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Twitter needs new security strategy after DoS attack

Twitter is not offering adequate protection for its users, particularly a growing number of businesses, claims security firm Lumension.

Millions of Twitter account holders were unable to access the service yesterday when it was downed for several hours by an apparent denial-of-service (DoS) attack.

Unknown attackers are believed to have bombarded the service with requests, making Twitter unavailable to legitimate users.

Twitter has focused its energies almost exclusively on developing features, said Don Leatham, senior director of solutions and strategy at Lumension.

"But this DoS attack should highlight to Twitter that it needs to redirect some of this energy to bolster its core security measure to protect its users," he said.

Businesses are increasingly turning to Twitter as a core part of their social media and communications strategy, but do not consider the vulnerability of such services, according to the head of a UK cyber security think tank.

Businesses must not become dependent on individual online networking sites as they are vulnerable to cyber attacks, said Tony Dyhouse, director of the Cyber Security Knowledge Transfer Network.

Before integrating services such as Twitter into their communication strategies, businesses should assess to what extent security is a priority before committing, said Leatham.

"This incident has the potential to have a negative impact on the brands using Twitter, as it could be seen to be highly vulnerable to attack," he said.


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