Most end users are relatively secure behind their corporate firewalls or in their homes. But when they travel they usually wind up connecting systems to networks that are not trusted and all kinds of bad things can easily start to happen.
According to Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky, the best IT security defense is paranoia. Kaspersky says that not only does he personally go to great lengths to make sure there is no valuable information with the systems he connects to an untrusted network, he makes certain that when he surfs the Web he always connects to his company’s virtual private network. In fact, while using networks at hotels may be unavoidable, Kaspersky says that end users should stay out of business centers at all costs, and if they do wind up in a business center, save files to a USB drive and be prepared to throw it away.
Kaspersky says that IT security has become much more complex in the wake of the recent rise in both cyber espionage and cyber terrorism. The emergence of a black market for data is also contributing to a growing sophistication in attacks that are now aimed at specific companies, applications and people, says Kaspersky. In fact, Kaspersky says that while individuals can protect themselves to a certain degree, there is no such thing as a company secret or individual privacy on the Internet anymore.
On a more positive note, Kaspersky notes that governments around the world are getting savvier about IT security issues. As a result, he expects to see a lot more cooperation between governments to limit criminal activity, even to the point where nations come together to ban cyber weapons in much the same way they banned nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. After all, Kaspersky says cyber weapons such as Stuxnet are not only more dangerous in terms of how easily they can be used to compromise critical IT infrastructure, but they are even more unpredictable. That may not prevent independent groups from employing these weapons or governments from using cyber-espionage technologies on their own citizens, but Kaspersky says it would be a step in the right direction.
Kaspersky’s comments came during a promotional tour that stopped in New York today to promote a new Ferrari Edition of Kaspersky Internet Security software, which includes the ability to virtually race a Ferrari. Based on Kaspersky Internet Security 2013, the special edition is intended to highlight the importance of security performance while making greater use of automation to identify and prevent threats. For example, the software can now better detect unusual application behavior resulting in data being unknowingly exported from a device. In addition, any time a user accesses certain sites that require a transaction to occur, the Kaspersky software will automatically spin up an instance of the local browser running in safe mode.
Obviously, security issues are getting thornier with each passing day. But there are things the average individual can do to help protect their data because as the saying goes: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”