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Malware: More Hype Than Reality
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Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
1/22/2014 | 9:04:02 AM
Re: Protected Against 12,543,654,654 threats
Totally agree somedude8 - those notices go beyond funny, they are downright annoying & counterproductive -- just like a nagging spouse (mine totally excepted from that characterization). I so appreciate the warnings that something in my AV software is out of date, but not when it's a thinly veiled attemped to get me to upgrade to a more expensive package. Those kinds of activities work against the anti-malware industry, especially companies selling to consumers, who will get frustrated and not adopt the security practices necessary to prevent an attack. We all know that consumers are bringing their devices into enterprise networks in drove. So everyone is at greater risk....
jagibbons
jagibbons,
User Rank: Strategist
1/21/2014 | 7:19:22 PM
Re: Users are the weak link
You can never go wrong with higher awareness and more training. Most people learn by repetition, so keep drilling it into their heads. That can also be a lot less expensive than expanding the set of technical security tools to protect the network.
Somedude8
Somedude8,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/21/2014 | 4:01:49 PM
Protected Against 12,543,654,654 threats
I always find it funny how anti Malware programs go way out of their way to let you know that they have protected your system against {insert ludicrous number here} threats since the date it was installed. And how almost every single one of those 'threats' is a cookie.
David F. Carr
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Strategist
1/21/2014 | 12:46:30 PM
Related: Target, Neiman Marcus Malware Creators Identified
Update on the biggest malware story of the day: Target, Neiman Marcus Malware Creators Identified
Andrew Froehlich
Andrew Froehlich,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/21/2014 | 12:37:38 PM
Re: Users are the weak link
I agree 100% @jagibbons - But it's been my experience that much more focus on prevention tools and very little on education.  While it's true that people will make mistakes, the more education regarding malware and social engineering they receive, the less likely they'll make stupid mistakes that let malware in.
David F. Carr
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Strategist
1/21/2014 | 12:37:07 PM
It pays to be paranoid
I've very rarely had problems with malware on any computer I've owned or operated, I think probably because I'm reasonably paranoid about clicking on links or downloading software from unfamiliar sources. I know drive-by attacks are supposed to be possible, but I haven't experienced them. (Should I say, "that I know of"?)

Of course, it also pays to be paranoid enough to run scans on your computer regularly and particularly when it's acting strangely in case something evil has taken root.
Andrew Froehlich
Andrew Froehlich,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/21/2014 | 12:33:35 PM
Re: Education
To reiterate...in no way do I think that the use of malware prevention and mitigation tools should be cast aside. They are clearly beneficial. My point is that so many in IT security are laser focused on these tools that we often forget that most malware can be easily prevented with proper end-user education.
RobPreston
RobPreston,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/21/2014 | 9:08:56 AM
Re: Education
To melgross's point about the comment spam, we're on the case. It seems to be particularly egriegious over the weekend, when there are fewer editotrs to spot it and remove it. We're seeking an automated solution. 
Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
1/21/2014 | 8:32:19 AM
Re: Education
This is a great thread -- and I'm glad the headline (in the wake of the Target breach) captured everyone's attention. Of course malware need to be taken seriously. But users -- even sophisticated one -- are also very vulnerable to many other kinds of attacks -- attack that require constant education and re-education. 

I read, edit and write about security every day and I know how easy it is to become jaded and complacent about best user security practices, so it's incumbent upon management to constantly remind employees of the risks -- and how to avoid them. 
Whoopty
Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
1/21/2014 | 6:54:35 AM
Re: Education
That's a fair point. Malware is often dependent on the user heading to a less than repuitable site, but if links to those sites are spammed on safe ones, it's harder to avoid. 
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