Network Security 2012: A New Threat or The Same Old Story?

As the way people work with the Internet changes, the efforts made for security of networks must evolve. Even initiatives now largely thought as consumer IT, such as mobile computing or social networking, will soon play into corporate networks as businesses glean the best of such technologies for their benefit.

CompTIA Report

But while these new features of communication continue to develop, one thing seems to be falling short, at least according to a new report from CompTIA. The IT security association recently released its Ninth Annual Information Security Trends report, one which found the skills of IT workers in companies across the world significantly lacking when it comes to new technologies.

The report indicates some 41 per cent of IT departments in the United States report a deficiency in security knowledge for staff, with similar shortcomings present in the United Kingdom, Japan and more. CompTIA reported staff experience with IT network problems and solutions as a major component, which could go a ways toward explaining the problem inherent in protecting newer technologies: the IT staff themselves may be regularly entering unfamiliar waters in regards to security.

And while counter-initiatives such as private virtualisation or tried-and-true practices such as SCCM Patch Management still go a long way, IT workers face a continual learning curve in regards to network security.

Malware Remains an Ever-Present Threat

For example, new malware tactics include infrastructures that elude many anti-virus solutions, changing locations perhaps 100s of times a day. Malware can include anything from fake downloads of product updates to bogus audio or visual content.

Sasi Murthy of Blue Coat, a company that tracks such malware, said her company tracks about 500 instances of malware. “Some are very small and some are global. Vast parts of these networks may be silent for months. It’s a very effective way to evade law enforcement,” she told

Murthy said about one in every 141 search queries can result in malware – important for any company hoping to keep its network secure. This highlights the very real threat an organisation’s network is continually under on a daily basis.

Thankfully, the CompTIA survey also revealed that nearly half of organisations interviewed (at least those from the US) planned to incorporate additional staff for security in the next two years. But the point remains: Businesses need to ensure the regular training of staff in new security tactics to turn old threats into old news.

Catherine Halsey is a freelance copywriter based in Edinburgh and writes a digital marketing agency on a wide range of topics. This article links to

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