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WatchGuard report identifies rise in Web 2.0 risk levels

WatchGuard Technologies : 05 September, 2007  (Technical Article)
Social networking and instant messaging provide perfect vehicles for malware as IT security risks continue to develop and adapt.
WatchGuard Technologies warns that the
changing nature and scale of security threats will pose more strenuous
challenges for security administrators as they embrace the Web 2.0

Research over the last three years by WatchGuard's Rapid Response team
has tracked attack patterns and identified five key threats: DNS system
attacks, virus and malware, buggy web applications, hacking for profit,
and the end users themselves.

'The increase in the range and sophistication of threats, combined with
more complex architectures and the move to Web 2.0, will make the job of
securing enterprise networks more difficult than ever before,' says
Steve Fallin, director of WatchGuard's Rapid Response team. 'Other
factors putting organizations at more risk include increased levels of
remote access, continued poor user behaviour and the shift from hobby
hackers to organized crime.'

According to WatchGuard's survey, many of today's attacks are targeted
and done for profit, such as the sale of personal information or
blackmail. The focus of web based attacks has also shifted to
applications running on the web server and the data systems that back
them up by exploiting flaws in website design.

On the desktop, relatively harmless virus infections have now morphed
into a devil's brew of sophisticated viruses, spyware, root kits and
botnets. At the same time, attacks such as phishing and drive-by
downloads target the most vulnerable portion of the network
infrastructure - its users - with surprising levels of success.

'The last few years have seen a considerable change in the nature of
security challenges faced by the internet enabled enterprise,' says
Fallin. 'As we are now on the verge of widespread adoption of Web 2.0,
with its promise of the collaborative enterprise, it is vital to adapt
enterprise security to address the threats posed by a Web 2.0 world.'

Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of Wick Hill Group, WatchGuard's largest
worldwide distributor, commented: 'WatchGuard has been in the frontline
of threat defence for over ten years. Its LiveSecurity service has
ensured that customers have not only been protected at the gateway from
hidden vulnerabilities in their internal systems, but have also been
informed of how to fix them. WatchGuard's UTM solutions are a further
step forward in defending against today's increased threat levels, as
highlighted by this research.'

WatchGuard's Rapid Response team is responsible for monitoring threats
on the Internet, assessing the nature and severity of the threat and
rapidly delivering threat defences to all WatchGuard UTM appliances on a
24x7 basis.
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