Security serious business for Irish firms


1 April 2005

Vendors hype aside, recent attacks on the Irish Honeynet server reiterate the fact that small Irish companies need to take proper precautions to protect themselves from hackers and other intrusion threats on the Internet.

A joint initiative between Deloitte & Touche, security distributor Espion and hosting company Data Electronics, the Irish Honeynet is a site under constant surveillance designed to mimic the vulnerable Internet infrastructures commonly used by businesses and monitor attempted attacks and intrusions perpetrated by hackers and crackers.

For those involved in Honeynet, the biggest threat to small businesses’ IT systems seem to be trojan horses—programs that allow a hacker to take remote control of computers within a company network from outside.  




Bruce Hopkins, the manager of information security services with KPMG feels different. He points out that smaller companies can often consider security as an after-thought when it comes to setting up their system. While larger companies may have the advantage of IT auditors or security consultants, and packages with in-built security features, smaller companies do not.

‘It is often reactive,’ he explains, such as installing anti-virus software on a server after a virus attack.

Currently viruses remain the biggest threat to security in businesses, but companies should also be aware of employees wasting time surfing leisure sites. Apart from lost production time, it can also cause organisational difficulties among staff.

Companies should also be careful when disposing of old PCs—even if the hard drives have already been reformatted. A bit of knowledge about forensics and the right software is all that is required to recover data that you may have thought was deleted forever.

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