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HACKING TO RAISE ITS PROFILE

Added: (Mon Jul 16 2001)

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Hacking To Become The Issue of 2001

Up to 45% of all companies in Scotland are still largely unaware of risks of hackers according to research released today. XPT Solutions Limited, a leading IT and E﷓Business Specialist, has completed a survey which shows that hacking is still not being taken seriously by IT Managers of a substantial number of Scottish companies.

“This is surprising considering the fact that viruses are taking the limelight in the IT industry,” said David Longstaff, CEO of XPT Solutions. “Everyone is aware of problems created by email viruses such as Melissa and the Love bug, but many are still unaware that hackers are often able to penetrate Computer Networks with relative ease.”

Bryan Ross, one of the specialist team said “Once inside the system, the professional will often remain unnoticed for many weeks, and instead of a simple Denial of Service attack, which is quickly spotted, they will quietly retrieve sensitive company data. By the time they have been found, the damage has been done.”

XPT predict that by the end of the year, these types of security breaches will be much more commonplace. The security team operate on the notion that prevention is better than cure. The first part of the procedure is usually working with IT Managers to discuss the security policies, ranging from simple password protocols through to backup procedures. The team will then often carry out penetration tests on the Network.


But perhaps surprisingly, the computers are rarely the real source of danger. Raising this point Bryan commented, “The weakest link in any system is recognised as being the users. If policies are not in place, or not enforced, a company is wide open to attack.”


Edinburgh based XPT Solutions, which employ a small team of elite specialists, offer a number of related services. These include regular audits and security updates being applied to existing software applications. David continues, “With these cost effective measures in place a substantial amount of the attempts will be thwarted, saving companies potentially many thousands of pounds.”

In a joint press release today, Click for Cover, a company who provide technology insurance against systems being brought down, are all too well aware of the financial cost hackers can wreak on any Company. Click for Cover, who act on behalf of certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London have developed a new service called Esurance™. This covers system damage and liability due to hackers and viruses, as well as employee fraud, business interruption and legal action. The service provides a 24 hours call centre companies can use if such problems occur, with on hand advice and practical help.

Click for Cover and XPT Solutions have arranged a deal which offers a discount in the premium for any company that uses XPT Solutions to audit their Network systems. The partnership is seen in the same light as house insurance premiums that are sometimes offered with a discount if security alarms are in place.

“We hope that our new partnership will help raise awareness, and protect more companies against this threat,” said David.

Managed Security systems are expected to rise from 100 million to 1.2 billion by 2005 according to research carried out by Security firm The Yankee Group. The estimated damage by hackers to businesses worldwide is expected to be in excess of 1 trillion in the next 12 months.

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