Oracle: Look at total cost of security

Monday, 10 March 2003, 11:13 AM EST

The recent SQL Slammer worm attack was just one of the long list of cyberthreats that continue to hog newspaper headlines. And once again, it goes to show how high -- or how low -- companies rank network security.

The effects of the worm would have been less severe had systems administrators been keeping up with Microsoft Corp’s security updates – in this case, the patch had been out for more than six months before SQL Slammer slammed (no pun intended) its way through thousands of servers, disrupting Internet traffic worldwide.

How do companies prevent potentially crippling Internet-based virus and worm attacks?

They might want to look at what needs protecting first, and then building protection around the critical areas.

It's much like building a house, according to Oracle Corp chief security officer Mary Ann Davidson. “You need to understand what you’re trying to protect,” she told In.Tech during a brief stopover in Singapore as part of her Asia Pacific tour.

Continuing her house analogy, she said that people use a safe to protect their valuables. In much the same way, companies should protect the most critical parts of the network first.

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What's the real cost of a security breach?

The majority of business decision makers admit that their organisation will suffer an information security breach and that the cost of recovery could start from around $1 million.

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