Risk
1/20/2011
01:49 PM
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
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-1637
Published: 2015-03-06
Schannel (aka Secure Channel) in Microsoft Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 SP2 and R2 SP1, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 Gold and R2, and Windows RT Gold and 8.1 does not properly restrict TLS state transitions, which makes it easier for r...

CVE-2014-2130
Published: 2015-03-05
Cisco Secure Access Control Server (ACS) provides an unintentional administration web interface based on Apache Tomcat, which allows remote authenticated users to modify application files and configuration files, and consequently execute arbitrary code, by leveraging administrative privileges, aka B...

CVE-2014-9688
Published: 2015-03-05
Unspecified vulnerability in the Ninja Forms plugin before 2.8.10 for WordPress has unknown impact and remote attack vectors related to admin users.

CVE-2015-0598
Published: 2015-03-05
The RADIUS implementation in Cisco IOS and IOS XE allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (device reload) via crafted IPv6 Attributes in Access-Accept packets, aka Bug IDs CSCur84322 and CSCur27693.

CVE-2015-0607
Published: 2015-03-05
The Authentication Proxy feature in Cisco IOS does not properly handle invalid AAA return codes from RADIUS and TACACS+ servers, which allows remote attackers to bypass authentication in opportunistic circumstances via a connection attempt that triggers an invalid code, as demonstrated by a connecti...

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.