Safeguard Your PCs in 2012

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					                                                                                                                                                         07/01/2012 04:37

                                                            Safeguard Your PCs in 2012

                                                                      Safeguard Your PCs in 2012                    to exploit. Businesses and end users are caught in
                                                                                                                    the middle, just trying to minimize risk and avoid
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                                                                                                                           Wearing a Bull’s-Eye on Your Back

                                                                                                                    Zero-day vulnerabilities are not as big a threat as
                                                                                                                    sensational headlines make them seem, but a well-
                                                                                                                    executed zero-day exploit can have devastating im-
                                                                                                                    pact. The reality is that most attacks target known
                                                                                                                    vulnerabilities, but you must protect your endpoint
                                                                                                                    PCs against both known and unknown threats.

                                                                                                                    Microsoft recently revealed that “none of the top ma-
                                                                                                                    lware families in the first half of 2011 were known
                                                                                                                    to be distributed through the use of zero days, and
                                                                                                                    while some smaller families did take advantage of
                                                                                                                    zero-day vulnerabilities, less than one percent of
                                                                                                                    all exploit attempts were against zero-day issues.”
                                                            race is constantly going on between software ven-       There is a rich history of highly successful exploits
                                                            dors identifying and patching security holes, and       and malware attacks targeting known vulnerabili-
                                                            malicious attackers trying to exploit them. Don’t       ties. The SQL Slammer worm that crippled much of
                                                            let your company get caught in the middle of that       the Internet in less than an hour in 2003 targeted a
                                                            contest. This year, resolve to make it simpler to       buffer overflow flaw in SQL Server that Microsoft
                                                            update and protect your systems.                        had identified and developed a patch for more than

                                                                                                                    six months earlier. The compromised systems simply
                                                            The world is an imperfect place, and software is        weren’t patched in time.
                                                            certainly no exception. The operating systems and
                                                            complex applications that businesses rely on are        The flip side of that coin, though, is that it’s always
                                                            composed of millions of lines of code, and it is ine-   possible a malicious attack could discover and ex-
                                                            vitable that flaws will exist and that attackers will   ploit an unknown vulnerability. Precision attacks
                                                            exploit them. It is a simple fact of IT life.           directed at specific targets with a focused goal do
                                                                                                                    particularly well with zero-day exploits.
                                                            Most software developers do their best to follow
                                                            secure coding practices, and diligently work to         Businesses need effective security in place to protect
                                                            identify and resolve flaws, while hackers and ma-       endpoint systems during the gap between when a
                                                            lware developers focus on finding vulnerabilities       patch is published and when it is actually deployed

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                                                            Safeguard Your PCs in 2012

                                                            to endpoint PCs. You need to make sure that your                         Embracing Diversity
                                                            PCs are adequately protected against known vulne-
                                                            rabilities, and that they also have technologies in
                                                            place to recognize and thwart emerging threats.

                                                                             Just Keeping Up

                                                            Staying informed of flaws and vulnerabilities and
                                                            securing endpoints to guard against attacks is a full-
                                                            time job. Microsoft published 99 security bulletins
                                                            in 2011, addressing hundreds of individual software
                                                            vulnerabilities, any of which malware or some other
                                                            attack might exploit.

                                                            That figure is just for Microsoft, and it doesn’t in-
                                                            clude other less urgent updates for Microsoft ope-
                                                            rating systems and applications that don’t have a
                                                            security impact. And while many organizations
                                                            rely heavily on Microsoft software, ubiquitous to-
                                                            ols such as Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Java,
                                                            as well as a wide range of third-party applications
                                                            and technologies, also have holes and weaknesses
                                                            that could be exploited.

                                                                                                                     As if that weren’t complicated enough, many orga-
                                                                                                                     nizations must also deal with an increasingly di-

                                                                                                                     verse array of operating systems and technologies.
                                                                                                                     As employees continue to bring their own devices
                                                                                                                     to work (the BYOD trend) and as IT evolves and
                                                                                                                     becomes more consumerized, the world is getting
                                                                                                                     less Microsoft-centric over time.

                                                                                                                     While there are pros and cons to Windows, Mac OS
                                                                                                                     X, and Linux, and there are benefits to deploying a
                                                                                                                     heterogeneous platform, doing so inevitably intro-
                                                                                                                     duces more complexity. The more diverse and less
                                                                                                                     uniform the IT infrastructure becomes, the more
                                                                                                                     difficult it is to keep all of it protected and up to date.

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                                                            Safeguard Your PCs in 2012

                                                                        State-of-the-Art Defense                          attacks are still possible. As Mac OS X and
                                                                                                                          Linux systems gain a bigger footprint in the
                                                            Smaller businesses are often at a disadvantage                PC arena, they also become bigger targets
                                                            relative to larger enterprises. They face the same            and need to have protection in place.
                                                            threats and security issues, but lack the financial
                                                            resources and dedicated IT staff to monitor and de-                   Effective PC Protection
                                                            fend the network 24/7. What these businesses need
                                                            is a simple solution that can protect endpoint PCs      Symantec Endpoint Protection provides a fra-
                                                            with minimal cost and administrative overhead.          mework to protect your PCs from virtually all at-
                                                                                                                    tacks, whether from known or emerging threats.
                                                            Symantec Endpoint Protection provides a compre-
                                                            hensive suite of security tools that can be managed     As important as the protection itself is, it is also
                                                            and deployed from one console. Symantec Endpoint        critical that the security solution itself be simple
                                                            Protection includes antivirus, antispyware, personal    to manage and maintain. Symantec Endpoint Pro-
                                                            firewall, and host intrusion prevention to guard PCs    tection delivers on the administrative side as well.
                                                            against a complete range of malware and malicious
                                                            attacks.                                                Symantec Endpoint Protection has a central console
                                                                                                                    so you can manage your security from a single PC. It
                                                            Symantec is a recognized leader in information se-      comes with wizards and flexible deployment options
                                                            curity, and the state-of-the-art security in Symantec   that streamline installations and upgrades on the
                                                            Endpoint Protection includes:                           endpoint PCs, and the Smart Scheduler technology
                                                                                                                    lets you configure Symantec Endpoint Security to
                                                               • Symantec Insight—a system that proactively         perform noncritical security tasks at times when
                                                                 tracks the age, prevalence, and security           the computer is idle to avoid impacting productivity.
                                                                 rating of nearly every file on the Internet.
                                                                 By actively monitoring all files traversing        There is no such thing as a set-it-and-forget-it, silver-
                                                                 the Internet, Symantec can simplify analy-         bullet approach to PC security. You always have to
                                                                 sis and quickly recognize new or changed           monitor and maintain your security to make sure
                                                                 threats.                                           your PCs are protected. But Symantec Endpoint Pro-
                                                               • SONAR 3—The next-generation replace-               tection enables you to do that with minimal effort
                                                                 ment for Symantec’s TruScan technology,            and gets you back to focusing on your real business.

                                                                 SONAR 3 examines programs as they are
                                                                 running to identify suspicious or malicious                          Related Articles:
                                                                 behavior and stop threats in their tracks.
                                                               • Browser Intrusion Prevention—Syman-
                                                                 tec recognizes that the Web browser has
                                                                 become the target of choice for malware
                                                                 attacks, and it has developed protection to
                                                                 specifically recognize and block browser-
                                                                 based attacks.
                                                               • Antivirus for Mac OS X and Linux—While
                                                                 the scope and impact of malware threats for
                                                                 platforms other than Windows is minimal,

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Description: The world is an imperfect place, and software is certainly no exception. The operating systems and complex applications that businesses rely on are composed of millions of lines of code, and it is inevitable that flaws will exist and that attackers will exploit them.