Security ‘complacency’ knocked by terror attacks

But threats haven't changed


Last week's terrorist outrage had significantly changed the IT security landscape - firms need to take account of the possibility of catastrophic attacks, as well as the more limited hacker assaults we've all grown used to.

That's the feeling we got from the representatives of financial institutions and government organisations attending Secure Computing's eSecurity Conference in London yesterday.

Questions from the floor of the conference indicating any "complacency" about security had been knocked sideways by last week's events. But although there was a measured desire to revisit disaster recovery plans and put up tougher defences against the growing army of Internet hackers there was no sense of panic, only a sense of practical resolve to address security issues.

Simon Moores, chairman of The Research Group, said that one of the lessons to be drawn from the clean up after last week tragedy in that email has become critical for large business, and has to be given priority in disaster recovery plans. He suggested utilities are more vulnerable to electronic attack than banks, highlighting general concerns about the robustness of national infrastructure protection plans.

Niall Moynihan, northern European technical director at Check Point Software, said firms should look at redefining their security policies in light of last week's attacks.

Although there was a heightened sense of alertness about security there wasn't a feeling that the types of threat (viruses, denial of service, hacking for financial gain and defacements) had changed much.

DK Matai, chairman and chief executive of security firm mi2g, who gave a lengthy presentation on various high profile hacks over the last two years, told us the biggest risk (particularly at a time of widespread layoffs) came from disgruntled former employees.

Political hacks are still rare and we're not convinced that electronic attacks will become an adjunct of terrorist activities any time soon. That said it all too clear that the Internet is becoming less and not more secure.

Matai said the state of security on the Internet was about the same as on the roads of Elizabethan England with piracy and highway robbery endemic. We need to build castles of security along trade routes that feature security technology equivalent to the moats, drawbridges and watch towers of that period, he said.

[Verrily we're patenting Ye Register security chastity belts, iron maidens, and ducking stools. And no one will expect the Spanish Internet Inquisition - Ed.] ®

Assault on America: complete coverage


Other stories you might like

  • Will Lenovo ever think beyond hardware?
    Then again, why develop your own software à la HPE GreenLake when you can use someone else's?

    Analysis Lenovo fancies its TruScale anything-as-a-service (XaaS) platform as a more flexible competitor to HPE GreenLake or Dell Apex. Unlike its rivals, Lenovo doesn't believe it needs to mimic all aspects of the cloud to be successful.

    While subscription services are nothing new for Lenovo, the company only recently consolidated its offerings into a unified XaaS service called TruScale.

    On the surface TruScale ticks most of the XaaS boxes — cloud-like consumption model, subscription pricing — and it works just like you'd expect. Sign up for a certain amount of compute capacity and a short time later a rack full of pre-plumbed compute, storage, and network boxes are delivered to your place of choosing, whether that's a private datacenter, colo, or edge location.

    Continue reading
  • Intel is running rings around AMD and Arm at the edge
    What will it take to loosen the x86 giant's edge stranglehold?

    Analysis Supermicro launched a wave of edge appliances using Intel's newly refreshed Xeon-D processors last week. The launch itself was nothing to write home about, but a thought occurred: with all the hype surrounding the outer reaches of computing that we call the edge, you'd think there would be more competition from chipmakers in this arena.

    So where are all the AMD and Arm-based edge appliances?

    A glance through the catalogs of the major OEMs – Dell, HPE, Lenovo, Inspur, Supermicro – returned plenty of results for AMD servers, but few, if any, validated for edge deployments. In fact, Supermicro was the only one of the five vendors that even offered an AMD-based edge appliance – which used an ageing Epyc processor. Hardly a great showing from AMD. Meanwhile, just one appliance from Inspur used an Arm-based chip from Nvidia.

    Continue reading
  • NASA's Psyche mission: 2022 launch is off after software arrives late
    Launch window slides into 2023 or 2024 for asteroid-probing project

    Sadly for NASA's mission to take samples from the asteroid Psyche, software problems mean the spacecraft is going to miss its 2022 launch window.

    The US space agency made the announcement on Friday: "Due to the late delivery of the spacecraft's flight software and testing equipment, NASA does not have sufficient time to complete the testing needed ahead of its remaining launch period this year, which ends on October 11."

    While it appears the software and testbeds are now working, there just isn't enough time to get everything done before a SpaceX Falcon Heavy sends the spacecraft to study a metallic-rich asteroid of the same name.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022