Friday, October 29, 2010

Boo! Are your employee's computers haunted?

These are scary times for information security professionals who face increasing demands for protecting sensitive company information and at the same time are supporting more and more employee-owned devices connecting to the corporate network.

In my last posting I mentioned an Information Week article that I will return to this week. The article describes how anti-malware software is not getting the job done. The author was focusing on enterprise IT organizations protecting corporate networks and devices.

But the successful evasion of software defenses that malware authors are enjoying in the enterprise is even more troubling when we look at the Bring Your Own PC model of corporate computing. In this model company employees use their own PCs and laptops to access enterprise resources. Bring Your Own PC could also be called "Bring Your Own Malware." If million dollar enterprise software budgets cannot keep the hackers away, how can we assume an employee-owned PC will be free of infection?

"Bring Your Own PC" could also be called "Bring Your Own Malware"

There are two eye-opening statistics in the Information Week article, derived from a Ponemon Institute survey of IT and IT security practitioners: Nearly 80% of companies report malware evades their antivirus systems, and almost half report malware infections take longer than 30 days to remove. That's a long time for malware-infected computers to continue connecting to corporate networks and accessing sensitive data--and these are fully managed PCs controlled by corporate IT. The numbers must be much worse for employee-owned PCs. Last year Trend Micro reported their results from monitoring 100 million compromised IP addresses: half of the addresses showed signs of infection for over 300 days.

Nearly 80% of companies report malware evades their antivirus systems, and almost half report malware infections take longer than 30 days to remove.

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