Are firewalls and virus software effective security measures?

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by Technodrome, Oct 30, 2002.

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  1. Technodrome

    Technodrome Security Expert

    Feb 13, 2002
    New York
    Organisations only making use of traditional security products like firewalls and anti-virus software, while covering the basic aspects of security, may not be using the most effective security strategy in the context of a total solution, as these products are limited in their benefits.

    Although anti-virus software has served users well for a lengthy period, today's fast-paced technology means that viruses travel much faster than signature updates can keep up. This kind of software often relies on databases containing these signatures, which catch and define viruses.

    It is therefore essential to ensure that the database of signatures is as up-to-date as possible. This implies a mechanism that guarantees that the latest signatures are updated, as and when new viruses are detected. Therefore a process of automatic updating of signatures, a built-in feature found in most anti-virus products, as well performing the necessary upgrade maintenance are critical actions. These are steps that cannot be left up to human processing, but must be automated to be kept up-to-date at all times.

    Having deployed an anti-virus solution, a concerted effort must be made to ensure that a multi-tiered solution is put in place. This type of solution has become vital due to the different ways that a virus can enter an organisation. This means that protection is needed at each of the levels, stopping a virus where it enters rather than having to clean up after it has spread.

    Looking specifically at firewalls, commonly perceived as the answer to security, companies should not lull themselves into a false sense of security with the use of this type of product. Increasingly complex security scenarios and incorrect configurations contribute to a firewall's inability to provide gateway security. A firewall is also only able to deal with traffic that passes through the firewall, with all internal traffic completely unchecked.

    Also, any hackers able to bypass the firewall will have free reign on the intranet, with the ability to access, modify and even steal any information. It is only through education of staff on security matters, inclusion of some form of intrusion detection system and use of vulnerability assessment tools that a company will be able to cover all the areas and thwart attacks on its network.

    Organisations therefore need to understand that a comprehensively multi-tier anti-virus system and a correctly installed and configured firewall are only stepping-stones on the road to an effective security strategy. There is no silver bullet when protecting your organisation's network. A full security roadmap is required which includes producing security policies and movement through a security cycle, ensuring that the best security mechanisms are chosen, installed, monitored and evaluated on an ongoing basis.

    Since the security threats are becoming more complex, it is most advisable to keep in contact with security professionals who monitor the world of threats regularly and can advise on the best route to take in securing your organisation.

    source: itweb

  2. JacK

    JacK Registered Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    Belgium -Li?ge

    First step toward security : safe hex :)

  3. root

    root Registered Member

    Feb 19, 2002
    Missouri, USA
    I think for some, the best thing to do is tie their mouse clicking finger to their ankle. That might stop some from clicking every link or file that shows up in their email.
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