Got High Speed? Then Antivirus is Not Enough!

  • Comments: 1
  • Written on: June 10th, 2007

We have mentioned a few times on Compute This that if you have high speed Internet, you must also have a firewall or you are putting the safety and security of your information at risk.

I received an email from Symantec last week that reinforces that point. Symantec is the maker of Norton Internet Security – the product you should have if you have high speed Internet (as opposed to Norton Antivirus). The email stated that in the last 6 months of 2006, Symantec detected nearly 70,000 infected computers EACH DAY that were part of bot networks.

Bot networks are groups of computers around the world that are infected with small viruses that can circumvent antivirus software by exploiting little-know or recently exposed security vulnerabilities.

Once your computer has been exploited, the virus may do noting for quite sometime. You never notice the problem, so you never do anything about it. Then, when the virus writer is ready, with a few keystrokes he can activate thousands of infected computers at one time to attack other companies, websites, or send mass email from your computer.

Last week, Internet Nebraska, a local Lincoln ISP, was the victim of one such attack. One of their customers was attacked by a bot network so powerful that it took the entire ISP and all of its customers offline for an entire afternoon.

Was your computer part of this attack? You would know it wasn’t if you have a firewall installed on your PC. Windows comes with a free firewall that is better than nothing, but we have found that Norton’s firewall is easier to use, more dynamic, and as consequence, more effective. If you don’t have a firewall protecting each computer hooked up to your high speed, you would just never know.

I discussed this and other topics on my weekly radio show yesterday. You can listen to the archived show here.

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