It isn't every day that you can easily try to examine your own perimeter defenses with what Fidelis Security Systems calls its Content IQ Test. The idea is to demonstrate how easy it is for threats to penetrate your network, because many bad things are disguised as they enter your network. That is the genesis behind the test, and what is needed is a simple way to show your management how porous your firewalls, intrusion prevention and other security systems really are.

There are lots of security products that claim to be content aware or even scan and block particular content, such as data loss protection products. These look at ports, protocols and specific text strings inside documents and databases. Or at least they claim to. Now here is a way to level the playing field and see exactly what they can and can't find as information moves in and out of your network.

Here is how the IQ test works. You go to the above link and copy and paste the "signature" text string that they have created. They say it is benign, akin to the EICAR string. Next, set up your network security devices to look for this string and block it. Then you click on the links on the IQ page and cause the files to be downloaded to your desktop. Now bring up your security devices' log files and see how many of the test files were detected, or try to find the files if they have been quarantined. You might be amused or shocked by your results.