2005 Was an Ugly Year for Security; 2006 Won't Be Any Prettier

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2005-12-23 Print this article Print

Lawsuits and losses—not to mention ignominious membership in our Hall of Shame—have followed data breaches at major companies. Security crews are getting smarter, but so are the crooks; both exploits and the gangs that run them are getting more

The security stories and problems that sparked them came so thick and fast during 2005 that it was hard to keep track of the source of the threats, let alone how serious each was.

Our end-of-year rundown may help you keep track of the bad guys, the good strategies, the right tools and the security risks you should keep track of this year. Good luck.

  • Battling Bad Guys: Corporate Security Outlook Is Tough for 2006: Organized crime hit the Web in a big way during 2005 and will probably hit it even harder in 2006. Some high-profile crews were caught, but the rest are taking better aim at specific targets and finding new ways to attack. Defenders have some new tricks up their sleeves, but the battle this year promises to be more of a melee than a duel.
  • Despite Busts, Web Mobs Keep Growing: Law enforcement brought down the Shadowcrew and other "Web mobs" this year—but new, more sophisticated ones keep popping up. Here's how your company can ward off the bad guys in cyberspace.
  • The 2005 Hall of Shame: These companies—led by CardSystems—suffered some of 2005's worst data security breaches. Learn from their examples, so you won't show up on next year's list.
  • Major Data Theft Leads to Major Legal Problems: ChoicePoint's security and accuracy snafus prompt lawsuits.
  • Forget Hackers; Watch Out for Competitors: Technology executives are burrowing into competitors' systems and stealing their trade secrets.
  • Beware 2006: Exploits Increase, Impact Gets More Serious: Judging the threats posed to computer security, and how to combat them, has never been more complicated. What are the big threats, and what do you have to do to be prepared in 2006?
  • Worms and Anti-Worms Get Smarter: Bot worms have emerged as one of the most dangerous security threats. Companies are finding new ways to keep them at bay.
  • Lockheed Martin: How to Lock Down a Wireless Net: Lockheed Martin couldn't allow hackers to see critical data on its wireless network. The answer: an intrusion detection system to pinpoint and repel attacks.
  • Wireless Nets Keep Security Crews on Their Toes: Even if you've managed to harden your wireless network to lock out the script kiddie with the Pringles, your access points offer easy entry to anyone with a good antenna, a little expertise and a decent set of cracker tools.

    Tools of the Job: Which Ones Are Worth the Money:

  • Symantec: Beyond Viruses: Symantec offers a slew of security-related products and services, but the company is still known largely for its anti-virus software.
  • McAfee Aims to Prevent Intrusion as Well as Viruses: Anti-virus software is the hub of its offerings, though McAfee has also expanded to provide other flavors of security software.
  • Juniper Makes Up Ground Securing 'Net Gear: Once it became clear network security was strategically important to Cisco, Juniper felt it had to catch up fast.
  • CA Is Effective with Security Management Apps: The company styles itself as a provider of security management tools to help organizations wrap their heads around the task of defending their data.
  • Cisco Simplifies Security with Security-Enabled Gear: Cisco has used its status as the de facto choice for networking gear to slipstream its firewall and virtual private networking products into the mix.


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