Firms still leaving door open to hackers

Three in five put out the welcome mat to crackers


Three in five (61 per cent) firms audited by UK-based penetration testing firm NTA Monitor have one or more high risk vulnerabilities on their internet connections.

NTA classifies a high risk flaw as a vulnerability that allows unauthorised external users to obtain system access, leaving organisations susceptible to Denial of Service attacks or remote system compromise.

NTA Monitor technical director Roy Hills said: "The majority of the high risk flaws found were service specific, relating to the services that were accessible within the gateways tested. Nine of the 10 most commonly occurring high risk issues fell within this area, with the remaining issue being internet router related. An attacker who was aware of the programs being used and their flaws could exploit those vulnerabilities to gain network access or launch a denial of service attack."

NTA Monitor's 2006 Annual Security Report analyses data gathered from vulnerability tests conducted by NTA Monitor during 2005 on UK and international companies in a variety of industry sectors.

The industry sector with the highest number of vulnerabilities was education, with an average of 61 risks per test, followed by government with an average of 26 risks per test. The most secure sectors were mining, and housing associations, which each had an average of 11 risks per test.

NTA Monitor has the following tips on how organisations can safeguard their net systems:

  • Stay up to date on the latest vulnerabilities and their patches, applying updates as soon as they become available.
  • Allocate sufficient management time, focus and control to ensure that preventative maintenance is carried out.
  • Involve and educate staff on internet security issues.
  • Have a clear and up to date security policy, which is widely circulated and frequently updated.

®


Other stories you might like

  • US won’t prosecute ‘good faith’ security researchers under CFAA
    Well, that clears things up? Maybe not.

    The US Justice Department has directed prosecutors not to charge "good-faith security researchers" with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) if their reasons for hacking are ethical — things like bug hunting, responsible vulnerability disclosure, or above-board penetration testing.

    Good-faith, according to the policy [PDF], means using a computer "solely for purposes of good-faith testing, investigation, and/or correction of a security flaw or vulnerability."

    Additionally, this activity must be "carried out in a manner designed to avoid any harm to individuals or the public, and where the information derived from the activity is used primarily to promote the security or safety of the class of devices, machines, or online services to which the accessed computer belongs, or those who use such devices, machines, or online services."

    Continue reading
  • Intel plans immersion lab to chill its power-hungry chips
    AI chips are sucking down 600W+ and the solution could be to drown them.

    Intel this week unveiled a $700 million sustainability initiative to try innovative liquid and immersion cooling technologies to the datacenter.

    The project will see Intel construct a 200,000-square-foot "mega lab" approximately 20 miles west of Portland at its Hillsboro campus, where the chipmaker will qualify, test, and demo its expansive — and power hungry — datacenter portfolio using a variety of cooling tech.

    Alongside the lab, the x86 giant unveiled an open reference design for immersion cooling systems for its chips that is being developed by Intel Taiwan. The chip giant is hoping to bring other Taiwanese manufacturers into the fold and it'll then be rolled out globally.

    Continue reading
  • US recovers a record $15m from the 3ve ad-fraud crew
    Swiss banks cough up around half of the proceeds of crime

    The US government has recovered over $15 million in proceeds from the 3ve digital advertising fraud operation that cost businesses more than $29 million for ads that were never viewed.

    "This forfeiture is the largest international cybercrime recovery in the history of the Eastern District of New York," US Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement

    The action, Peace added, "sends a powerful message to those involved in cyber fraud that there are no boundaries to prosecuting these bad actors and locating their ill-gotten assets wherever they are in the world."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022