Poll: do you use scheduled scans for malware?

An  interesting comment recently appeared on my older post about whether or not to use antimalware software. Peter van Dam wondered whether scheduled scans are really necessary, given that anti-malware products scan files as they enter (and sometimes exit) a computer. He raises a good point, and I’m curious what all of you think? Do…


Updated Microsoft Security Assessment Tool

Greetings. In case you haven’t already read about it, we recently updated the Microsoft Security Assessment Tool (MSAT). Version 4.0 hit the web on 31 October. It’s been four years since the initial release, and two years since the prior version. Between then and now your security world has evolved a lot, and the tool…


Who should do your security audits? Or, how do you organize the security department?

An interesting question came up today. The group responsible for configuring and maintaining the firewalls at a customer also believes that they should be the only ones to audit their configurations. Others in the security department are uneasy with this, and prefer that someone else do the auditing. I’ve encountered similar tension before, and it…


More on Autorun

Last month, in my post “Autorun: good for you?” I described why I believe you should disable Autorun on all computers in your organization. I also explained how you can do this for XP and Vista computers. Well, it turns out that Windows will override this setting if you insert a USB drive that your…


What’s your data worth? More importantly, to whom?

This week, I’m attending and spoke at a cybercrime conference in Singapore. One of the presenters made a very good point, and I want to share it with you. When considering how to protect your data, don’t consider how valuable it might be to an attacker. Always, instead, consider how valuable it is to you….


More on the necessity of antivirus software

A few days ago, I wrote a brief post about my non-use of antivirus software on my own computers. A number of people have asked me privately if I am recommending such a stance to other individuals or to organizations. Let me be perfectly clear: absolutely not. For the vast majority of folks, the four…


Autorun: good for you?

Yes, if you’re a five-year-old and you’re tired of always asking mom or dad how to start the game on the CD. No need to know how! Just pick up the disc (a little peanut butter on your fingers helps with the grip), slide it in the drive, and wait for the game to start….


Antivirus software — who needs it?

In the newsgroups a few weeks ago, someone asked about which anti-virus software is best for experts. This is a really curious question. I’ve been involved in computer security — as a practitioner, a consultant, and an instructor/speaker — for several years. I feel fairly confident in calling myself an expert. I don’t run anti-malware…


Why administrative passwords will never be like nuclear missile launchers

During the past few months many people have lamented that Windows lacks a nuclear missile style control option for administrator passwords. Surely you’ve read about or seen photographs of missile silos where two operators, separated by a distance greater than the span of a single human’s arms, must each simultaneously turn a key in a…


Did you know that you ALREADY have an e-mail policy?

An email access policy can be expressed in one of two ways: E-mail is mission critical to our business. Therefore, we permit employees to read and compose e-mail from any location in the world where employees can access the Internet, using either company-issued devices or public Internet terminals. This allows our employees to be maximally productive. E-mail is mission critical…