Security Pros' No. 1 Fear: The Danger in Their Own Devices

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Eight out of 10 IT security executives say their biggest problem is infected devices accessing their data assets.

A malware explosion, plus burgeoning threats like greyware and riskware, have IT security executives in a tizzy and should concern marketers who are increasingly dependent on secure databases and multichannel engagement, according to a study from security software provider OPSWAT.

Its survey of 100 Web security professionals found that 80 of them lost sleep over the increasing threat of internal data being accessed via infected or compromised devices. Cloud-based computing that allows field sales reps to send real-time campaigns via smartphones also complicates security due all the different devices accessing a database. Two thirds of those surveyed said that the security of all the devices or endpoints accessing their networks posed a greater challenge to them than the security of data entering their organizations.

“Seven or eight years ago, a single anti-malware engine could detect 80 to 90 percent of the malware affecting a site. Now some only detect as little as 50 percent,” says OPSWAT CEO Benny Czarny.

Czarny says that advances in cloud and Internet technology have also spawned new classes of services that can open up company databases to encroachment. “Conduit and other companies like them have companies embedding their technologies to help them establish better ties to customers, but their business models are about selling information about these users to third parties,” Czarny says.

On the rise is greyware, which falls into a grey area between software and a virus, and riskware, legitimate programs that can be compromised by malicious intruders. More than a third of executives surveyed worried that their systems are plagued by greyware and riskware.

The best way to deal with the problem, Czarny says, is to use multi-scanning. “No one antivirus engine can be accurate 100% of the time. By using several, companies will benefit from different algorithms and heuristics to significantly increase malware detection rates."

Seven out of 10 security pros said their organization had begun using multi-scanning software.

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