Attacking the Web

Network security is still a strong driver for IT spending in India, as security does not cease, not even during recession. In fact, during a recession, companies view security as even more important due to the increased market competition and blended threat scape.The large spike of activity observed between September-November 2009 was a familiar trend to that of 2008, when the first large wave of scareware hit cyber space. Scareware was also a major component detected during this wave in 2009, though overall volume had significantly increased to record levels over 2008.As we are already in 2010, the rest of the year should see organizations focusing well on security, as the recent security attacks in the world (with a recent dose of Gumblar attacks in Japan) do echo a strong need for both the private and public sectors looking back at their security set-up. Security, particularly network security, is one fundamental area of technology that enterprises and governments alike cannot neglect.The Primary Route: The web is now primary route by which computers get affected, mainly due to the fact that increasing numbers of organizations have secured their email gateways. As a consequence, cyber criminals are planting malicious code on websites. These codes simply lie in wait, and infect visiting user computers. The industry has witnessed sophisticated threats: cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, zero-day exploits.Increase in the number of networked portable devices and extensive usage of network on a day-to-day basis are resulting in increased vulnerabilities.In recent years, the number of threats spread via email attachment has declined. Social networking websites are used to spread malware. Identity theft-hackers have found value in compromising user accounts, and then using the profiles as a launching pad for mass distributing malware attacks and spam.Some of the methods cyber criminals used effectively were the use of fake anti-virus software, also known as scareware or rogueware. Such attacks prey on IT security fears and unaware users into believing their computer has a problem when it has nothing of that kind.The Three TrendsSome of the trends witnessed in network security in recent times are:UTM’s: Beginning with IPS and firewall services, the security market and fast adopting Indian customers now show a drift towards overall network security services like UTMs. Following the trend the security market will be dominated by UTM products.End-to-end Security: Not only at the gateway level, but right up to the end point as the end point is the weakest link. In many cases, computers outside company’s security are the weakest links. These computers are often infected with worms and spyware, presenting an opportunity for attackers. Enterprise security is no longer confined to external threats alone, internal incidents of data loss are on the rise and enterprises need to seriously evaluate the impact of such incidents.Multifunctional Router: Hybrid VPN demand is stronger than ever. Its annual revenue would be even greater than double within four years. With technology evolution, such as 3G and IPv6; and technology convergence, including Wi-Fi, security, and triple-play, etc; brings traditional router into another level of ‘services router’.

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