Real potential for cyberwar

The potential for a cyberwar must be considered as a big concern, a security expert has warned.

According to Christopher Klaus, founder and chief technical officer of US-based Internet Security Systems (ISS), there is a real risk of cyberwarfare against governments and corporations, and enterprises need to "minimise risks as soon as possible".

According to Klaus, around 79 per cent of Australian Internet service providers (ISPs) have been "back-doored" or subject to security or intrusion attacks.

Klaus also labelled Australian banks and government agencies as potential targets for intrusion.

Any organisation conducting business over the Internet is at risk, Klaus said. "TCP/IP is the same for everyone. Everyone has very similar risks when it has to do with the Internet," he said.

"What we do in the US is the same thing we have here. [It can be leveraged] internationally -- we don't see any geographic boundaries." Klaus said e-commerce and the Internet make companies vulnerable. User misconfigurations and the failure to update security patches also pose risks, he said.

Klaus also said company "crown jewels", or databases containing crucial company information, are often overlooked during security checks.

Klaus urged companies to make a priority of time spent on security issues across the whole business, including the network, database and other entry points.

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