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Guard Those Walls

In the midst of a normally slow holiday week, I've been pondering some predictions for next year, which I'll roll out next week. But I'll toss one out now: Just a hunch, but the onslaught of malware next year is likely to be worse than ever.
Why do I get that feeling? Partly because it's been the trend anyway, partly because people love to go after Microsoft platforms (a consequence of the drive toward increased market share is increased targeting by criminal hackers). And whatever Microsoft's efforts to plug the holes, there are always, always, ALWAYS holes in Microsoft operating systems. Witness this week's newly discovered flaw in Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003, which made security pros' critical-problem lists. If we start seeing the same level of attacks on Linux systems, watch out.

A lot of guarding against intrusions on your servers is just using common sense--stay current with patches and news, stop threats at the perimeter whenever possible, and limit your employees' access to necessary use only. You know that already. But some 19th century sage--maybe Thomas Jefferson, maybe Patrick Henry, maybe a gentleman named Wendell Phillips--noted that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Print that out and tape it to the top of the machine running your management console; in our context, it's worth remembering.