What spooks Microsoft's chief security advisor

Application exploits, virtualization security are big concerns

Another thing that worries Arsenault: security issues surrounding Web 2.0, Web services and software as a service. "They all rely on deeper trust at the client level and a smarter client to do that trust model," he said. "We can't assume that the traditional model we are using is actually going to work."

Danger signs are also emerging when it comes to securing virtualized systems.

"Your CIOs have no clue as to where we are on this," he told the audience of security pros. "I think that there's a lot of things we don't have right on virtualization as an industry....We've got the ability given its nascent state today working with all the folks doing virtualization to put some things in hypervisors and other components that would allow us not to play catch up like we have over the past 7 years in security."

Microsoft gathers security data in a number of ways and formats, including its Security Intelligence Report, now conducted twice a year but potentially going quarterly.

Among the most frustrating findings for Arsenault: Just over half of all attacks originated from the .edu domain. "[That's] a fundamental problem," he said. "We've got to do a better job with the university systems to stop that."

As for geographically where attacks are coming from, all eyes are on China, the source of 380 per cent more attacks than a year ago.

In terms of what kind of malware is showing up most often, Trojans are on the rise. Rootkits are raising their ugly heads, but fortunately, Arsenault said, they're so hard to write that they probably won't get too much worse.

On a positive note, Microsoft is seeing the amount of publicly exploitable code, at least for its own software, shrink. But Arsenault does sweat over whether there's really less exploitable code, or whether it's more a case of such code just being kept secret by nation states looking to wage cyberwar.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Bob Brown

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?