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News

The week in security: Snapchat, Dropbox deny culpability for photo, account leaks

Some 100,000 photos taken from Snapchat users weren't the service's fault, although some observers were seizing on the leak to argue for an improvement in security by Snapchat and other online services. Ditto Dropbox, which was also denying it was to blame after hackers published what they claimed were excerpts from 7 million Dropbox credentials; the cloud-storage giant blamed a third-party service for the leak, but security experts were still using the event to push their case for users to adopt two-factor authentication – particularly given that cloud security and ubiquitous identity for cloud services is still over a year away.

David Braue | 21 Oct | Read more

Identity is the Key to Security

Security is big business these days. With our old approach of blocking everyone at the border failing - mainly because no-one knows where the border is anymore - a risk-based approach is driving the way businesses think about their information and systems security.

Anthony Caruana | 22 Oct | Read more

Being FIRST in Information Security

Peter Allor is the Lead Security Strategist in IBM's Critical Infrastructure Group. He works at the forefront of information security, working with researchers to look at events, as they happen, to learn about new techniques that are being adopted by attackers from a protection perspective and how to deal with those in across distributed computing in the cloud. But he is on the board of directors of FIRST - the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams and ICASI - the Industry Consortium for Advancement of Security on the Internet.

Anthony Caruana | 16 Oct | Read more

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Reviews

Cisco impresses with first crack at next-gen firewall

When we tested next-generation firewalls last May, at least one important security vendor wasn't there: Cisco, because they weren't ready to be tested. Now that the ASA CX next-generation firewall has had a year to mature, we put the product through its paces, using the same methodology as our last NGFW test.

Joel Snyder | 17 Jun | Read more

Review: WatchGuard XTM2050

What is big, flexible, red and costs more than your average mid-range family sedan? Not a HSV—not quite that much—but this top of the range unified threat management (UTM) device (or in this case, XTM– the X presumably being a variable) is definitely in a high performance category. The XTM2050 from WatchGuard is one of a new breed of security devices that packs punch.

Matt Tett | 22 May | Read more

Juniper EX4500 review

Review of the Juniper EX4500 Ethernet switch. They connect desktops to servers in the data centre via a three-tier system of access, aggregation and core Ethernet switches.

Matt Tett | 17 Nov | Read more

Review: Self-Encrypting External Hard Disk Drives

With data becoming more valuable, the need for security also gets greater. Today’s technology and working behaviours both facilitate data being easily transported. Information is far less static due to home working, multiple office sites, low cost USB storage devices and DVDs. With all these portable devices and data being moved from place to place we must be mindful of data backup.

Enex Testlab | 16 Oct | Read more

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Slideshows

The encryption quiz

The complexity of encryption schemes has been increased dramatically in an attempt to outpace the development of computational tools designed to crack them. Now it's important to devise algorithms that can't be brute forced for trillions of years in the hopes that they will remain secure long enough to be useful before they, too, are broken. Here's a quiz about encryption to see how well you are versed in one of security's most important components. Keep track of your score and check at the end to see how well you stack up.

Tim Greene and Jim Duffy | 29 Sep | Read more

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Features

2011's biggest security snafus

Perhaps it was an omen of what was to come when the city of San Francisco on New Year's Eve 2010 couldn't get a backup system running in its Emergency Operations Center because no one knew the password.

Ellen Messmer | 02 Dec | Read more

Security breach

No company wants to be associated with a data breach, but if your systems are compromised the fallout can sometimes be more damaging than the act itself.

Matt Rodgers | 22 Sep | Read more

Penetration Testing

This is a real issue, and not just one for the well publicised attacks on major corporations such as Sony, Lockheed, Google, and Citi. It affects every business and organisation, large and small. More worrying still, it is now widely suggested that hackers and espionage organisations are moving away from directly attacking their target company, choosing instead to route their attack through suppliers to their target. Thus, even small and seemingly innocuous “third party” businesses who would not consider themselves as potential targets are now on the front line of this cyber war.

Malcolm Higgins | 13 Jul | Read more

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Opinions

Incident Response Plan

Do you take a fatalistic approach to cyber attack? ‘Whatever will be, will be’ is an attitude in life (and movies) that is well suited to events that evoke a spontaneous response—like who will you marry? These are the questions posed in Doris Day’s song from the Hitchcock movie ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’. They’re not appropriate for incidents which inspire fear, which Doris learns when her son is kidnapped.

Dr Claudia Johnson | 23 Oct | Read more

The cost of a security breach; it’s not just about the purse strings

Security breaches are rarely out of the news and with these reports come the significant costs resulting from each attack. However, the immediate thought is often associated with a dollar amount; for example how much money are we forfeiting through lost sales? Consequently, many think that private enterprises are the only ones that are prone to be at risk of attacks on their networks. The fact is public sector, educational institutions and non-profit organisations are just as much at risk and the potential costs are both great and varied.

Brett Moorgas | 08 Oct | Read more

Dispelling Common Myths Surrounding UTM

Unified Threat Management (UTM) has become popular among organisations since its emergence over five years ago. The security solution gained traction with its all-in-one approach, combining several security tools into a single device. Running UTM also saved companies, especially the smaller ones time, money and manpower. Most UTM today include a firewall, intrusion detection system (IDS), virtual private network (VPN), anti-malware, anti-spam, content and web filtering, while some vendors include other features such as advanced routing.

Wana Tun | 03 Oct | Read more

Navigating the balancing act: how to support user privacy whilst maintaining control of corporate-owned data

It goes without saying that government surveillance news dominates our media. From a global standpoint, the NSA leaks brought international attention to state organised spying. Locally, the Australian Government has been making headlines over its plans to develop legislation that will allow it to more easily access metadata from large organisations and telecoms providers to gain information on the consumers using their services in a bid to prevent acts of terrorism

David Balazsy | 03 Oct | Read more

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