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Be Safe, Be Secure

Created: 15 May 2012 • Updated: 15 May 2012
Chetan Savade's picture
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Be Safe, Be Secure

Protecting confidential information is a business requirement, and in many cases also an ethical and legal requirement.

Making a plan for what to do and what not to do, e.g., types of devices you need to secure and monitoring inbound avenues of threat infiltration and outbound avenues of confidential data exfiltration

Establishing detailed policies for what employees can and cannot do regarding webmail and social media access at work – taking into account employee morale as well as productivity

Deploying a multi-layered, multi-level defense that goes beyond traditional, separated defenses such as firewalls – which are largely ineffective against today's blended and targeted attacks

Symantec has released best practices/recommendation to protect data.

Security Response recommendations for Symantec Endpoint Protection settings

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH122943&locale=en_US

Security recommendations regarding SEP client installed on server located in DMZ 

http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH122858 

Security Best Practices for Protecting a Business Environment from Common Threats

 http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH105236

Basics for safer downloading

Whenever you download a file—whether you open a spreadsheet attached to an email message, grab a cool little screensaver or mouse cursor from the web, or download music or video files from someone else's computer—you could be putting your computer at risk

Here's how:

1. Get ready: Strengthen your computer's defenses

Firewalls -->  These include hardware or software that checks information coming from the Internet and either turns it away or lets it pass. Firewalls are built into Windows XP Service Pack 2 and all later versions of the Windows operating system

Antivirus protection--> Viruses, worms, and Trojan horses are programs that use the Internet to infect vulnerable computers. 

Software updates -> Regular updates to Windows help protect your computer against new viruses and other security threats. Be sure you're using the latest version of your web browser, and turn on the browser's security features

Email spam filters-->Microsoft Outlook includes a junk email filter, as do many other email programs, along with additional features that can help block unwanted messages, disable links, and warn you about threatening content.

2. Download with caution: Think first. Click later.

Beware of fraudulent email messages --> Don't click links or open attachments unless you're sure of the source. In pop-up messages or warnings, click the (close box) instead of OK or Agree to get rid of the box.

Only download from reputable sites -->  Be cautious about downloading from unknown sources and from sites containing objectionable material or too-good-to be-true offers. Microsoft Download Center, for example, is the best, safest source for Microsoft products. Bookmark it in your browser’s favorites, and check it out to find the most popular downloads, free trials, and newest software available from us.

Install and use file-sharing programs cautiously --> When you use file-sharing programs to trade music, video, or other files on the web, you make some of your files—or even your entire hard disk drive—available to others using similar software.

Save files for safer downloads --> if you’ve decided to download a file from the Internet, save the file first to your hard drive. Then, when you attempt to open the file, your antivirus software can check the file and delete it if it detects potentially damaging code. To do this, in the File Download dialog box, click the Savebutton instead of the Run or Open button.

3. Remove malicious software

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may download a program you don't want. If this happens to you, here are some ways to get rid of it:

Run antispyware tools. Windows Defender, which is built into Windows Vista and Windows 7, reduces the likelihood of downloading spyware in the first place. If you are using another antispyware program, make sure it is up to date and then scan your system, following the instructions for removing suspicious software.

Run the malicious software removal tool. Users of earlier versions of Windows who suspect that malware is causing their computers to slow down or fail can use the Malicious Software Removal Tool to remove the malware.

Disable add-ons. Web browser add-ons can display things like toolbars and stock tickers but can also install spyware or other malicious software. In Internet Explorer, you can disable add-ons from the Tools menu. Click Manage Add-ons, select the one you want to disable, and then click Disable.

Due to the changing nature of potential attacks, preventing malicious software from damaging your computer takes continuous vigilance. However, by installing and updating protection tools and by using caution when you work, you can help minimize the risk.

Reference: http://bit.ly/IGQ2dd  

 

4 tips for safely conducting research on the web
 
1. Update, update, update!
 
2. Get into the zone
 
Local Intranet — Websites located on your local network. These sites do not have to communicate over the Internet to be accessed. 
Trusted Sites — A list of websites that you trust not to harm your computer, such as sites you have identified as properly encrypted. 
Restricted Sites — A list of websites that are known or suspected to be harmful to your computer. 
Internet — All other sites that don't fall under the other three categories
 
3. Limit your intake of cookies
 
4. Check for encryption before entering information on a site
 
Reference: http://bit.ly/K99Ggd