IT Security Basics: What You Need to Know

The importance of IT security for businesses cannot possibly be overstated, as it is essential that every organization takes steps to mitigate the risks. When it comes to IT security, knowing the three major categories will help you make better choices about implementation. A solid understanding of the different types of IT security will provide you with peace of mind, and will help you decide which aspects of IT security you might need to improve.

Physical Device Security

The type of security that can give you the biggest headache is ironically the easiest to avoid. When it comes to things like laptops, tablets, phones, and flash drives, practice due diligence by keeping these items turned off when not in use. Do not simply put them in “sleep” or “hibernation” modes. Ensure that any device that can be password-protected is password-protected. Your electronics are a big part of your life, treat them that way. Do not pack them in checked luggage; carry them close at all times. When using them in public always keep them in sight and never leave them unattended, even for a short period of time.

Network Security

Do not click “Remind me later” on your antivirus software, especially before a trip. Update your software and perform regular maintenance to ensure your network remains secure. Just as it’s best to assume other drivers are unsafe in traffic, imagine any network that is not your own is insecure. This includes those in cafés, hotels, and libraries. Public internet access is filled with viruses, malware and hackers trying to steal your confidential information and wreak havoc on your device or network. Always make sure your security software is up to date and functional to protect you from potential cyber threats.

Data Security

Passwords are your best friend when it comes to security. Make sure you invest time in creating thorough passwords for all your devices. Avoid accessing bank accounts or financial institutions of any kind when you are not on your own secure network. As a rule, regularly back up your data, especially if you will be out and about. Cloud backup is a great option if you need to access your information while you’re on the go. In addition to password protection, encryption is also a useful tool in protecting your data.

IT security is critical to all your business endeavors. Getting into the habit of basic protection will allow you to avoid costly and time-consuming damage to your devices and network which in-turn allows you to focus on your goals.

Source by Richard F Hermann

Dog Pet Bed – Your Dog Needs a Pet Bed

Dog Pet Bed – Your Dog Needs a Pet Bed

Why is it important to give your favorite four-legged friend a place of his own? Your dog's bed will benefit your dog's sleep, comfort, and health for years to come. Many pet owners think that a dog bed is an optional item. However, having a pet bed is an essential item. Dogs spend a good part of every day sound sleep. The comfort and health of your dog depends on a quality sleep. There are many benefits for you and your dog.

Security

Dogs can feel anxiously especially when their owner is away. Providing your pet with a special place to call his own will give him a sense of security. It also provides a private area for your dog. You dog will love the fact that he has a place that is just for him, and in return he might be less likely to curl up on your furniture or bed.

Health

Just like humans, dogs appreciate comfort also. Older dogs as well as youngger dogs can start to suffer from joint pain, arthritis and hip problems. Lack of quality sleep can also cause an unwillingness to go for walks and exercise. A dog bed's soft, comfortable cushions feel just as great on a dog's joints as a mattress or body pillow provides comfort and support for humans. A typical dog bed elevates the animal above the hard ground, supports essential joints and provides a degree of warmth. You might also want to look at orthopedic dog beds.

Warmth

Dogs will benefit from the extra layers of warmth and insulation off the bare floor especially during the night and cold winter months. Dog pillow beds or dog bed mats also provide essential support from a hard cold floor. Although dogs will sleep on a floor, it is often uncomfortable for them. Consider how you would feel sleeping on the cold floor with nothing but a blanket. This is usually the reason that they sneak onto the furniture the minute you leave the house and because it smells like you. Most dogs will sleep at the foot or side of their owner's bed, on a favorite blanket or cushion placed in a warm part of the room away from drafts.

Position

Should your dog be allowed to sleep in your bed, with you? Probably not, where your dog sleeps is important to their emotional and physical health. Some animal behaviorists say letting your dog sleep with you is a bad idea and sometimes upset the chain of command because the dog may get delusions of grandeur and dominance problems can arise. A pet bed lets your dog know where he is sleeping. You may consider and your dog may enjoy, several dog beds in other rooms where the family comes together.

Protection

A dog bed will provide protection for your furniture. When your dog is sleeping on your furniture, it affects the appearance and condition of your furniture, and as we mentioned earlier it affects your dog's joints where he jumps up and down off high furniture. Not to mention othersome pet hair on the furniture. For this reason, you will definitely want a cover that will be removed from the mattress, and that is 100% machine washable. It should also be durable enough to deal with sharp claws, and stain resistant.

In conclusion, your dog will be spending an awful lot of time in his or her bed, so it's important that you select the right one. So remember, when buying a pet bed for your dog, you need to take numerous things into consideration: your dog's breed, dog's age (puppy, adult, senior), dog's size, dog's health and where you plan on using the bed. Buying the right kind of bed and maintaining it properly can go a long way to your dog's health and happiness, and maybe even your own.

Source by Jennifer Pezzillo

Your Home Security Options

I was sleeping blissfully Friday morning as a knock on the door woke me from my slumber. Not completely awake I was not sure if I had heard correctly that there was a knock on the door. Soon thereafter the doorbell rang.

Ambling to the window I looked out to see two Sheriff’s vehicles in my driveway. If you’ve never been woken up like this it is a little unnerving. I’m a law abiding citizen that does not get into any trouble so I was highly confused. A checklist of potential issues ran through my head to figure out the reason for their presence in my front yard.

Maybe they were there because I didn’t pay the taxes on my vehicle. Knowing that I paid the bill six months ago I quickly dismissed that reasoning. After dismissing several possibilities I considered that either my Rottweiler had managed to get out of the yard or someone happened to my son who was away at school. I decided to just go outside and find out what was going on.

I was informed that my car had been broken in to the night before. The Sheriff was investigating five other break-ins from my neighborhood that morning and he saw my car door cracked. Much to my dismay the inside of my car was a total disaster with papers thrown about and everything in my glove compartment taken out. I could not identify anything that was missing.

As I sat there lamenting the fact that this was literally the first time that I did not lock my car door I thought about the failure of my home security system – a Rottweiler named Beethoven. Now, Beethoven is a very protective beast that watches over our property like a hawk when he is awake but he somehow he managed to miss this. This whole incident got me thinking about home security.

When we purchased our home it had an alarm system however we cannot arm the alarm when we leave the house due to our cats within the home. This is leaving our home completely unprotected. Thankfully nothing of great value was taken from my car but our home would be a completely different story.

I started investigating all my home options and found that one home security provider is the right one for me. What is right for me may not be for you so I’ve put together a couple of things to look for when considering home security.

The first big question to ask yourself is whether you want to go with monitored home security or install a home security system on your own. The benefit of installing a system on your own is that the overall costs are low. A monitored security system has far more to offer you with the ability to watch over your home while you are away and contact local law enforcement for emergency response quickly. This means a much faster response time for you minimizing possible loss. A monitored system can also protect you from fire, carbon monoxide, and flooding. This is a tremendous added bonus.

The next consideration should be whether you want a wireless or hard-wired system. You will not have to worry about power supply on a hard-wired system but this required modification to your home. A wireless system makes installation a breeze and minimizes home modification. It is possible that you may have to check the batteries of some components.

Although not a typical offer from most home security providers, video surveillance can be a valuable tool to help you identify intruders or vandals. If you consider adding a video surveillance system to supplement your home security look for CCD Cameras that also have night vision capabilities and a system that can provide you with video backup capabilities.

Regardless of your security preferences don’t rely on your faithful furry companion to alert you under all circumstances. As I’ve found it is not as reliable as a monitored home security service provider.

Source by Roger Weaver

101 Survival Tips for Your Business

There is no disputing the fact that a lot of businesses are collapsing in Nigeria and indeed the world over today because of lack of knowledge of what it takes to salvage the situation. This has even led to serious health conditions as many entrepreneurs have become hypertensive and their health state has defied medical solutions. This is because as long as the survival of their businesses is threatened, their own survival too will continue to be under threat. This is why I am reviewing this book this week as a textual solution. I wish you pleasurable reading.

This text entitled 101 Survival Tips for Your Business, with the subtitle Practical Tips to Help Your Business Survive and Prosper is written by Andrew Griffiths, a professional marketing consultant, as well as director of an Australian company called The Marketing Professionals. Griffiths is an accomplished trainer and a reputable public speaker. He specialises in trouble-shooting for companies that are in dire need of professional advice on marketing and customer-related issues.

In the course of his career, Griffiths has owned and operated a number of businesses, including a commercial diving operation, a travel company, an outdoor advertising business and a tourism publication. He equally worked as a dive instructor and commercial diver, door-to-door encyclopedia salesman, gold prospector, international sales manager and gardener.

According to this author, running a business is difficult and demanding even at the best of times. Griffiths says the trick to surviving is to avoid the common hazards that all business operators face along the way. He assures that the 101 practical survival tips offered in this text will guide you to successfully navigate your way through these hazards, and help your business to reach its full potential. This expert says each of these survival tips is based on his many years of experience and sound advice from successful businesses around the world.

Griffiths advises you to choose and apply a new tip each week or use this book as a source of inspiration and guidance when you are setting up a new business. In this book, there are tips to help you build better relationships with your suppliers, your staff and your customers, as well as financial, legal, marketing and personal survival tips. All these tips are designed to highlight common problems and give you a clear course of action that will increase your chances of business survival. As regards structure, this text is segmented into 12 basic sections of 101 tips, in addition to a bonus section containing 20 tips. Section one is christened The future of small business.

In the words of Griffiths here, “Small businesses form the backbone of many economies. As populations grow worldwide, so do the number of small businesses starting up. Millions of people around the world continue to opt for running their own business instead of working for larger organisations. As a result, there is an incredible knowledge and skill base tied up in running these small businesses.”

He adds that there is an enormous amount of expertise and specialist knowledge that thrives in this economic sector, the value of which is often underestimated. Griffiths says experience has shown him that small businesses generally offer far better levels of service than do their larger counterparts, due, in most cases, to the key personnel being involved at the front of business. However, Griffiths says the problem facing most small businesses is the ever-increasing competition from other small businesses, adding that this dilemma is here to stay and even increase.

In section two christened Getting advice survival tips, and which contains the first four tips, this accomplished public speaker discusses the type of help available, tells you to know when to look for help, asks you to embrace technology and save money, and says you might be eligible for a grant. According to this author, “Many governments around the world offer incentives for people to run small businesses. These governments realise that small businesses play a major role in their economy…by distributing products and services to the general public.” He says these governments are equally aware that small businesses provide jobs for millions of people, and this development keeps the economy going well.

Section three of this text is generically labelled Financial survival tips, and contains tips five to 19. Here, Griffiths stresses the need for you to have enough money to start your business. As far as budgeting is concerned, he advises you to plan for the worst not the best, adding that you should keep your personal and business records separate. Griffiths reiterates the need for you to use a good accountant, keep a good record from the start, and beware of the third-year boom and fourth-year bust.

In section four that contains tips 20 to 27 and entitled Business relationship survival tips, this expert reflects to you how to avoid partnership pitfalls; how to build a relationship with your suppliers; how to build a relationship with your professional advisers, etc. Section five of this text is based on staff survival tips and contains tips 28 to 37. In this section, Griffiths stresses the need for you to put the staff job description in writing and always check references. He emphasises the need for you to train yourself and your staff properly; lead by example so that your team will follow; communicate effectively with your staff; conduct performance reviews; be conscious of security issues and protect your business, etc. In section six based on tips 38 to 46 and tagged Customer service survival tips, this author says you need to build a good relationship with your customers and learn how to say No. Griffiths stresses further that you need to use simple market research to keep on track, adding that you should continually ask your customers if they are happy. He advises that you should deliver whatever you promise, and be honest and upright in all your dealings.

Section seven is based on advertising and marketing survival tips, with tips 47 to 57 examined. Here, the author says you need to develop your own marketing philosophy; do a course or read a marketing book; take small steps to market your business; develop a strong corporate image; market your business to a simple plan; never stop marketing just because business is booming, etc.

Sections eight to eleven are respectively entitled Internet survival tips; Insurance survival tips; Legal survival tips; and Personal survival tips. These four sections contain tips 58 to 93. In these sections, Griffiths stresses the need for you to be realistic about the Internet and make sure that you market your website. He says you should budget for the Internet to be an ongoing expense and beware of spam. Griffiths advises on the type of insurance you should have, adding that you should make sure that you meet your policy requirements. Griffiths offers you guide on when to use a lawyer and how to choose one. He also offers you tips on how you could keep the legal costs down. According to this author as regards personal survival tips, you need to start your business feeling refreshed and healthy.

Griffiths advises you never to give up your hobbies when you start your own business; asks you to maintain your enthusiasm; and learn how to handle stress. Section 12, the last basic section is tagged Planning for the future survival tips and contains tips 94 to 101. In this section, this author says you need to know exactly where you are going and know exactly how you are going to get there. Griffiths reflects that you need to always have a plan for when things go wrong and set your business up so that someone will want to buy it.

As already said, apart from these 12 basic sections, there is a bonus section containing additional 20 survival tips. Here, Griffiths says among other things that you should not be afraid to charge what you are worth; learn to delegate; try to win an award for your business; constantly strive to improve your business; make your business environmentally friendly; and compile your own operations manual.

Stylistically, this text gets a pass mark. For instance, the text is written in short blocks reinforced with very simple, jargon-free language. Griffiths adds Survival Tips Action List at the end of each section to arouse readers’ active participation and practical application. However, the (partially) repetitive areas of the multiplicity of tips contained in the text can still be harmonised to avoid possible conceptual redundancy. Generally, this text is a masterpiece. Do you want to achieve enduring success in your business, especially during this period of global economic downturn? If “Yes”, then, you need to get a copy of this book.

Source by Goke Ilesanmi

Security Is the Core of the SMB Network

There seems to be a shared sense of confidence by small and mid-sized businesses that their organization will not ever face a critical security breach. If I had a dime for every SMB owner or decision maker who dismissed potential security threats, I'd be able to buy a yacht. The truth is there's no safe haven when it comes to security, and no organization is safe; not the largest retailers, the smallest mom and pop distributors, or any size organization in between.

Verizon Business performed a study in 2010 of the amount and severity of data breaches and found alarming statistics. The Data Breach Report showed that there were 760 intrusions in 2010, compared to just 141 in 2009 (Baker, et al., 2010). Ironically, the amount of data affected or otherwise compromised was lower than in previous years, but at the end of the day, what impact would only one security incident have on your business? It could be something relatively minor such as some hooligan desecrating your website, or it could be a serious incursion into your sales records, customer payment information, and / or intellectual property. What would that type of bread cost your business? Only you know the answer to that.

In general, network security can be categorized as either physical or virtual. One of the best security documents I have ever seen was written by Richard Kissel for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a division of the US Department of Commerce. In it, Kissel described essential considerations for every small and mid-sized business regardless of industry or specialization. According to Kissel, the main areas to note are "'absolutely necessary' steps to take, highly recommended practices to avoid problems before they happen, and other optional planning contingencies in case of an issue." (Kissel, 2009) Most of these three sections are further divided into the two distinctions previously mentioned, physical and virtual.

Physical security is fairly straightforward to address. Essentially, it encompasses the mitigation of any direct attempt to access facilities and / or assets by a person or group. Measures to consider include the obvious locked doors, security cameras, security guards, etc., but potential areas of compromise also include some that are not so obvious. Not making sure that non-employee personnel are on the up-and-up can be a huge oversight. Maybe someone someone on the cleaning crew has light fingers, or enough technical know-how to penetrate your network. This is the perfect application for an IP camera. There are some all-purpose units like the APC NetBotz product line that combines environmental and intrusion monitoring with IP cameras to collect data for a defined period of time. Email alerts are available for staff or other describees who can then act on the information provided.

There are instances where physical and virtual elements of network security merge, and a great example of this is a token-based solution. The user has either a key "fob" or other physical device that generates a random passcode as needed for an entrance to an inner network as a sign on. If lost, the device can not be accessed without proper credentials, and an IT buffer can wipe it remotely of all information. Some of these solutions, including offerings from RSA, that place a software widget on employee endpoints to perform the same function. These token-based solutions can be very expensive, which is often a stopping point for most SMB organizations. However, for those who are extraordinarily sensitive to the potential of a break, it could be money well spent.

You've locked your doors, trained your personnel, and added purpose-built IP "eyes" to keep watch. So now you can address outside threats, but where do you start? Most networks in the modern world are protected by a firewall. The term "firewall" originates from the firefighting community, and in that world, a firewall is a barrier established to prevent the spread of fire. In a way, this is the basic function of a network firewall as the goal is to keep out anything that can damage your infrastructure. SearchSecurity.com's broad definition of a firewall is "a set of related programs, located at a network gateway server that protects the resources of a private network from users from other networks." (SearchSecurity.com, 2000) Did you notice that this definition did not specify hardware or software? That's because it does not have to! Typically an SMB network might include an appliance such as those built by Cisco, SonicWALL, or Barracuda. However, there's no reason a network firewall can not be software, as mentioned in the definition above, which can be located on the network router or the main server. A good example of this are the firewall services built into the operating system of the Cisco router line.

Other applications that function within the firewall sphere include anti-virus / anti-malware, content filtering, and intrusion prevention. The first is a way to mitigate the infiltration of viruses, spyware, and the like through email or other "friendly" traffic. Content filtering prevails employees and other users from surfing websites that are not business-related, that can pose potential risks, or are in subject matter in subject matter. Intrusion prevention is designed to fend off attacks from hackers and automated groups of networks or PCs looking to exploit any network flaw or unprotected opening.

While the firewall is the most common application for security-conscious organizations, it should not be the only measure taken to keep the infrastructure safe. It's important to secure other entry points like wireless networks, user PCs, and laptops. Wireless networks should have an enhanced security protocol for access such as WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) or WEP (Wired-Equivalency Protocol). In many cases, if the attacker has to work to break-in they will likely move on to an easier target. Individual users with laptops can inadvertently bring bad things inside your firewall. Maybe some casual home surfing deposits malware that's not seen because it's outside the network borders. It's imperative that when the machine is reconnected, potential threats are scanned and quarantined before they can propagate through the network.

Some security risks are borne out of user behavior which suggests the need for best-practice policies to be in place regardless of investments in hardware and software. These include, but are not limited to:

• Requiring users to change passwords every 30 to 60 days

• Requiring passwords to contain uppercase letters, lowercase letters, at least one number, and at least one special character

• Limiting access to various areas of the network dependent on user types and job function

Since training is imperative, users should be required to sign off on receipt of these guidelines as well as an agreement to abide by them.

Having physical and virtual security is not enough. Routine maintenance on these devices and software is critical to keeping it safe. The first step is to make sure all patches and firmware are up-to-date on network endpoints and core devices. Secondly, your maintenance program should include verified, usable backups of all critical data, and there are a variety of different methods, from old tape drives, to newer external hard drives, to seamless remote electronic backup solutions.

The choice of backup solution has everything to do with budget and tolerance for downtime. For most, having data automatically encrypted and routed offsite to a secure location gives the best peace of mind and a valid disaster recovery platform to mitigate the loss should a situation occurs.

There have been documented instances of information loss due to poor practices in disposing of documents and old hardware. I think back to a scene in the movie Animal House when several members of Delta fraternity were rooting through a dumpster to find a copy of their midterm test. Do not fool yourself into thinking that there are not individuals or organizations that would take such steps. Law enforcement has cracked open near-dead cases based on evidence obtained from trash receptacles and landfills. Once it's out for collection, trash becomes public property and anyone has access to it. Fully shredding organizational documents, not just financial documents, is vital. This rule does not just refer to paper; it includes hard drives, data collection, or any network device that stores data. Remember, properly destroyed data should always be accompanied by a certificate of destruction. If your organization is required to maintain governmental compliance, such as HIPAA or Sarbanes-Oxley, taking these preclusions may not be an option but a requirement.

One other thing, which is related to training, is the awareness of the impact of "social engineering." SearchSecurity.com defines this concept as "a personal or electronic attempt to obtain unauthorized information or access to systems / facilities or sensitive areas by manipulating people." We've all seen phishing scams claiming we've won the lottery in a foreign country, or that our cousin is stranded somewhere and needs money wired immediately. The same kinds of scams can be targeted at a business using a sympathetic ear on the phone to gain access, or a tear-jerking email to get an unsuspecting employee to click a link to help stray animals. Once again, education and training will eliminate such breaches.

The bottom line is there's a world of bad things out there that is looking for a chance to make an impact. Not heeding the warnings could be costly, as nearly 50% of small businesses fail within two years of a total or catastrophic data loss or event. So security should be priority one in making sure your organization is on the right track. Do not let your guard down and stay vigilant, and the resulting peace of mind is irreplaceable.

Source by Bryan Ramona

Reasons Why People Buy Private Security

Reasons Why People Buy Private Security

Why do individuals and companies buy private security?
Security firms are aware of their clients' varying needs and as a result are better able to market their products and services successfully. The general idea is to provide protection, however a private individual will have a different set of security demands than corporate and retail companies.

Private individuals usually need security against immediate or potential threats; whereas corporate and retail companies have varying reasons for hiring private security other than for protection. The following are some reasons why companies would need private security:
– Regulation compliance
– Response to a recent event
– Gain competitive advantage over their competitors
– Show effort and diligence in their services

What types of security do companies and private citizens need?
The increasing need for both personal and proprietary protection in various settings has given rise to different types of security, each with its own characteristics and benefits. Security can either be the provision of highly-trained officers on the site, or the installation of high-quality security devices such as alarm systems and CCTVs.

Depending on the client's personal or business concerns, private security firms can provide protection in the form of security guards, car park attendees, mobile patrol response teams for the company, or protection for the personal safety of owners and officers. Private security constituents both personnel and equipment to prevent property damage and loss. Private security firms also develop security strategies against current and perceived threats and provide protection and crowd control during special events.

How do individuals and companies choose the right types of security?
Private security firms need to know and understand the reasons that targeted markets take advantage of their services. Having this knowledge increases their chances of setting up service contracts that match the client's needs.

Private companies should establish a habit of observing the market to determine their potential clients' most pressing needs. Knowing the reasons why individuals and companies hire security businesses will help firms provide the best advice to clients. Security firms should start assessing how their products and services are marketed, eliminating trivial sales talks and replacing them with more client-centered counsel in order to convince clients that they need private protection.

Clients hire the services of private security firms as a response to threats against their companies or their personal lives.

Here's a list of steps clients take when deciding which types of security will provide them the protection they need:
1) Assess the threat

– Determine whether the threat is an isolated or recurring case.
– Determine whether the threat is aimed at an individual or the businesses a whole.

2) Decide whether the severity of the threat requires protection.
– Assess your current capacity to solve the problem on your own.
– Determine the type of threat and what damages it is causing.
– Determine whether you are capable of creating countermeasures to provide immediate protection against the threat.

3) Consult with private security experts regarding the types of protection that are available.
– Determine who you are protecting and what you are protecting against.
– Determine the right kind of security that will provide protection against the threat.
– Hire security personnel, or purchase security devices for your homes and / or companies.

Source by Romeo Cliff Richards

Network Security Across the Enterprise – Stop Gap Measures to Help You Protect Your Network

Network Security Across the Enterprise – Stop Gap Measures to Help You Protect Your Network

Today's business networks consist of numerous remote access connections from employees and outsourcing firms. Too often, the inherent security risks arising from these connections outside the network are overlooked. Continued improvements have been made that can enhance security in today's network infrastructure; taking particular focus on the users accessing the network externally and monitoring access end-points are critical for businesses to protect their digital assets.

Installing the correct software for the specific needs of your IT infrastructure is essential to having the best security protection possible. Many companies install "off the shelf" security software and assume they are protected. Unfortunately, that is not the case due to the nature of today's network threats. Threads are diverse in nature, including the usual spam, spyware, viruses, trojans, worms, and the occasional possibility that a hacker has targeted your servers.

The proper security solution for your organization will neutralize all of these threats to your network. Too often, with only a software package installed, network administrators spend a lot of their time at the perimeter of the network defending its integrity by manually fending off attacks and then manually patching the security breach.

Paying network administrators to defend the integrity of your network is an expensive proposition – much more so than installing the proper security solution that your network requires. Network administrators have many other responsibilities that need their attention. Part of their job is to make your business operate more efficiently – they can not focus on this if they have to manually defend the network infrastructure all the time.

Another threat that must be considered is the threat occurring from within the perimeter, in other words, an employee. Sensitive proprietary information is most often stolen by someone on the payroll. A proper network security solution must guard against these kinds of attacks also. Network administrators certainly have their role in this area by creating security policies and strictly enforcing them.

A smart strategy to give your network the protection it needs against the various security threats is a layered security approach. Layered security is a customized approach to your network's specific requirements utilizing both hardware and software solutions. Once the hardware and software is working simultaneously to protect your company, both are able to instantaneously update their capabilities to handle the latest in security threats.

Security software can be configured to update multiple times a day if the need be; hardware updates typically consist of firmware upgrades and an update wizard much like that present within the software application.

All-in-one Security Suites A multi-pronged strategy should be implemented to combat the multiple sources of security threats in today's corporate networks. Too often, the sources of these threats are overlapping with Trojans arriving in spam or spyware hidden within a software installation. Combating these threats requires the use of firewalls, anti-spyware, malware and anti-spam protection.

Recently, the trend in the software industry has been combined to previously separate security applications into an all-encompassing security suite. Security applications standard on corporate networks are integrating into security suites that focus on a common goal. These security suites contain antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, and firewall protection all packaged together in one application. Searching out the best stand-alone applications in each security risk category is still an option, but no longer a necessity.

The all-in-one security suite will save a company money in reduced software purchasing costs and time with the ease of integrated management of the various threat sources.

Trusted Platform Module (TPM) A TPM is a standard developed by the Trusted Computing Group defining hardware specifications that generate encryption keys. TPM chips not only guard against intrusion attempts and software attacks but also physical theft of the device containing the chip. TPM chips work as a compliment to user authentication to enhance the authentication process.

Authentication describes all processes involved in determining whether a user granted access to the corporate network is, in fact, who that user claims to be. Authentication is most often gifted through use of a password, but other techniques invve biometrics that uniquely identify a user by identifying a unique trait no other person has such a fingerprint or characteristics of the eye cornea.

Today, TPM chips are often integrated into standard desktop and laptop motherboards. Intel began integrating TPM chips into its motherboards in 2003, as did other motherboard manufactures. Whether or not a motherboard has this chip will be contained within the specifications of that motherboard.

These chips encrypt data on the local level, providing enhanced security at a remote location such as the WiFi hotspot full of innocent looking computer-users who may be bored hackers with malicious intent. Microsoft's Ultimate and Enterprise versions of the Vista Operating System utilize this technology within the BitLocker Drive Encryption feature.

While Vista does provide support for TPM technology, the chips are not dependent upon any platform to function.

TPM has the same functionality on Linux as it does within the Windows operating system. There are even specifications from Trusted Computing Group for mobile devices such as PDAs and cell phones.

To use TPM enhanced security, network users only need to download the security policy to their desktop machine and run a setup wizard that will create a set of encryption keys for that computer. Following these simple steps significantly improves security for the remote computer user.

Admission Based on User Identity Establishing a user's identity depends upon successfully passing the authentication processes. As previously mentioned user authentication can involve much more than a user name and password. Beside the emerging biometrics technology for user authentication, smart cards and security tokens are another method that enhances the user name / password authentication process.

The use of smart cards or security tokens adds a hardware layer requirement to the authentication process. This creates a two-tier security requirement, one a secret password and the other a hardware requirement that the secure system must recognize before granting access.

Tokens and smart cards operate in essentially the same fashion but have a different appearance. Tokens take on the appearance of a flash drive and connection through a USB port while smart cards require special hardware, a smart card reader, that connects to the desktop or laptop computer. Smart cards often take on the appearance of an identification badge and may contain a photo of the employee.

However authentication is verified, once this happens a user should be granted access through a secure virtual network (VLAN) connection. A VLAN establishes connections to the remote user as if that person was a part of the internal network and allows for all VLAN users to be grouped together within distinct security policies.

Remote users connecting through a VLAN should only have access to essential network resources and how those resources can be copied or modified should be carefully monitored.

Specifications established by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) have resolved in what is known as the secure VLAN (S-VLAN) architecture. Also commonly referred to as tag-based VLAN, the standard is known as 802.1q. It enhances VLAN security by adding an extra tag within media access control (MAC) addresses that identify network adapter hardware within a network. This method will prevent unidentified MAC addresses from accessing the network.

Network Segmentation This concept, working hand-in-hand with VLAN connections, determines what resources a user can access remotely using policy enforcement points (PEPs) to enforce the security policy through the network segments. Furthermore, the VLAN, or S-VLAN, can be treated as a separate segment with its own PEP requirements.

PEP works with a user's authentication to enforce the network security policy. All users connecting to the network must be guaranteed by the PEP that they meet the security policy requirements contained within the PEP. The PEP determines what network resources a user can access, and how these resources can be modified.

The PEP for VLAN connections should be enhanced from what the same user can do with the resources internally. This can be accomplished through network segmentation simply being defining the VLAN connections as a separate segment and enforcing a uniform security policy across that segment. Defining a policy in this manner can also define what internal network segments the client can access from a remote location.

Keeping VLAN connections as a separate segment also isolates security breaches to that segment if one were to occur. This keeps the security break from spreading through the corporate network. Enhancing network security even further, a VLAN segment could be handled by it's own virtualized environment, thus isolating all remote connections within the corporate network.

Centralized Security Policy Management Technology hardware and software targeting the different facets of security threats create multiple software platforms that all must be separately managed. If done incorrectly, this can create a daunting task for network administration and can increase staffing costs due to the increased time requirements to manage the technologies (whether they be hardware and / or software).

Integrated security software suites centralize the security policy by combining all security threats attacks into one application, thus requiring only one management console for administration purposes.

Depending on the type of business you're in a security policy should be used corporate-wide that is all-encompassing for the entire network. Administrators and management can define the security policy separately, but one overriding definition of the policy needs to be maintained so that it is uniform across the corporate network. This ensures there are no other security procedures working against the centralized policy and limiting what the policy was defined to implement.

Not only does a centralized security policy become easier to manage, but it also reduces strain on network resources. Multiple security policies defined by different applications focusing on one security threat can aggregately hog much more bandwidth than a centralized security policy contained within an all-encompassing security suite. With all the threats coming from the Web, ease of management and application is essential to maintaining any corporate security policy.

Frequently asked Questions:

1. I trust my employees. Why should I enhance network security?

Even the most trusted employees can pose a risk of a network security breach. It is important that employees follow established company security standards. Enhancing security will guard against lapsing employees and the occasional disgruntled employee seeking to cause damage to the network.

2. Do these innovations really create a secure environment for remote access?

Yes they do. These enhancements not only greatly enhance a secure VLAN connection but they also use widely accepted standards that are often integrated into common hardware and software. It's there, your company only needs to start using the technology.

3. My company is happy with using separate software, that way way application can focus on a separate security threat. Why should I consider an all-in-one security suite?

Many of the popular software applications commonly used by businesses have expanded their focus to identify all security threats. This includes solutions from both software and hardware appliance technology manufacturers. Many of these firms saw the need to consolidate security early on and purchased smaller software firms to gain that knowledge their firm was lacking. A security suite at the application level, will make management much easier and your IT staff will thank you for it.

4. Do I need to add a hardware requirement to the authentication process?

Requiring the use of security tokens or smart cards should be considered for employees accessing the company network from a remote site. Particularly if that employee needs access to sensitive company information while on the road, a simple flash drive secure token requires a thief from accessing that sensitive data on a stolen laptop.

5. With all this concern about WiFi hotspots should employees be required not to use these locations to connect to the company network?

WiFi hotspots have sprung up nationwide and present the easiest method for your remote employees to access the Internet. Unfortunately, hotspots can also be full of bored, unemployed hackers who have nothing better to do than find a way to intercept a busy employee's transmissions at the next table. That's not to say employees on the road should avoid hotspots. That would severely limit them from accessing the network at all. With technologies like S-VLAN and secure authentication in place, a business can implement technologies to reduce threats both now and in the future.

Implementing the latest network security technologies is a high priority for IT Management. In today's network environment with many users accessing your digital assets remotely, it's critical to get your network security correct during the planning phase of the integration process.

Obviously, it should be noted that most large companies have multiple operating systems running (Windows, Mac O / S, etc) and that for many of these companies all-in-one security suites face certain challenges in a mixed operating system environment.

That is why I stress that you consider having layered security (both hardware and software) and do not simply rely on software applications to protect your digital assets. As technology changes so do the opportunities for security breaches.

As these security threats become more sophisticated, hardware and software developers will continue to innovate and it's essential businesses keep up with, and implement these technologies.

Source by Michael G Perry

Pets and Environment

Pets and Environment

Do you have pets in your home? Do you have children in your home? Did you ever watch your pets interact with the family. Did you ever notice your children acting the same way under the same circumstances? Keep Reading.

What is so amazing about studying your pets is the fact that children and even adults act the same way under certain circumstances. When you take your pet; for instance, your dog, out of your family home and put it into a virtual strange home, even though your dog is a little familiar with the home owners, many different types of scenarios can happen.

When a dog that is loved by its owner is taken outside its circle of security it can become confused, wrinkened, and want to run for a small safe place to hide. Even getting your dog to eat or go for those necessary walks can be a real hassle.

Now think of taking your child, who is love and secure in their home, bedroom and with you their parent. You want to give this child a special treat to go stay with their aunt, cousin, grandparents but the child is not that familiar with these people. Also, these people have never invited your child to stay in their home for a day or longer. The child can become frightened, confused, and want to crawl into a safe spot away from everyone.

Getting the child to come out of its shell and interact like a normal child can take days weeks and even months. The reason is this. They are out of their comfort zone. They are out of their safety zone. Away from their parents and home. This is where they fill safe, loved and content to live their everyday life. There life is not interrupted.

Now you wonder why when you decided to take a trip and took your dog or child with you they acted so strange. When you finally returned home they were so happy to be in their home and room that they became the loving pet and child you remember.

If you really want to study the behavior of your children and why they act and feel so different about some things you can not understand why this is, study your pets.

Thank you for reading this article. Please feel free to read any of my other numerous articles on various subjects.

Linda Meckler Copyright 2009

Source by Linda Meckler

Security Robots on Patrol

No one would ever call me a "techie." I still have challenges operating my Smartphone and sometimes out of butter frustration I feel like smashing it into a wall. But I realize that technology does-not-stand-still and I understand the value of embracing technology. In the security business, not all new high-tech "inventions" have proven themselves, but embracing technology is essential as it can often improve workflows, increase efficiency, and help leakage finite resources.

In today's fast-paced world there seems to be some newfangled security gadget or software coming out almost daily. I have been around long enough to become accredited to scanners that read vehicle license plates. Facial recognition that can identify a known criminal or "trespassed" individual as soon as they enter a promise like a shopping center is common. And, rapid readers, magnetic card readers, and smart cards with embedded microprocessors are standard in many physical security settings.

Security Officers are a Costly Necessity

One of the largest security costs to business is human security officers (guards). No one knows for sure, but it has been estimated that there are at least 2-million security guards providing guard functions in the USA. Even though the average security guard in the USA makes a salary of less than $ 12.00 per hour (some much less), when a business adds up the total hours and all associated costs, the total cost of security officers can easily be one of the largest security expenditures.

Sophisticated surveillance cameras are common place in promise security but there is still a need for "human eyes" and many businesses do not have any real alternative to footing the bill for security guards. But recently some companies have created Security Robots! Could traditional security officers be replaced by robots making human security officers a thing of the past?

Security Robots are Already Here!

A number of different security robots have been developed and some are more sophisticated and capable than others. One of the latest is the manufactured by a California company and looks like a 300 pound, 5-foot tall sleek phallic shaped garbage can. It reportedly travels autonomously up to 3 miles per hour. This robot is a melding of technology – robotics, sensors, automously predictive analytics, thermal imaging, and maybe a few more technological "things" that the manufacturer has yet to publicly disclose.

Reportedly, this robot has the ability to scan 300 vehicle license plates per minute in a parking lot or structure. This is useful in detecting vehicles that are of concern to persons working at a promise like disgruntled employees, stalkers, or persons who have restraining orders prohibiting them from being at a promise or near certain employees. By identifying a prohibited vehicle on the promise, the Robot gives security actionable intelligence. A human security officer can receive instantaneous information from the Robot on a smart phone and respond to the scene and take appropriate action. The ability to know about a situation in real time gives a human security officer the ability to respond swiftly and hopefully resolve a problem before it escalates into violence.

Privacy Concerns

Some citizens have expressed privacy concerns over "Big Brother" robot watching their every move. But the reality is that they are already being watched by human security personnel, undercover store detectives, maintenance personnel, and high-tech surveillance cameras. And, anytime you enter a private facility, the facility has almost carte blanche authority to watch over your every move.

Security Robots to Augment Human Security

Will human security officers lose their jobs with the advent of Security Robots ? The job of a security officer is sometimes routine and boring and human officers need to take breaks to keep physically and mentally alert. A Security Robot has no such needs. It just keeps going & going & going.

It is way too soon to know how security Robots will affect overall physical security strategies and practices as the technology is still emerging. Currently, security robots are not designed or intended for intervention. Their role is to be a commanding or "authoritative" presence and act as a "look-out" and hopefully serve as a deterrent to nefarious activity.

Security Robots as a Force Multiplier

A human security officer can only be in one place at a time. The security robot is a "force multiplier" in that a security security officer can instantly access all of the information collected by the Robot via a smartphone. When the use of Security Robots become more common place, their use will likely reduce the number of human security officers needed in many security venues. But, it will not replace all human security officers. The 'smart eyes, ears, and nose' of a security robot can see, hear, and smell, but the robot can not take any actions based on these sensors other than emit an alarm. It takes a human security officer to respond to the scene and determine the appropriate course of action.

Security Robots will likely change the role of a traditional uniformed security officer from what is often a "watchman" or security "monitor" to an incident first response. When this happens, the emergency response responsibilities of a security officer will require more training and this increased liability and training will likely result in an increased recognition of the value of a human security officer. In time, this increased responsibility and professionalism should result in increased wages for human security "first responders."

Source by George W Babnick

Cyber Security

The increased growth and adoption of web 2.0 technologies, the platforms that enable the publishing of user generated contents has led to the creation of another dimension in which human existence called the cyberspace. In the cyberspace, people interact just as they do in the physical space. They socialize, conduct businesses, study, share and store materials, and even entrust highly valued assets (in terms of information) for easy access, availability, and safe keeping.

Cyber security is essential to govern the conducts and manners of interacting with the computer systems and other user in the cyber security. Without a sense of security, various activities like e-commerce, care-free socializing, business networking and the like would not be possible and hence set a hurdle in this mobile and information era.

Cyber security vs Computer/Information/Network security:-

Though these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they are indeed different. Computer security, network security and information security all target solely on the safeguarding of computer systems components and the data/information created, stored or transmitted on or through the systems. Cyber security goes a step further to take care of the possibility where a user can be a victim of a cybercrime. There are crimes such as Intellectual property rights violations in which the system components are not victims, they are mere media used to facilitate the crime and the rights owner is the victim.

Cyber security from the legal angle:-

Different countries have different laws enforcing cyber security. Taking the United Republic of Tanzania as an example, The Cybercrimes Act 2015 governs the conducts and liability of parties in the cyberspace. For all the examples given above and many more, the law clearly guides what is to be done. It also provides legal guides on how users are to interact in the cyberspace, utilize devices and systems, as well as responsibility of all involved parties in any interaction in the cyberspace.

Cyber and the Healthcare Industry:-

The Healthcare industry has featured in the top 5 industries attacked by cyber criminals for a number of years now. The WannaCry ransomware attack earlier this year that affected many health trusts across England and Scotland brought the health impact of the cyber threat to the forefront of media and political debate in the run up to the 2017 General Election. So why would anyone want to attack healthcare and what are the threats?

Source by Manish Kumar