Weekly Security Highlights: 2011 McAfee Security Journal Is A Must-Read For All

As we move into our last (short) week before the Thanksgiving holiday, I’d like to take this chance to highlight some of the excellent work showcased our 2011 McAfee Security Journal, released this past Tuesday with articles compiled from McAfee Labs researchers and security industry thought leaders. The Journal was created as a venue to inform security executives and IT personnel on cutting-edge topics, and to examine the future of information security.

Security Is Often an Illusion in Today’s Access-From-Everywhere Climate

Chris Roberts, founder and so-called “Chief Geek” of One World Labs, explains how today’s access-from-anywhere technology has rendered traditional security solutions inadequate. In this new environment with conveniences such as free wireless and Bluetooth, simple mistakes like weak passwords often combine to form systemic issues that keep us at risk. He reminds us that we need better security development, better-trained employees and users, and better overall procedures.

Mobile Privacy Risks Fuel Future Threats

Jimmy Shah, mobile security researcher for McAfee, describes his views on mobile privacy and the challenges it may pose in the future. Mobile phones often contain sensitive personal and corporate data, and it is imperative that we do a better job of protecting both. And it’s not just smartphones we need to be worried about – other devices can be culprits as well, like tablets and even automobiles.

The Cloud Is Changing Everything

Cloud-based computing and the consumerization of IT are arguably two of the most influential trends that the tech community has seen in recent years. As CTO of McAfee Content and Cloud Security Scott Chasin points out, we need to either adapt and embrace these new technologies or accept that our competitors will. And while security remains a top customer concern, the reality is that when leveraged correctly, cloud migration can both help reduce security costs and increase organizations’ security posture and protection.

Can Studying the Past Help Secure the Future?

Dave Marcus, Director of Security Research and Communications for McAfee Labs, discusses his views on recent information security events, specifically hacktivism – who hacktivists are, what inspires them, and why they have been so successful. Most importantly, he argues that we need to look more closely at these types of events and their outcomes and use that history to our advantage. We need to learn from our mistakes, and learn from how these groups exploit well-known security vulnerabilities.

“Hacktivism…is really about the message rather than the method. Let’s take advantage of the lessons that hacktivism offers us by closely observing events both current and historic and then by applying order and method. If you’re targeted, ask yourself why.”

This is by no means an exhaustive summary, and I highly encourage you to download a copy of the Journal and share it with your friends and colleagues. These are challenges that affect all of us, both at an individual and an enterprise level, and we must push our industry to meet these new challenges moving forward.

As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions for next week’s Highlights here in the blog, and on Twitter at @IntelSec_Biz.

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