally identify applications delivered over standard web browser; it would identify malicious applications which port hop to evade detection.  This application identification functionality combined with UTM functionality would provide a robust and efficient solution at the perimeter; additionally,  it would consolidate point solutions and reduce administrative and operative cost.

© NetFunction Inc. and Adventures in HIT and BIT, 2010.

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