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Seven Myths About Network Security

Hacker tools are growing more sophisticated and automated. Hackers can now quickly adapt to new security vulnerabilities as they are uncovered and distribute the fruits of their exploits more widely with the help of automated toolkits. And they're employing an ever-increasing range of methods to find individuals' and companies' private information and use it to their own advantage.

And yet many of us have a false sense of security about our own data and networks. We install a firewall at the perimeter, put anti-virus and anti-spyware tools on our desktops, and use encryption to send and store data. Microsoft and the big security companies provide ever-improving tools and patches to protect us. Although others who are less careful might be at risk, we're safe, right?

Maybe not. Take a look at these seven security myths and see if your data is as secure as you think.

Myth #1: Encryption guarantees protection

Encrypting your data is an important component of data protection, but it's not infallible. Jon Orbeton, senior security researcher with Zone Labs, which makes ZoneAlarm firewall software, is a proponent of encryption, but he warns that sniffers are getting more refined and can intercept SSL and SSH transactions and grab the data after it's encrypted. While encryption helps protect the captured data from being read, encryption standards do have several points of vulnerability that can be exploited by a determined hacker armed with the right tools. "Hackers are finding ways to circumvent the security mechanisms," Orbeton said.

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