Information Security for SMEs

Written by Thom Leggett

Continued from page 1

Almost worse than losing all your data (because we know you keep a regular backup), is having your system infected with a worm program. In some cases this can leave your computer unknowingly sending an attackrepparttar way of all your contacts. Alternatively, your computer could be underrepparttar 132021 complete control of a third-party, who is using your processor, memory and hard-disk for their own purposes.

What can I do to stop it? Just as it is notrepparttar 132022 councils responsibility to stop burglars coming down your street, inrepparttar 132023 UK there is very little responsibility on ISPs to prevent attacks. If your systems are not locked (with firewall software), alarmed (with an intrusion detection system) and insured (by taking a daily backup) you have no-one to blame but yourself.

There are three pieces of software that every business needs to at least consider. I cannot over-emphasiserepparttar 132024 need for an up-to-date virus scanning program. Most reputable products will scan for and remove some Internet worms and some Trojan horses; however they will not detect other types of attack. For those attacks a good firewall package is essential. Installing one of these programs is akin to fitting locks to your doors and windows. Finally an intrusion detection system (IDS) is similar to an alarm system, warning you of a potential attack.

In my opinion all businesses should have a solid anti-virus policy as well as a good firewall. Whichever solution you choose atrepparttar 132025 end ofrepparttar 132026 day, you must fully understand its capabilities or it will be as effective as not having anything at all.

Keep an eye on patches Most electronic attacks exploit a mistake inrepparttar 132027 program code ofrepparttar 132028 software you use. Responsible software vendors will issue a 'patch' that resolves each issue as soon as it is brought to their attention. You will find that many software companies have e-mail lists that you can subscribe to in order to be notified of new problems and patches.

This patching mechanism makes uprepparttar 132029 software industry's response torepparttar 132030 hacker community. If you are applying your patches diligently,repparttar 132031 security of your computer systems depend on how far ahead either side is. It is therefore good practice to have a complete security audit of your systems by an external consultant twice a year or more often if you rely heavily on your data.

It won't happen to me Your business network is constantly being probed by hackers onrepparttar 132032 Internet looking for ways into your data. Most attacks occur withoutrepparttar 132033 user even knowing that a system is compromised. Our systems at FWOSS get probed three or four times a week, so our firewall is invaluable in ensuring they get no further.

What can I do inrepparttar 132034 case of an attack? Of course your regular backup provides your ultimate safety-net, but asrepparttar 132035 effects of different electronic attacks are so varied there are no hard and fast rules to recovery.

It is very much a case of prevention being better than cure; therefore you should think about installing an anti-virus program, firewall and intrusion detection system. You should keep a daily backup; check if your systems need patching weekly; and have a security audit bi-annually or more frequently.

Thom is the operations director for Fire Without Smoke Software (FWOSS) ltd.

Protecting your HTML and PHP Source Code

Written by Vince Edwards

Continued from page 1

Fortunately,repparttar technology for PHP Encryption is foolproof since it works onrepparttar 132017 server side and cannot be tampered with. Inrepparttar 132018 market, there are now various PHP encryptors available (at varying prices) that enable you to encrypt all of your source code (as well as your HTML generated output ) so that it is virtually unreadable to humans, but still functional to computers.

If you are a PHP developer and create your own scripts, then it is absolutely vital that you makerepparttar 132019 decision to encrypt your scripts before distribution. If you don’t, you runrepparttar 132020 risk of your code being stolen, modified, emulated or copied. All it takes is one hacker or experienced programmer to “Learn” from your code, make a few of their own modifications and bring out their own “Version” ofrepparttar 132021 software under a different name. This can cause serious problems as well asrepparttar 132022 problem of ruining your own market because you have contributed towards creating a competitor.

If your script is exclusive or unique then you must encrypt your code to protect your intellectual property. It’s like creating a secret recipe on how to cook your favorite food dish, then posting your recipe onrepparttar 132023 local supermarket’s notice board for everyone to see (sound silly doesn’t it?). If you value your work at all, then you need to seriously consider protecting and encrypting it!

Vince Edwards is the owner of the software that protects your intellectual property

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