Cisco issues report on global security landscape

Report examines risk categories, '08 predications, guidance from experts

According to Stewart and Goddard, the key to this collaboration is education. The Cisco report offers several recommendations for each of the seven risk-management categories. Some of the noteworthy recommendations include:

-- Conduct regular audits within organizations of attractive targets and evaluate the avenues that can be used to attack them. "Exploits are too often successful because of not following security basics: host-based intrusion prevention, patches and upgrades with security fixes, and regular audits," Stewart said.

-- Understand the notion that threats follow usage patterns. "Where the majority goes, attackers will follow," Goddard said. "Every time a new application or device enters the fold, new threats will emerge."

-- Change the mindset of employees, consumers and citizens who consider themselves innocent bystanders and empower them to become active influencers with shared ownership over security responsibilities. IT teams should help lead this charge, but it's not solely their problem.

-- Make security education a priority. Businesses, security vendors, and government agencies need to invest in security education and awareness-building. This effort should include industry-wide collaboration among partners and competitors.

-- Institutionalize IT security education by incorporating it into school curricula.

-- Consider more than just performance when building a secure network. Focus on the network's ability to collaborate, inspect, adapt and resolve security issues end to end, from gateways and servers to desktops and mobile devices.

-- Security vendors need to provide comprehensive security solutions that extend throughout the network infrastructure, application mix and data itself.

Download the free report (PDF file)