Defending Your Internet Presence

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 1, 2008

Your Web site is your company’s online fingerprint and the most valuable information-sharing tool that you have. But just as it enables you to reach millions of online users, it also makes it possible for hackers and vandals to break in to manipulate and destroy your data. Here are five tips that can help protect both your Web site and Web-based applications from malicious attacks.

Secure the perimeter. Protect your Web site as you would physically protect your building. Just as you would add locks and bars to block intruders, so should you protect your Web site—and intellectual property—by securing it behind a firewall or unified threat management (UTM) device.

Separate public and private components. Though some data are available and open to the public, it is crucial to separate your internal data, such as Web mail and instant messaging, from outside users. By adding additional layers of security through user names, passwords, and two-factor authentication—such as picture identification—only authorized users will gain access to your internal information.

Stop the spam. According to Barracuda Network’s annual 2007 spam report, 95% of all e-mail traffic sent in 2007 was spam. Make sure to keep your spam filter current with the latest patches and software releases.

Decrease data leakage. Your security must cover incoming and outgoing information. Implement and enforce sound internal document handling procedures by marking confidential and proprietary information appropriately—and make sure your firewall filters confidential content going out.

Consider a managed security service provider. Instead of internally screening for security breaches and incidents, an MSSP can monitor, alert, and respond to malicious Web-based attacks 24/7, freeing up your time and resources.

Jim Olson, Vice-President of Inside Sales & Solutions Engineering
Darren Carroll, CISSP, Online Security Expert
SunGard Availability Services
Wayne, Pa.

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