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Guarding Against Hackers

Source: www.kxan.com
Date: October 11, 2003

Cyber Crime In just minutes people can lose millions of dollars or even worse, their entire business. That's because computer hacking is happening more and more often.

Austin businesses are taking a proactive approach to the cyber crime by inviting some pro-hackers in.

"If you put an unsecure system onto the Internet it will get hacked within three minutes."

It recently happened to the Maryland Department of Transportation. Hackers set off a worm that caused the department's computers to restart and kept them from getting on the Internet.

Hackers have even shut down entire search engines like Yahoo and Google.

"They're everything from bored high school students to industrial espionage. You don't know. The best thing to do is just make sure you protect yourself," Veridyn president Doug Landoll said.

That's just what Mirage Networks owner Toney Jennings is trying to do. He's hired a company called Veridyn to run a security check on his system.

"We have a lot of intellectual property here that needs to be protected," Mirage Networks CEO Toney Jennings said, "If someone comes in and steals our source code for our product, we could be out of business."

As odd as it may sound, Veridyn employees actually hack into the computer system to see just how vulnerable it is.

"We have decades of experience doing this so we know the buttons to push, the holes to look for," Landoll said.

Once they find the holes, they offer suggestions on how to secure them.

"It takes professionals to do this because essentially hackers, they're living for this sort of thing, so you have to have guys that live, breath and eat security to stay on top of things," Landoll said.

Veridyn employees say every computer system is vulnerable to attacks. An annual survey by the Computer Security Institute and the FBI shows 56 percent of companies in the survey experienced a security breach.

Veridyn employees suggest having a fire wall, an intrusion detection system and actively patching your systems to protect your business from hackers. For more information on this subject, check out the Veridyn Web site.

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