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Attacks/Breaches

9/25/2007
01:40 AM
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Sophos Update Blocks Remote Connection Tools

Sophos helps organizations block unauthorized remote connection tools

BOSTON, Mass. -- Sophos, a world leader in IT security and control, announced today that the application control feature of Sophos Endpoint Security and Control has been extended to give businesses the option to block remote connection tools, such as RealVNC and Radmin, that enable employees to access remote-based PCs or laptops from any other computer via the internet.

Remote connection tools represent a loophole in many businesses' computer usage policies. Enabling office-based staff to remotely access home computers while at work allows them to visit any website - including those that are banned by the company. Similarly, connecting to work PCs from remote locations raises security concerns for IT departments, which cannot verify whether it is an employee who has connected to the network or if a hacker has taken over the machine and is trying to access confidential corporate data.

These tools also present a security risk in that they allow the easy transfer of data or files between corporate and non-corporate computers and provide a backdoor for hackers to gain access to company resources. In a recent Sophos poll, 80 percent of systems administrators indicated that they considered remote connection tools a threat to corporate security*. With some users installing pirated software or games on home PCs, administrators need to avoid unwanted applications finding their way onto the business network.

"While remote connection tools can certainly make life easier for those employees who need to work from the office, from home and while on the road, their use can be a security nightmare for systems administrators," said John Stringer, product manager at Sophos. "If home PCs aren't properly protected, they can help malware and hackers break into the corporate network. We're also seeing more and more firms banning productivity-sapping sites like Facebook and eBay, but the use of these tools means that staff can easily circumnavigate corporate rules. With Sophos's latest application control features, employees are no longer in the driver’s seat, and systems administrators can recapture control of the corporate network."

Sophos plc

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