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April 2004

In enterprises, proactive information security finally taking hold

"Current systems offer little or no protection from viral attack -- the only provably 'safe' policy as of this time is isolationism." --Fred Cohen, "Computer Viruses: Theory and Experiments," 1984 Funny how the more things change, the more they stay the same. Twenty years after Cohen wrote these words, we still haven't got a clue how to stop viruses, and the state-of-the-art in virus defense remains soft. I understand it's a difficult problem. Windows has more holes than a sieve. AV scanners are inherently reactive. End users are double-clicking dopes. You can't patch systems fast enough. Budgets are tight. Yada, yada, yada. Andrew Briney If you're a security pro, these explanations make perfect sense. But if you're not, they sound like, well, a bunch of excuses. For a profession that's struggling to gain respect, credibility and funding, that's not a good thing. You can talk all you want about security's growing role in the business, but it's hard to be taken seriously when you can't solve 20-year-old problems. One of the ...

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