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December 10, 2010
By S.L. Sweet

Are You an Online Target for Organized Crime?

In the movies, members of organized crime rings operate from the shadowy corners of a neighborhood restaurant or the back of a limousine with darkened windows. Do you have visions of The Sopranos episodes running through your mind? In reality, today's organized crime is more likely to take place in a brightly lit office, using the latest computer and networking technology. In fact, online theft has now become the primary money-maker for organized crime rings, far exceeding the income from traditional activities such as drugs and gambling.

Hackers working for crime rings have the knowledge, tools, and funding to develop ever more sophisticated attacks on Web sites and computer systems. (See this TechNewsWorld article for more discussion of these attacks.)

Their target is "data at rest"—payment card numbers and other financial data on servers or storage systems that are connected to your business network. Cyber criminals know that small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are an easy target. Why? Because they are less likely to have the latest security technologies in place, or the expert staff who can quickly recognize and respond to attacks.

Although firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, antivirus software, and other basic elements provide some protection, they are no longer sufficient to ensure true network and IT system security. For example, does your business have the resources for 24x7 monitoring of network and database activity? Purchasing and maintaining state-of-the-art security tools? Promptly analyzing database logins, system logs, and activity on servers, data storage systems, and at the network perimeter? Does your staff have the time to keep up-to-date on the latest security threats so they can immediately recognize "something's not quite right" activity when it happens?

These factors are prompting many organizations, especially SMBs, to consider MegaPath Managed Security Services. By leveraging our advanced technologies, round-the-clock monitoring, and expert knowledge gained from managing thousands of networks, our customers are getting security capabilities that can make them less of an easy mark for organized crime.

How good is your knowledge about IT security? Take this Network World quiz to find out. You're also welcome to share your questions and insights in the comments below.

Recommended Listening: Podcast 2 in a 4 part series on Security and Compliance. Tune in for a MPLS University Q&A on "7 Tips and 2 Models: How to Choose a Managed Security Services Provider that Fits Your Business".

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