Recently I had the opportunity to participate in a GFI case study for the popular GFI FaxMaker software. Last Tuesday March 10th 2015, a video production company visited me in my home office to record the case study. They carried with them a ton of lighting and state of the art video gear.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term “case study” here is the best way to explain it. A case study is an examination of how a customer uses a product, and how the product benefits their business, and or improves their business processes. Continue reading →
Turn back the clock to late last year. At the height of the holiday season, between November 27 and December 15, hackers certainly gave new meaning to the term “hit the bull’s-eye!”
Cybercriminals toyed with retail giant Target, known for the circular red and white logo that symbolizes its name. Information from 40 million guest debit and credit card accounts was stolen – or so it was thought. The initial estimate, already among the largest in U.S. corporate history, turned out to be a fraction of the total. Today, it ranges from 70 million to 110 million, depending on reports. Continue reading →
Nobody wants to be a buzzkill, and the owners and management of small to mid-sized businesses probably have a couple of dozen more important things to do at any one point in time than to police their employees’ Internet usage. But have you ever stopped to consider just how much does Facebook cost you each month? Whether you pay a fixed monthly fee for bandwidth or a variable cost depending upon usage, it’s not just bandwidth that we’re talking about. Facebook and other non-business uses of the company’s Internet connectivity can add up quickly and cost you far more than you ever realized, impacting productivity and morale to bandwidth utilization. Let’s look at each one in a bit more detail. Continue reading →
The Business Computing Weekly Podcast Episode # 419
This episode, the focus of the podcast turns to keeping your network safe and protecting your data. The following are discussed.
1. Hackers Vs. Crackers. Threats come from many sources including your employees
2: Be careful of movie devices, and BYOD (Bring your Own Devices).
3. The ongoing battle of Zero Day attacks
4. 95.6% of mobile devices users put company data at risk by using public wifi
5. Reasons to develop a layered security approach
6 Crackers are taking advantage of social networks
7. The responsibility that comes with large amounts of storage
8. Keeping patch management front and center in your policies
9. Thoughts about “Shoulder Surfing”
10. 32% of IT Admins do not test their backup solutions
11. When employees of rogue. Stealth technologies in the workplace.
It is not the first time that online pornography has stirred controversy in the UK. The recent government’s decision to automatically opt-in home users to online adult websites was quite controversial with many people saying that it is not up to the government to decide what websites people can visit at home. It’s funny how, within only a matter of few weeks, official figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show that there have been thousands of blocked attempts to access pornographic websites. The official version is that users typically end up on these websites accidentally, they come up as pop-ups from other websites and that automatically refreshing websites will generate more hits per user – a feeble attempt to wipe egg off their face.
Why does this happen
It’s difficult to pass judgement on this issue. My view is that when someone is in their office, bored or tired after a long day, and having ‘exhausted’ their energy on Facebook, they might think that a quick peek at a ‘naughty’ website will not harm anyone? It’s also fair to say that most users probably already know that a web filtering solution is in place, and that their internet activity is monitored, so most of these are more likely than not deliberate attempts to access blocked online material. A user might come across an adult website while researching other topics, but the sheer number of attempts detailed in the statistics simply does not add up to this conclusion. When a specific website is visited, then it indicates intent to do so; however that’s up to the reader to judge Continue reading →
When Tim Berners-Lee first conceived of a system of interlinked documents that could be accessed over a world-wide network, nobody could have foreseen what a tangled Web we would weave. Today’s web is an amazing source of information and entertainment. It can be an invaluable resource for workers, helping them to ferret out facts, get step-by-step instructions, and resolve questions in minutes instead of the hours or days the same task might have taken thirty years ago. Continue reading →
Pet peeves, annoyances, irritations, grievances, vexations…if you are an IT admin, I bet you have a few. We all do. There are just some things that can set one admin off on a wild tear, while others go on nonplussed. Here is our completely unscientific, unranked and arbitrary list of the top 89 admins’ pet peeves. Some may give you a chuckle; others may strike a sympathetic chord. Read through the list, and then leave a comment letting us know if we nailed your personal biggest hate, or missed it completely. Continue reading →
They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions – any sys admin would relate to this. You have nothing but the best intentions when you install a tool, set up a service, or plug in a device on your network, convinced that that these will be of benefit. Yet how often did you find out that instead of helping to manage or improve the infrastructure, the results were disastrous, security holes were opened, making audits a nightmare and creating other major issues for everyone?
Many of the things on this list could still be a good idea under the right circumstances, and with the right controls, but the risk is still very high. To help you avoid the pain and suffering here are 10 of the most dangerous things to have on your network.
1. Anything with a DHCP service
Be it a wireless router, personal firewall, or a virtual machine instance on a bridged connection, adding anything that runs DHCP onto a production network can cause problems for everyone on that VLAN. Remember DHCP is a broadcast service, and when a client asks for a lease, it will take the first one it hears offered. What’s going to be faster, the device you just connected, or the overworked three-year-old server? Continue reading →