Protection from Internet attacks

The article "Modern Internet attacks" is provided by Sophos Plc and SophosLabs.

August 2007

The article mostly focuses in how modern malware uses the Internet. Telling about technologies that can secure the users isn't its main focus. This section though considers a number of solutions used to protect the users from Internet threats. There are different ways to reduce the risk for the end user. Here are some of them:

  • Division of networks. Sites belong to various kinds: reliable global sites, small organizations' sites, social networks and personal sites.

    Each type presents different level of threat for the users. Although major organizations' sites have special security groups, they can be successfully attacked. Still the probability of infection is much less than for the small organizations' sites that outsource web development. Security policy that takes into account such differences will reduce the risk for end users. A popular way to implement such policy is to divide networks and apply different viewing policies for each of them.

  • Client browsers. While Internet Explorer is still the most "popular" browser among hackers, Internet attacks aren't limited to it. As the popularity of other browsers grows, attackers start to use exploits created for them. The choice of browser should be determined by security considerationsy, customization and available add-ons. Mozilla-based browsers have popular NoScript module [59], which lets you control the Java and Javascript execution.

  • Client updates. Since Internet attacks use aggressive exploits, it is extremely important to constantly update operating systems and applications on client computers (especially web browser).