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Attacking the Web

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VoicenData Bureau
New Update

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.

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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.

Expert Panel

Tushar Sighat, VP, operations, Cyberoam



Prasun Roy Burman, global head, information security services, HCL
Comnet



Vishak Raman, regional director, SAARC & Saudi Arabia, Fortinet


Anoop Jarial, GM, product management, D-Link India


EVS Chakravarthy, CEO, YOU Broadband & Cable India


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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.

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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 Trends



Some 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.

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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 WiFi, security, and triple-play, etc; brings traditional router into

another level of 'services router'.

Green Security Solutions



There are multiple product vendors who offer 'green' approach in their

solutions. Consolidation and virtualization have been the key approach for these

vendors and they offer critical services based on this. 'Security as a service'

also has been adopted by multiple vendors, who now also offer services directly

through their virtual solutions. These are environment-friendly solutions, and

at the same time meet customer's requirements. The concept of 'green data

center
' and 'DC as a service' are based on these solutions and frameworks

offered by these vendors. This has created increased interest in the CXO

community and more enterprises are now opting for these solutions.

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Growth Drivers



Increased mobility, Internet, and web 2.0 have been adding to the

vulnerabilities of organizations of all sizes. IT networks are continually

growing, more applications are becoming web-enabled, threats are turning more

sophisticated and regulatory requirements are demanding adherence to complex

requirements and procedures-all this making security a complex issue. This has

resulted in rising awareness for the need of an integrated security solution in

India among both SMEs as well as enterprises as corroborated by leading analysts

and research groups across the security industry.

TECH Points to Ponder
  • IPS and firewall services are not much effective under the current

    scenario. The security market is fast adopting UTM solutions
  • Computers outside the company's security are the weakest links. These

    computers are often infected with worms and spyware, presenting an

    opportunity for attackers
  • Increased mobility, Internet, and web 2.0 have been adding to the

    vulnerabilities of organizations of all sizes
  • Carriers and large enterprises also face 3G driven threats, as

    smartphones continue to rise in the adoption rates. 3G networks enable

    operators to offer more advanced mobile services and also present more

    opportunities for virus infections
  • Adoption of cloud based services will create many opportunities for

    data infection or theft

Network perimeter is evolving with more entry and exit

points emerging in the network architecture of any organization. While earlier,

firewalls and IDP solutions did the job of securing the gateway, today

organizations need a more encompassing security solution that protects them

against blended attacks on their extended perimeters.

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Enterprise & Challenges



Carriers and enterprises of all sizes are facing an increasingly

sophisticated blended threat scape, with threats coming from beyond the

traditional network perimeter. One of the key challenges is increase in database

attacks to steal information, as enterprises look for ways to protect their

databases from both external and internal breaches.

Another significant one includes the need to protect the

network against web 2.0 centric threats, as the definition of 'network' expands

and the popularity of social networking sites and in-the-cloud computing (such

as SaaS) rises. This drives a greater need for web application firewalls and

data leakage prevention mechanisms to prevent employees from bringing back

tainted data and inadvertently releasing proprietary information.

Another need is that of enabling 10GbE security protocols

to work at the speed of the network, as it is essential for maintaining the

integrity of high-speed networks, which also, allows threats in the network to

increase, as the good, bad and ugly find their way into enterprises.

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Finally, carriers and large enterprises also face 3G

driven threats, as smartphones continue to rise in adoption rates. 3G networks

enable operators to offer more advanced mobile services and also presents more

opportunities for virus infections, hence presenting the need for better

security.

Upcoming Trends



In the security space, each challenge brings in more opportunities for

vendors in 2010.

Information-centric security will be necessary in the next

decade as access to data will continue to evolve outside the traditional

network. The definition of 'network' has moved much beyond the traditional LAN

to encompass distributed networks, cloud-based networks, social-media networks,

wireless networks, virtual networks, etc.

Data now needs to protect itself via a networking

infrastructure that positions a security control at every data touch point or

internal network segment rather than just at the perimeter. Information-centric

security is a more granular, intelligent and multi-layered security approach

that guards against penetration of the entire network through the weakest point

in the armor.

Adoption of cloud based services will create many

opportunities for data infection or theft. Securing the cloud will be hotter

than ever in 2010 as more and more companies adopt services such as storage for

rent, software as a service, virtual IT, and application hosting.

The concept of protecting data-at-rest vs data-in-motion

comes into play, forcing organizations to examine various security mechanisms to

secure their data, including encryption, SSL inspection, data leakage

protection, anti-virus among others.

A natural evolution with the trend in consolidating

network devices is to integrate more network functionality into security

devices.

Moving into 2010, additional consolidation of network

services will find continued acceptance with budget-conscious customers.

Switching and VoIP capabilities might be other network services to be integrated

into consolidated security devices in the future.

Akhilesh Shukla



akhileshs@cybermedia.co.in

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