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January 2006

Editor's Desk: The state of patching

It's a new year. Out with the old and in with the new, right? Not so, according to SANS. Rather, it's in with the old and let's get it right this time. Security has been set back to 1999--at least that was the consensus among security professionals who contributed to the SANS Institute's Top 20 vulnerability list for 2005. The reason: lack of automated patching for applications. So, don't pop the bubbly yet, and put down that party hat: 2006 could be a year of patching hell. Attackers are targeting Windows Office and other popular applications, backup software, antivirus software and even media players. Hackers are also looking to exploit networking equipment. In essence, even the technology that is supposed to protect you could make you more vulnerable. So why are we going back to the future? The problem is that we've been in reactionary mode for too long. Our knee-jerk response has been to put up walls to shield our networks from outside threats. But while we focused on hardening the perimeter, we failed to protect the inside....

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Features in this issue

  • Mining NetFlow

    Your routers and switches can yield a mother lode of security information about your network--if you know where to dig

  • Help From Above

    Security managers are looking to the keepers of the Internet cloud for relief.

  • Secure communications

    by  Dr. Juergen Schneider

    This tip covers ways that you can secure a network to protect data from internal as well as external attacks.

Columns in this issue