Reconciling Parental Control Software with Internet Security Principles

Parental control software remains a useful tool to monitor your child’s online activity and at the same time block inappropriate content. The fact that you are an adult does not necessarily mean you like to view offensive content, so the software can also be utilised to block offensive content on sites you often visit. Unfortunately, with the monitoring part of the software comes an inherent security risk of sensitive information that may fall into the wrong hands.

If you want to use parental control software, you need to use it responsibly, especially if you install it on a computer that is shared by several members of your household. The trustworthy members of the family need to be aware of the software and the need to have administrator privileges to disable the software before working on the computer. Parents often forget to disable the software before doing online shopping or banking, effectively allowing the key-logger component of the software to log important information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers and passwords.

Many Internet monitoring software packages take screen shots at certain intervals to capture the contents of the screen at a specific point in time. This is also dangerous if you forget to disable the monitoring part of the software, before logging into a secure area of a website. Screen shots can be taken of sensitive information that’s normally only accessible behind a secure login area. All this information (keystrokes and screen shots) is stored on your hard drive, exposing it to possible exploits from crackers or spyware.

Well-written parental control software will obviously encrypt the information it logs, but crackers often decipher the encryption code in next to no time. The last thing you need is a spyware infection or an intruder on your system that can bypass the encryption of the parental control software. You don’t want a stranger going through your logs if you accidentally forgot to disable the software before entering sensitive information on the Internet. So the most important thing to remember is to disable the monitoring software before you use the computer and remember to enable it again when you’re done, otherwise there is no point in having the software on your computer in the first place.

Some parental control software allows you to create different profiles for different members of the family. You can for instance have a “Child” profile that blocks inappropriate content and monitors your child’s activity on the web, a “Teen” profile that does not block any content, but only monitors your child’s activity and a “Parent” profile that does not monitor your activity or block any content. The “Teen” profile can be activated when your teenager wants to use the computer, or you can activate the “Parent” profile if you are present while your children surfs the Internet. The “Child” profile should be used to limit Internet access while you are not at home to keep an eye on your children’s Internet activity.

Kaspersky Lab recently integrated a parental control module into their Internet Security suite. It does not log keystrokes or take screen shots, it only monitors HTTP traffic. To know what your child is doing on his or her computer, you only need to monitor their Internet use. It is easy to see which games they are playing and which software they are using by examining certain areas of your system, like the Program Files folder and the Add and Remove Programs section of the control panel. Clever kids will know how to wipe this information, but most programs make connections to the Internet these days, so just by examining the HTTP traffic generated by these programs, you can easily tell which programs your child is using and which websites they are visiting.

The parental control module of Kaspersky Internet Security logs all the websites visited by your children, all the remote images loaded from e-mails that they read and all the servers they connect to for online gaming and software updates. If the logs contain entries from winamp.com, then your child is probably using Winamp to play music or movies. Entries from ea.com, might indicate that your child is playing some games developed by Electronic Arts. Your children will also download software from certain sites, which will give you another indication of what kind of software they are using. The fact that the software monitors HTTP traffic, means that you are not only limited to the traffic generated by a web browser or e-mail client, it monitors all Internet activity from any application.

The way that Kaspersky Lab approaches parental control and monitoring software, does not compromise your online safety like your conventional child monitoring software, because there is no security holes created by keystroke logging and capturing of screen data. The logs of your HTTP traffic may still contain tracking information that you may not want to reveal to advertising companies (and their spyware programs), but the beauty of this module is that it is integrated into an Internet security suite, so you are automatically protected against unauthorised access and malicious software infections, thanks to the firewall the anti-malware shields of the software. Traffic through secure servers (HTTPS) is normally encrypted, so the monitoring software only sees the encrypted data during a secure online session like Internet banking or online shopping. I still recommend that you turn of the parental control module before transmitting sensitive information over the Internet.

Up to know I basically discussed the monitoring part of parental control software. The control part allows you to block indecent content as well. Blocking inappropriate content minimises the risk of malware infections. Porn sites are often loaded with spyware, so keeping your children away from these sites, does not only protect them from exposure to harmful content, but it also protects your computer from dangerous infections. Your child’s porn surfing may be the cause of a dangerous spyware infection, something you may not be aware of (especially if you don’t have any spyware protection installed). You could easily log into your online banking account or enter sensitive information on the web, without realising that there are spyware lurking on your computer, watching your every move. Parental control software is not designed to protect your computer against malware infections, but preventing your children from accessing inappropriate websites, helps them to stay away from potentially dangerous websites, which is the number one rule in malware prevention.

Proper parental control software should allow you to set up filters to block specific inappropriate content, giving you complete control over what you allow your child to access on the Internet. Kaspersky Internet Security allows you to do exactly this. Lets say you want to block access to sites containing the word “murder” in the URL. You simply add the filter “*murder*” to the Parental Control Blacklist and it will block all websites containing the word “murder” in the URL. You can also blacklist specific URL’s to prevent access to certain online chat rooms, web mail services or social community websites. Websites that carries your approval can be added to a white list to prevent the software from accidentally blocking it, or you may want to allow only specific pages from a site that’s currently on the blacklist. The flexibility of the software allows you to fine tune the parental control software to your own specific needs, enhancing the online safety of your children.

So what is the message I’m trying to get across here? As I said at the beginning of this article, parental control and monitoring software remains a useful tool to keep an eye on your children’s Internet activity when you are not present. As a parent you need to understand that parental control software poses certain security risks of you do not manage the software in a responsible way. I feel that developers of parental control software should move away from keystroke logging and screen capturing and focus on HTTP monitoring instead. Parental control software developed by a company who specialises in Internet security, gives you peace of mind that the software was designed with security as a top priority. The next step for Kaspersky Lab may be to make the module optional. Not everyone wants parental control software, but if I want to add this functionality to my computer, I’d rather buy it from a developer who has been in the Internet security industry for years, than buying the software from a developer who does not have a clue about Internet security.

Protect Your Hosted Servers With Juniper’s Perimeter Antivirus by Kaspersky Labs

Antivirus protection prevents, detects, and removes malicious software, also called malware. Malware includes threats such as viruses, worms, Trojan horses, adware, and spyware. Antivirus protection can be installed anywhere in the network, but is most efficient when implemented at both the perimeter firewall and the endpoints, such as desktop and laptop computers.

Security at the Firewall

Having antivirus protection at the perimeter firewall, rather than just on servers or endpoints using software-based solutions, is good for both saving costs and maintaining security. You can rely on perimeter antivirus on the firewall to protect your network and save money by keeping your bandwidth use down.

Integrated Security from Computer Protection Experts

A firewall performs many necessary security functions: intrusion detection, stateful packet inspection, network address translation, policy enforcement, and VPN tunneling. Though independent of antivirus protection, these jobs are consistent with the security you need from antivirus protection. Firewall manufacturers work with the best antivirus companies to bring you integrated, seamless security against viruses, worms, and other malware. This suite of protection-firewall and antivirus together-is referred to as Unified Threat Management.

Efficient Security Increases Network Performance

Perimeter antivirus stands as a central signature and heuristics engine that allows hourly updates, as well as streamlined installation and update management. It also gives IT a tool for creating and enforcing policies at the most basic level, making antivirus effective, yet invisible to end users. This takes the load off your servers by providing bandwidth-saving, centralized updating and variable scanning. All this is controlled by experts in security who understand how to balance risk against system performance. The hourly updates also provide an added security bonus-faster updates reduce the window of vulnerability to emerging threats.

What is the Best Way to Implement Antivirus Protection?

Antivirus software protects using two different basic methods: signature-based detection and heuristic detection.

Signature-based detection identifies viruses and other malware by comparing the contents of a file to a list of signatures. Good signature detection searches inside files to look at embedded files. This method can only be used on known threats, and requires frequent updates to remain viable.

Heuristic detection can be used to identify unknown viruses, sometimes called zero-day threats. File emulation is an approach that executes a suspected program in a virtual environment and logs what actions the program performs.

The only way to properly implement antivirus protection is to protect both the entry point to your network, the firewall, and your endpoints, such as servers, computers, and laptops with protection that defends you by deeply searching all inbound traffic via a firewall-based antivirus solution, and maintaining a complimentary (but not identical) solution locally. This is especially important when using laptops and other computers that travel outside your protected network.

How Infinitely Virtual, Juniper Networks, and Kaspersky Labs Protect Your Business

Infinitely Virtual chose Juniper Networks and its firewall-based antivirus solution from Kaspersky Labs to provide the best protection without sacrificing virtual server performance. Your virtual servers are protected from intrusion, viruses, and malware from the outside. This includes that carried over email and web traffic, the most common malware attack vectors, all without slowing down or crowding out the traffic you need to do business on your virtual servers.

Best Internet Security Software Programs

The 10 best internet security software programs have the best features and tools. And they effectively detect and block online threats like viruses, spyware, adware, rootkits, identity thieves and hackers. And they also provide protection in areas that other security programs don’t; such as social networking sites and online gaming environments.

But this is not enough to place an internet security program in the best list. And that’s because many other programs that aren’t in this list also provide excellent features and tools. And Panda Internet Security is one example; and has been certified by all the leading test labs and has some powerful tools that you won’t find in other programs.

However, what differentiates the best internet security programs is their combined security products which include antivirus, firewall and anti-spam protection. Which together provide the highest level of protection from malicious software and hacker threats. And this is revealed in tests run by test labs like Virus Bulletin and West Coast Labs.

So here is our guide of the 10 best internet security software suites:

1. BitDefender

Tests carried out by AV-Test show that BitDefender is the best at protecting against malware threats. Its antivirus software element is superior and has the Active Virus Control feature that monitors every process that runs on your computer. It has a two-way firewall which blocks threats from attacking your PC and also ensures you don’t send threats to anyone else.

2. Kaspersky

Kaspersky internet security is packed with many features and comes complete with antivirus software, parental controls and much more. It includes a virtual keyboard that lets you input your sensitive information without worrying about keyloggers. So it helps protect your bank details, usernames and passwords and shields your identity online. But Kaspersky is missing the Linkscanner feature for protection when using search engines.

3. Webroot

Webroot, like Kaspersky provides cheap protection for up to three computers and includes online backup. Webroot has the best antispyware program, Spy Sweeper. This software is rated the best by expert test labs. But Webroot has a disappointing firewall which has a complicated setup process and is time consuming.

4. Norton

Norton internet security is a good program and uses innovative insight technologies to provide effective protection. Its all-round protection against malware threats is one of the best in the industry and it has passed all ICSA, VB100% and West Coast Labs 1 and 2 levels.

5. Eset

Eset has recently emerged as one of the best internet security programs. And it has the best tools and features for gamers. It provides excellent protection for external media and blocks pop-ups from gaming and video application. But its Help documentation lacks detail except when it comes to the most basic of setups.

6. AVG

We’ve always liked AVG for its effectiveness. And it has one of the best free antivirus programs that is also part of the internet security software suite. It also includes the Linkscanner feature for web safety protection and has one of the best identity theft protection options. But AVG is also lacking some important features that you find in other programs like parental controls.

7. Trend Micro

Trend Micro has many features and tools and some of them include backup, registry cleaning, browsing history and cookie tracking. This is a broad feature base and is boosted by its antivirus, antispyware and firewall protection. Overall, Trend Micro is a good security solution, but still lags behind many others.

8. eScan

eScan internet security is a lesser known security product. But it’s the effectiveness and features it includes that place it in the list of the 10 best internet security software programs. It has a unique user interface which is very useful and useable. And its detection rates are high, but its firewall is not one of the best.

9. BullGuard

BullGuard internet security has features like 5GB online storage space and a secure gaming mode which provide extra protection for your PC. The software is very easy to use and provides ample technical support. But it is missing parental controls which are now a common feature in other top internet security programs

10. ZoneAlarm

ZoneAlarm is last in the list of top security programs. And it includes virus, spyware and email protection and specific features for identity theft protection. And it is best known for its firewall which blocks some of the most dangerous threats online. But ZoneAlarm has a basic walkthrough feature which forces users to seek help elsewhere.

Summary

As mentioned earlier, there are other top internet security programs. And we recommend you check these out to make sure you pick the right software. For example, if you have children and protecting them online is important to you, then you want to make sure you pick a program with parental controls. And these features shouldn’t just be basic; they should provide the most effective protection.

Benefits of CCIE Security Certification

lb3Cisco’s CCIE certification shall be said as the industry standard recognition as well as a reward for the networking security professionals who are experts in the fields such as configuring, troubleshooting and implementing the solutions of Cisco network security Certification. By certifying with this precious certification, candidates can gain practical knowledge and skills in the networking security field. Since the certifications from Cisco is acceptable in worldwide, candidates can seek or can get opportunities from all important places in the world. CCIE security certification not only provides theoretical knowledge of network security but also helps them to get lab practical experience with the help of real equipment that used for the scenarios. Hence CCIE security certification shall be considered as one of the prestigious certifications from Cisco where candidates will be eligible to do various tasks in the complex environment teams.

Prerequisites for CCIE exam security:

For certifying with CCIE security, there is no mandatory or formal prerequisite required and the also no special training or professional certificates required. Candidates have to pass the written examination initially and after successful completion of the written examination, corresponding lab examination required. If candidates successfully passes both written and lab examination, CCIE security certification awarded by from Cisco within 4 weeks. After receiving the certification, candidates can use the certification and mention the same in their resumes for availing more opportunities in the top most multinational companies. Procedures for achieving CCIE security certification:

As mentioned earlier, candidates required to pass in the written examination initially and then in a lab examination.

Step 1: written examination Preparation:

This written examination is a two hours examination conducted in Pearson VUE centers. The examination fee cost around 250$ attempt. Candidates should attend this examination in online and they provided by with 100 multiple choice questions. The minimum score to pass in this written examination is 300- 1000 scale basis. Only after successful completion of this written examination, candidates are eligible for the laboratory examination.

Step 2: Laboratory examination:

Laboratory examination is an eight hour examination. Candidates should apply register for this lab exam within 3 years from the successful completion date of written exam. If candidates fail to register apply for the lab exam within 3 years, then again written examination is mandatory for writing the lab exam. CCIE Certification security Lab examination is one of the expensive examinations from Cisco that cost around 1400$ attempt.