The New Security Paradigm

    Date31 Oct 2003
    CategoryHacks/Cracks
    3669
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    It is any CIO's worst nightmare -- a malicious attack on your organization's critical data, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars in customer assets and proprietary information -- not to mention irreparable damage to your company's hard-won reputation.. . . It is any CIO's worst nightmare -- a malicious attack on your organization's critical data, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars in customer assets and proprietary information -- not to mention irreparable damage to your company's hard-won reputation.

    The attack can come from competitors, independent hackers, or even disgruntled employees. But whatever the source, one thing is clear -- those determined to infiltrate an organization's security infrastructure are becoming more resourceful, and they are succeeding more often than ever before.

    To demonstrate how easily an organization's valuable data and systems can be penetrated, PSINet Europe, a European network and hosting infrastructure provider, decided to find out how susceptible an unprotected server connected to the Internet might be by setting up an anonymous dummy test server. The company quickly proved its point when the server was attacked more than 600 times within a three week period.

    Security attacks like these are more common than one might think. According to the Computer Security Institute's 2003 Computer Crime and Security Survey, 82 percent of organizations have experienced a virus-related attack, while 45 percent reported unauthorized access by insiders, 35 percent reported system penetration, and 21 percent have experienced sabotage and theft of proprietary information. The survey also found that theft of proprietary information causes the greatest financial loss -- an average of $2.7 million for each of the organizations surveyed.

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