Parvinder Walia, Director of Sales for Asia Pacific, ESET
IT Voice : What are your competitive advantages & core competencies?
Parvinder Walia : Our research specialists are dedicated to developing ESET’s tools and technologies to protect and secure vulnerable network systems in the face of increasingly sophisticated malware. One of our key technologies is the ESET Live Grid Early Warning System, a cloud-based scanning engine that collects data from ESET users worldwide. The system is able to automatically classify samples collected into malicious and non- malicious categories, and distribute signatures back to our clients via the cloud.
If the automated analysis does not deliver a definitive result, the findings are sent for further inspection at ESET’s Malware Research Lab, where specialists use the samples to build an accurate snapshot of the nature and scope of global threats. These timely and compact updates are automatically applied by ESET software to ensure that our users have the best protection possible at all times. Using this system, ESET consistently outperforms its competition and comes out on top in detection tests.
IT Voice : Which is the best & why; “Software or Hardware Solution”?
Parvinder Walia : Both types of solutions have their pros and cons. From a security perspective, since all security solutions are derived from a computer code, that’s what organisations and individuals should be most concerned about. As long as there are vulnerabilities in the code, the security system is open to exploitation.
IT Voice : How can organizations achieve network security without compromising network performance?
Parvinder Walia : Organizations should invest in the latest cyber security solutions that can monitor malicious activities and prevent attacks. Properly backing up data is also crucial in securing the network.
Another way to protect the network is by installing an effective endpoint security system that includes antivirus and anti-spyware software, and a robust endpoint encryption solution that scrambles USB and optical media, emails, attachments, and laptop hard drives. With these measures in place, organizations can be assured of good network performance with minimal disruptions.
It is also crucial for organizations to educate their employees, partners and third-party vendors and ensure that they are aware of the relevant protocols to keep their network secure. This process should also include training for responsible use of enterprise applications and social media.
IT Voice : Who develops virus, spyware, worm & all these &why?
Parvinder Walia :The history of malware dates back to when students, who just mastered the art of programming,wanted to test their skills among the community of programmers. Today however, the number of computer experts has grown exponentially with many having different motivations for developing malware. While there are virus-writers who work towards improving current product offerings and optimizing existing network security protection, there is an increasingly large number of cyber professionals developing malicious software in order to turn a profit. In fact, much of the cyber crime today is being orchestrated by organised crime rings.
IT Voice : How does an intruder breach an organisations’ security via firewalls?
Parvinder Walia : There are some common methods used to bypass a firewall. These include, but are not limited to, first; the use of Phishing attacks. This typically involves an email being sent to an organization’s employee(s) to trick them into either revealing confidential information like passwords or other data, or to download malware. Advanced Targeted Attacks extensively use e-mail spoofing fraud, also known as”spear phishing,” to target individuals or organizations.
The second type of attack involves using fake IP addresses. As most common firewall rules rely on IP addresses, a forged IP address can trick the firewall into accepting network traffic.
Last but not least, firewalls themselves, like other software or hardware technologies, can have points of vulnerability. Attackers who are able to exploit these vulnerabilities will be able to bypass the “security fence”, which the firewall was originally intended to be.
IT Voice : Please comment on “Hacking: The ART of Exploitation”.
Parvinder Walia : Jon Erickson has written an insightful technical book that provides a good introduction to the technical aspect of hacking. The book clearly illustrates programming concepts necessary to understand software attacks. While the book teaches important concepts which most accomplished hackers would have already learnt, it is still a good read for beginners in the field of cyber security.
IT Voice : How can one differentiate between Trojan-horse, malware, virus, etc.?
Parvinder Walia : There are numerous technical terms used when identifying the cause of a security breach. Malware, which combines the words “malicious” and “software”, is a generic term used to describe all hostile program codes designed to carry out malicious acts within a network. Malware includes viruses, worms and Trojans. In general, users who have no tech background will generally be unable to identify the differences between various types of malware.
Once these infections enter a network, they can perform malicious actions such as unauthorized installation of adware (advertisements) and spyware (spying programs) to track and monitor user activity. Malware can also alter systems and lock access to devices. Known as ransom ware, this type of attack usually comes with a demand for payment / ransom to have the system unlocked.
IT Voice : What’s in it for us? How can we boost productivity through your products?
Parvinder Walia : ESET is the pioneer of proactive protection against cyber threats, protecting millions of computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets and servers daily. Regardless of the operating system, ESET’s consumer and business solutions are able to deliver a continual and consistent level of protection against a vast array of existing and emerging threats. Our award-winning ESET Antivirus, along with ESET Smart Security, ESET Mobile Security for Android and ESET Cyber Security (solution for Mac) products are among the most recommended security solutions in the world by the loyal fan base. The unique scanning core that powers all our solutions has become known for its high detection capabilities and low system demands, and continues to receive recognition from our customers and independent testing organizations.
Put simply, a safe system allows users and businesses to fully benefit from the internet and new technologies without worry or care, therefore boosting productivity. This gives the workforce freedom to ‘get the job done’.
IT Voice : How can users avoid being victims of cyber attacks?
Parvinder Walia : There are many ways to ensure one is protected from a potential cyber attack. The simplest is by using firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware programs and ensuring they are regularly updated. With such software in place, users can be notified of any malicious apps hidden on their device, attempting to break into the network. Additionally, users should also properly configure and update operating systems to help resolve errors and security vulnerabilities.
Using strong passwords and enable pass lock on mobile devices is another simple way of protecting yourself from an attack. In the event that advice is stolen or lost, this blocks unauthorized access to sensitive information within the system. Likewise, users should also be conscious of all communication, especially with unknown people online. Opening emails or attachments from untrustworthy sources should be avoided and similarly, apps that are downloaded from unknown sources should be disabled as they tend to be less secure.