The world is very different from the days when email ruled the roost and Yahoo, not Google, was the first search engine name that rolled off your tongue.
In 1995, the worst security threat was a virus on a floppy disk. But in 2011 the security landscape has completely changed; cyber crime is a huge industry and computers have the ability to bring down the networks of whole countries. The internet is not just web browsing and email any more, it's Facebook, Skype, Twitter and a multitude of other web applications.
As far as the network goes, the main protection is firewalls, designed to block out the bad guys and let the good guys in. Companies like Checkpoint, Cisco, Juniper and Fortinet all offer this type of network security, and it's pretty much standard for any reputable company to have them.
Israeli entrepreneur Nir Zuk, who founded Palo Alto Networks, knows his firewalls. A whizz kid who made his name in address protection, he created stateful inspection technology, the first commercially viable firewall and the world's first intrusion protection system.
Zuk believes that firewalls have not really changed since 1995, when they were built with the aim of protecting threats coming through email and web browsing. But the popularity of web applications, and the increasing importance of the browser as an operating system, have created different dangers today, and Zuk believes that traditional firewalls do not do a good enough job.
"We are now in the age of applications. Users do whatever they want on the internet," he said. "Users demand to use more than web and email. But [current] security technology is only for web and email."
It has been recognised that malware can be carried through social networks. File-sharing apps can also carry dangerous content, yet the majority of corporate networks carry this type of traffic. Even popular enterprise apps like WebEx and SharePoint carry dangerous data.
"Facebook is a source for data leakage. Your employees can write confidential information. It also has threats coming in, because Facebook has email, chat and places where malicious content can be launched," said Zuk.
"You almost don't see any more viruses in email, because they are very secure today. Everybody is running anti-virus and anti-spam. But if you're not using email, you're going to use Facebook to send viruses."
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