Security researchers had a nice, quiet beginning to the 2011 year thanks to a significant drop off in spam volumes. But as of this week, that peace is over.
Researchers noticed over the Christmas holiday and into the new year that spam circulation had dropped dramatically - Symantec's MessageLabs Intelligence group reported on January 4 that unwanted email levels were at their lowest since November of 2008, when rogue ISP McColo that had been responsible for a significant portion of global spam was shut down. Researchers are attributing the late December-early January drop to a significant slowdown in spam production by the Rustock botnet, which they called the most dominant spam botnet of 2010.
This appears to be the week of security acquisitions; following Dell's announcement that it intends to buy managed security provider SecureWorks on Tuesday, Sourcefire announced on Wednesday it has purchased antimalware maker Immunet for $21 million in cash.
Sourcefire, the creator of open-source intrusion prevention system (IPS) Snort, will add Immunet's cloud-based antimalware technology to its portfolio, company officials said. The acquired products will round out Sourcefire's offerings - which are currently comprised of Snort plus its Sourcefire 3D System that includes IPS, intrusion detection, SSL inspection, and netflow analysis -- with endpoint protection, reputation services, data-loss prevention and forensics. Sourcefire says that combining these acquired features with its existing capabilities offers customers comprehensive presentation against threats. What's more, Immunet's technology is delivered via the cloud, giving Sourcefire a cloud delivery system from which it can base future offerings.
To answer the question whether or not social media software has a place in corporations, Gartner recently released a report predicting that enterprise social software revenue will surpass $769 million in 2011.
The report, called Market Trends: Convergence Restructuring the Enterprise Social Software Market, Worldwide, 2010 and available for purchase here, attributes this 16 percent growth over the $664 million expected to close out 2010 mostly to the same factor that has driven social software's growth in the consumer market -- users' desire to connect to other people, says Gartner.
Microsoft on Thursday issued an advance notice for its December security bulletins, which will be released on December 14 and will include 17 updates designed to address 40 vulnerabilities in Windows, Office, Internet Explorer, SharePoint, and Exchange.
Microsoft issues these advance notifications every month before the updates themselves are released, so that users can prepare for testing and deployment of the patches. December's release sets a record number of patches from Microsoft this year, beating the number of patches released by the software giant in October by one.
The results of a recent study conducted by Forrester revealed a great reason for companies to provide technology tools that their employees can get excited about.
According to Forrester's research, described by analyst Matthew Brown in a blog post earlier this month, employee attitudes in North America toward advocating for their company are tied to their view of the technology that they use at work.