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News

Behavioural analysis backs up high US computer virus incident rates

Tier-3 : 03 June, 2008  (Technical Article)
High levels of virus infections reported for the US by an OECD study bears out claims by behavioural analysis specialists
Tier-3 says that the 25 per cent PC infection rate in the US, reported in a weekend report entitled `Malicious software (malware): a security threat to the Internet economy' from the OECD, confirms the behavioural analysis IT security specialist's own findings as far as infections go. The report goes on to say that although its economic and social impacts may be hard to quantify, malware used directly or indirectly can harm critical information infrastructures, result in financial losses, and plays a role in the erosion of trust and confidence in the Internet economy.

'PC infections are a lot more prevalent than many corporates realise, mainly because many go unnoticed for long periods of time, until IT security software vendors get around to updating their applications to counter the specific malware involved,' said Geoff Sweeney, CTO of Tier-3.

According to Sweeney, the report's assertion that the simple act of hooking a computer up to the Internet can mobilise armies of hidden agents and criminals out to subvert the system and business is quite correct.

'The Internet has become the modern equivalent of the Wild West. For most companies it's become as essential as the telephone, but it is far, far more dangerous,' said Sweeney, adding that the OECD report's conclusions that cybercrime is a potentially serious threat to the Internet economy is right on the button.

'Companies need to ask themselves whether their existing single or multiple layers of IT security is sufficient to protect their IT resource. The answer to this question is almost certainly no for most enterprises, as they now need to extend their protection from variations on rule based technology to include behavioural analysis technology,' he added.

Sweeney went on to say that, although the report's conclusion that there is no simple solutions to the complex problems presented by malware, behavioural analysis technology has the ability to spot both known and unknown types of malware and take appropriate action.

'That is its great strength which is needed to counter the fact that at least one in four of PCs are now infected with some form of malware,' he said.
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