FOR,
by Dean Drako, president and CEO, Barracuda Networks

Most companies require employees to sign an internet usage policy stating email, instant messaging and web usage can be monitored.  While on the surface monitoring appears to be an invasion of privacy, most security solutions installed are there to protect companies and, ultimately, employees. 

Companies utilize security tools to provide network hygiene, protect intellectual property, enforce legal and regulatory compliance, and increase workplace productivity.  By promoting a viable workplace, employees enjoy the benefits of a thriving company, avoiding IT and legal headaches and unemployment.
By using email and IM filtering solutions, companies can prevent business partners from receiving messages infected by malware, as well as archive communications associated with pending litigation or revealing trade secrets. Content filters can block websites known to download spyware and enforce corporate and regulatory web usage policies.

Bottom line, companies have a responsibility to promote a thriving workplace.


AGAINST,
by Barry Steinhardt

Employers have a legitimate interest in monitoring work to ensure efficiency and productivity. The problem is that electronic surveillance often goes well beyond legitimate management concerns and becomes a tool for spying on employees beyond any business purpose. 

Employers should also ask themselves what kind of relationship such monitoring creates with their employees, and whether they wouldn't be better off trusting their workers a little more, and judging them by the results of their work, rather than peering over their shoulders at every keystroke. Treating every worker as a suspect is not only a questionable approach to management, it is often a very inefficient use of resources as well.

In our view, any monitoring that does take place should meet several conditions. First, it should be narrowly tailored in time, place and manner to minimize privacy intrusion.

Second, it should be fully disclosed to the employees.  Finally, employers must avoid
creating an overall atmosphere of pervasive surveillance or intimidation.


THREAT OF THE MONTH:
Malware


What is it?

Server-side polymorphic malware is unique permutations of similar malicious code launched via multiple infection sources in quick succession. It has become the most popular email-borne malware type because it effectively manages to circumvent most existing anti-virus engines.

How does it work?
It is circulated with slightly modified attributes to make it undetectable by signature- and behavior-based anti-virus and intrusion-detection defenses. This exploits the “real-time” vulnerability inherent in traditional anti-virus solutions, which must
propagate a solution for
each variation.

Should I be worried?
With an outbreak of server-side polymorphic malware, the hourly/daily volume of unique variants is high and typically overwhelms traditional anti-virus solutions. Because the number of samples per variant is typically low, it can be difficult to track them to analyze/develop/propagate a response in time.

How can I prevent it?
Real-time response is critical. Your solution should “block first and ask questions later,” examining active outbreaks and preventing them before they enter your network. If you depend on a system that propagates responses before acting, it may be too late.

Source: Commtouch