Risk
8/28/2008
11:22 AM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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Space Station Laptop Virus: This Isn't Rocket Science!

Then again maybe anti-virus precautions are rocket science, or should be, as witness a worm problem in a laptop onboard the International Space Station.

Then again maybe anti-virus precautions are rocket science, or should be, as witness a worm problem in a laptop onboard the International Space Station.The news that a worm had infected a laptop in the space station was good for a sigh and laugh -- especially since it was quickly made clear that no critical station systems were placed at risk.

When further news revealed that the spacefaring worm was one designed to steal online game logons, the laughs got a little louder.

But when flash card carried by an astronaut was alleged to be a source of the infection, the sighs started to outweigh the laughs -- and these are sighs especially relevant to small and midsize businesses.

Flash cards and every other device or tool that can be connected to any of your equipment are potential sources of infection. If you don't have device monitors and enforceable device policies in place, you're allowing your network -- or unconnected machines -- to be placed at risk.

This really isn't rocket science, no matter what's going on in orbit.

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The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.

So why does the shortage of women continue to be worse in security than in other IT sectors? How can men in infosec be better allies for women; and how can women be better allies for one another? What is the industry doing to fix the problem -- what's working, and what isn't?

Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?

Join Dark Reading senior editor Sara Peters and guests Angela Knox of Cloudmark, Barrett Sellers of Arbor Networks, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, Steve Christey Coley of MITRE, and Chris Roosenraad of M3AAWG on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss all this and more.