Monitoring reduces security risks

Peering under the security kimono

Counterpane today released statistics to back its claim that customers of its monitoring services are far less likely to have their networks penetrated.

In the first quarter of 2002, Counterpane monitored approx. 200 networks worldwide and processed 31 billion network events. The company's analysts investigated 57,000 separate security incidents, of which 55 per cent turned out to be false positives, 27 per cent were authorised customer activity, and 18 per cent were actual attacks. The attacks consisted of unauthorised scans, denial of service attacks, probes, attacks on a third party or attempts to otherwise compromise a network.

Of these 10,000 attacks, only six resulted in a penetration of Counterpane customers systems and none of these assaults resulted in financial loss, according to the company. The FBI recently reported that, in general, one per cent of all Internet attacks are successful.

Counterpane has also released details of the types of attacks it blocked successful. These include a FTP brute force attack to access an airline's HR data server. Counterpane tracked the attack and identified the source IP addresses for the attack, which allowed the airline to catch a rogue employee red-handed and terminate his employment.

In another instance, Counterpane discovered that an unauthorised Morpheus server on a customer network was acting as a denial of service zombie. Once this was identified the server was taken off the Internet.

Counterpane also provides clients with a heads-up of attack trends it notices from its monitoring, and early warning of major virus or worm outbreaks. ®

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