Risk
1/20/2011
01:49 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Malware, Mobile Lead SMB Security Threats

Online marketing and blogs are another key attack vector that small and midsize businesses need to guard, says Blue Coat Security researcher.

Top 10 SMB Predictions for 2011
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Top 10 SMB Predictions For 2011

The bad guys lurking in the digital shadows are as active as ever, and smaller businesses aren't safe just because they don't trade in state secrets.

That's the overall message from Chris Larsen, head of Blue Coat Security's research lab, who spoke with me recently about the key trends and threats that small and midsize businesses (SMBs) need to keep tabs on in 2011.

First, the good news: "Most SMBs are not going to have the sorts of secrets that the Chinese military would be after, or the U.S. government if they were behind Stuxnet, or whoever you want to speculate on your conspiracy theories there," Larsen said.

So what should smaller organizations worry about?

"If I were an SMB, I would be more concerned about what I call mass-market malware," Larsen said. "Those are the sort of attacks that are launched fairly indiscriminately by the bad guys just trying to infect whoever they can, and then they will sift through the list of computers they've infected and try to sort out higher value targets."

If an attacker realizes they've gained access to a finance staffer's computer inside an SMB, they are likely to concentrate their efforts there rather than, say, a less fruitful consumer account. Recent reports have found that malware volume doubled in 2010, with more than half of all online attacks caused by automated toolkits.

"For the bad guys, it is a much bigger score to hit an SMB computer that belongs to the corporate accountant, and they've got a couple hundred thousand dollars in their bank account, whereas a typical home user might have a couple thousand dollars," Larsen said. "That's where they're going to focus."

Smartphones and mobile devices are a growing concern for systems administrators and security folks alike, Larsen said, even those with strong network protections already in place.

"Now you've doubled or tripled the number of infection vectors you need to worry about and the tools you have available to deal with those platforms aren't mature yet," Larsen said. He added that a true cloud security initiative is likely needed because it's too difficult to have client-side apps protect every type of device and platform. "It's not a desktop metaphor anymore."

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-2363
Published: 2014-07-26
Morpho Itemiser 3 8.17 has hardcoded administrative credentials, which makes it easier for remote attackers to obtain access via a login request.

CVE-2014-3071
Published: 2014-07-26
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Data Quality Console in IBM InfoSphere Information Server 11.3 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted URL for adding a project connection.

CVE-2014-3301
Published: 2014-07-26
The ProfileAction controller in Cisco WebEx Meetings Server (CWMS) 1.5(.1.131) and earlier allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information by reading stack traces in returned messages, aka Bug ID CSCuj81700.

CVE-2014-3305
Published: 2014-07-26
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in the web framework in Cisco WebEx Meetings Server 1.5(.1.131) and earlier allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of unspecified victims via unknown vectors, aka Bug ID CSCuj81735.

CVE-2014-3324
Published: 2014-07-26
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the login page in the administrative web interface in Cisco TelePresence Server Software 4.0(2.8) allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted parameter, aka Bug ID CSCup90060.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Sara Peters hosts a conversation on Botnets and those who fight them.