The latest Security Intelligence Report SIRv8 has just landed with a thud in my in box, (you can get yours here). I am not going to regurgitate it wholesale but I wanted to draw your attention to a couple of things..
Windows x64 RTM is the most secure OS in this list closely followed by Windows Server 2008 R2. This isn’t surprising as they share the same kernel and remember this version of Windows Server is only x64 so all the threat management that goes into the server OS bubbles up in Windows 7. You may remember forma previous post of mine that Windows 7 x64 is rapidly becoming the gamers platform of choice, so it isn’t a niche offering and should become more popular now that Office 2010 is also available in x64.
Another point in this report is that “breach incidents are twice as likely to occur because of human negligence. Sometimes security policy makes things worse, like the government department where my best friend works which has an arcane encryption system that generates a random password which has to be used at every reboot. The only way to remember this is to write it done so #fail on that one. Things like BitLocker in windows 7 mean that if you do leave pen drive or a whole laptop on a train at least the data won’t be compromised, but of course civil servants love paper and that is far more easily compromised e.g. Bob Quick’s counter terrorism error which is why I think the printer is the major security risk in any IT organisation!
Allied to this is the growing sophistication of malware particularly those actually masquerading as ant-malware solutions like these..
Hopefully in your role as the neighbourhood IT Pro you are already aware of these and how to deal with them, but if you need a starter for ten then there is the Protect consumer orientated security site from Microsoft..
My final point is that threats are now coming from a mix organised crime and state sponsored attacks which means big investments and smart people are behind these attacks, so we all have to be even more vigilant just to keep up.
So have a read of the report even if’s just the overview and be safe out there!