Introducing Sophos WebAlert.. with some toys

"It’s time to open up the Clu-blog once again, and give someone else a chance to have their say. This time it’s the turn of Carole Theriault, senior security analyst here at Sophos. Carole discusses how your own website could be passing on a digital disease, describes a new service which helps you monitor whether your websites might be compromised, and introduces a video starring a variety of children’s toys. Over to you Carole…"

Carole Theriault

Isn’t the web just marvellous? It lets you learn just about anything, it lets you buy just about anything, and it lets you communicate with a huge number of people.  It has revolutionized business communication and transactions.

Today’s web has offered companies a whole new platform allowing video, audio, simple ordering procedures, forums, and so on to attract and engage visitors to the site. With billions of other sites out there all screaming for attention and offering bells and whistles to attract visitors, competition is, well, exhilaratingly fierce. 

And this is exactly why hackers and malware authors find it so darn attractive. These guys are like parasites – they let you do all the work of attracting visitors to your site, then they try to infect their computers via your website! Not exactly good for business.. not only are you propagating infection and run the risk of getting a bad reputation amongst visitors, but you also can get slammed in the press.

Sadly, the problem is on the rise, Sophos finds a new infected webpage every five seconds, 90% of which are legitimate websites run by people like you and me. We see sites from government agencies, worldwide organisations to smaller home-grown websites get hammered by malicious code everyday. Worse still, the malware is pretty insidious, so it is easy for web administrators not to know that their website is actively infecting visitors.

Sophos WebAlert service
Sophos is offering customers a new alert service, called Sophos WebAlert, to warn administrators of malicious code being hosted on their websites. Sophos monitors your website automatically, checking it against our vast database of malicious code in real time. If we find yours to be infected, then we ping you an email, giving you the heads up so you can fix the problem and get back to running your site. Simple as that.

Here is a video we have made explaining Sophos WebAlert: “Sophos WebAlert explained with children’s toys”.

(Enjoy this video? You can check out more on the SophosLabs YouTube channel and subscribe if you like)

What else can you do?
Rule number one is to do your best not to get infected in the first place.  Preventative techniques like patching vulnerabilities and running up-to-date reputable anti-virus are paramount to those hosting a website as well as those surfing the web. Companies worried about their networks getting infected via their employees’ surfing habits can even look to web security solutions.

Here are some links to some free information on what you can do to stay safe: