Risk Assessment Must Be Continuous and Protection Updated

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHN ANTONIAZZI

THE risks of doing business on the internet grow daily.

Not only are the tools used to cause disruption and steal data becoming more sophisticated, but the computer knowledge and ability required of disruptive users seems to be declining in equal proportion.

Hackers, virus writers and other malcontents ran riot throughout the year, with security breaches being reported by major corporations such as CNN, PowerGen, Western Union and Barclays Online.

The so-called "I Love You" virus offers a potent example.

Only marginal programming skills were needed to create this debilitating virus, which wreaked havoc on businesses worldwide in a matter of days.

In another example of business disruption, a young hacker, Raphael Gray, from Clunderwen, Pembrokeshire, stole 25,000 credit card numbers and posted them on a website, naively believing he was providing the e-tailer with a "security testing" service.

As the business importance of the internet grows, so will the incidence of illegal activity - from tax evasion to website defacement, to security breaches. …