The Antivirus Controversy – How Safe Are You?
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The Antivirus Controversy – How Safe Are You?
A recent New York Times article published a damning report about the state of antivirus software.
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Security Awareness Training - Compliance Software | KnowBe4

Security Awareness Training - Compliance Software | KnowBe4 | The Antivirus Controversy – How Safe Are You? | Scoop.it
KnowBe4 is the market leading on-demand Internet Security Awareness Training (ISAT) provider that enables enterprises to quickly solve the increasingly urgent security problem of social engineering.
Samantha Bruno's insight:

It might be a hard truth to swallow, but when it comes to online security the biggest risk is often our selves. All the antivirus software and spyware programs in the world can’t protect a system if the end-user isn’t security minded and aware of the threats out there. Like it or not, we are the weakest link.

 

“People continue to create the greatest risks.” Says online security training expert Stu Sjouwerman. One of the pioneers of internet security awareness training (ISAT), Sjouwerman is a keen advocate of heightening online risk prevention through the training and mentoring of end-users. “Whenever you talk about security vulnerabilities, the discussion always turns to the most direct threat; people.” He says.

 

The awareness, or lack thereof, of personnel to online risks and security breaches is becoming a major headache for companies and corporations. With virtually all business conducted online these days, a compromise to a network or database can spell absolute disaster for a company.

 

“People are our greatest asset, but they're also our weakest link when it comes to information security," State of Delaware’s Chief Security officer Elayne Starkey told Healthcare Info Security. Recognizing the importance of internet security awareness training she has implemented an internal security certification program as part of her endeavors to reduce the vulnerability employees present. She provides on-the-job awareness education for information security officers statewide to help minimize data leaks and combat threats such as spear phishing.

 

M&T Bank’s Senior VP for Information Technology Matthew Speare is in charge of the bank’s information risk program, ensuring the safety of the personal information of millions of customers. He too is convinced of the importance of internet security awareness training. “Whether it’s internal employees or customers,” he said to Healthcare Info Security, “unfortunately, people end up being their own worst enemy, as well as ours.” Accordingly he and his team attempt to change M&T staff’s behavior so they are not scammed into creating fraudulent transactions.

 

“Traditional once-a-year security awareness training doesn’t hack it anymore.” Notes Stu Sjouwerman, founder of ISAT provider Knowbe4.com. “Today employees are frequently exposed to sophisticated phishing attacks, and your users are now the weak link in your network security. They need to be trained by an expert, and after that training stay on their toes, keeping security top of mind.”

 

As the methods employed by cybercriminals become evermore devious and inventive, so your staff need to be kept abreast of new developments in online security awareness.

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Security Awareness Training - Compliance Software | KnowBe4

Security Awareness Training - Compliance Software | KnowBe4 | The Antivirus Controversy – How Safe Are You? | Scoop.it
KnowBe4 is the market leading on-demand Internet Security Awareness Training (ISAT) provider that enables enterprises to quickly solve the increasingly urgent security problem of social engineering.
Samantha Bruno's insight:

We like to assume we are protected from the more unpleasant things lurking out there, but when it comes to the security of our computers, just how safe are we? Every time we switch our notebooks and desktops on we are exposing these delicate pieces of hardware to millions of pieces of malicious software, and yet we rest assured that our antivirus programs will protect us. Maybe we shouldn’t be so content.

 

A recent New York Times article published a damning report about the state of antivirus software and the protection – or lack thereof – that this multibillion-dollar industry affords us.

 

Firstly you need to understand just how many computer viruses are out there. Ten years ago it is estimated that there were less than 1-million examples of malware in circulation. Jump forward a decade and German research institute AV-Test puts that figure at almost 50-million. To compound this, most of those viruses at the turn of the millennium were the work of amateurs, today malware is predominantly the product of highly adept professional criminals. That all adds up to 50-million compelling reasons to make sure your personal computer or office network is properly protected.

 

But this is where things begin to get really scary. According to the New York Times feature, antivirus software simply isn’t up to the challenge and we are left dangerously exposed to the latest and nastiest viruses and malware. The NYT highlights a study by data security firm Imperva and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology students showing that of over 80 new viruses, antivirus software from Microsoft, McAfee Symantec and others only detected 5%.

 

The problem is that by the time the antivirus firms have updated their software to detect and counter new viruses, the malware it’s meant to combat has evolved and moved on. Quite often by the time your antivirus software has found a virus, your computer is already infected.

 

So what can you do? Obviously keeping your antivirus software up to date is essential, but keeping informed and aware of the ever-changing threats to your computer systems is becoming just as important. Internet security training expert Stu Sjouwerman of Knowbe4.com says that although antivirus software will help filter out much of the malware out there, “A more complete solution should include security awareness training as part of your in-depth defense.”

 

The sad truth is you can never be fully immune form viruses, but the more precautions you take the safer you’ll be. Just don’t take a back seat and assume you’re protected from malware, take a proactive approach and maximize your online security.

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