The dangers of bypassing web filters

In recent days a number of music companies have secured court orders in Ireland which will prevent customers of certain ISPs accessing Pirate Bay. The hope is that it may prevent the illegal downloading of music and other...

06/19/2013

What IT can learn from the European horse meat scandal

As a lot of you probably know, Europe is in the midst of a horse meat scandal at the moment. The main issue is that meat products labelled as beef have been found to contain large quantities of horse meat. So, what can IT possibly...

02/26/2013

Detecting mobile devices on your network after the holiday season

It’s that time of the year again when a lot of us exchange gifts with our loved ones. For some of the lucky ones, smartphones and tablets are a popular choice again this year. While this is great for the end-users, it may not be...

12/27/2012

Moving to a career in IT security

Jobs within IT security are hot at the moment and recently a number of people asked me what it takes to move to a role within this sector. For some people, IT security is a world of hackers and data leakage. For others, it’s a...

10/31/2012

Comparing packet and flow capture

Applications which use SNMP as a source of data are very popular way of keeping tabs on what is running on your network. Most of these types of applications can also send alerts when things go down or get too busy. But what if you...

10/02/2012

Why blogging is still important

My Computerworld blog has been active for over a year now, so I recently took a look back at my experience with it to see was it worth all the time spent researching and publishing articles. Sometimes it has been difficult to get...

09/17/2012

Why do my WAN links slow down?

WAN links have been around for many years and they continue to be one of the most critical parts of any IT infrastructure. When I first started my career as a network engineer in the nineties, link speeds of 32Kbps were not...

08/15/2012

Finding out what's flowing over port 80 on your network

The history of TCP port 80 started a long time ago when the IANA assigned TCP port 80 for HTTP activity and TCP port 443 for secure HTTP (HTTPS). HTTP was designed as a protocol to transport requests and data between clients and...

07/26/2012

When BYOD goes wrong

I have had a tremendous reaction to my previous blog posts on BYOD.  In the first I looked at the basics of putting a BYOD policy together for your network, and my last blog post looked at remote access technologies in a BYOD era....

07/11/2012

Remote access technologies in a BYOD era

In my previous blog post I looked at the basics of putting a BYOD policy together for your network. It focused what to do when end-users bring their own devices into the workplace and request access to the corporate network. Since...

06/19/2012

Implementing a BYOD policy on your network

BYOD seems to be one of the hottest topics in IT security right now. Every day I read about new concerns which can arise when employees access networks with their own devices. From what I experience the adoption of BYOD is on the...

05/30/2012

The insider threat

I have been on the road for the past few weeks, last week I was in the Middle East and this week I come to you from Scotland. These places would appear to the outsider as being very different places but not when it comes to IT. One...

05/16/2012

Packet capture made simple

Capturing packets from computer networks can sometimes sound like an activity reserved for hackers and geeks. Looking at a stream of raw packets is not for the fainthearted, but thankfully there are a number of technologies out there...

04/18/2012

5 tips for managing remote data centers

Over at the Ethergeek blog last week, Josh Stephens had an interesting piece on the challenges of finding experts with data center expertise. Another trend that I see is the centralization of IT staff to main data centers. Gone are...

04/04/2012

BitTorrent protocol primer, part 3: Detecting

In my previous post on the BitTorrent protocol, I took a look at how BitTorrent operates as a very efficient way of downloading and uploading data. For this post I am going to take a look at how you can detect for its presence on a...

03/21/2012

BitTorrent protocol primer, part 2: Operation

In my previous post on the BitTorrent protocol, I took a look at the main parts of what makes up its infrastructure. For this post I am going to focus on how data is uploaded and downloaded. The BitTorrent protocol is designed as a...

03/07/2012

BitTorrent protocol primer, part 1: Infrastructure

For my next three blog posts I am going to take a close look at the BitTorrent protocol.  Since its implementation in 2001, it has become one of the most common protocols for sharing files on the Internet.  For this post I am going...

02/22/2012

Monitoring bandwidth consumed by content delivery networks

A few days ago a customer came to me with a question; they wanted to know what online services were consuming the most amount of bandwidth on their Internet connection. Easy, I thought, and I proceeded to show them how to report on...

02/09/2012

Finding the top users of bandwidth

Recently I worked with a few IT managers who wanted to know one thing: who were the top users of bandwidth on their networks? In some cases, WAN links were oversubscribed, and in others, access to the Internet was slow due to large...

01/24/2012

2012 is the year of the password

For my first blog post of 2012, I was going to focus on New Year's resolutions that every network administrator should consider. This was to include things like making sure you have a map of your network and having a log of what...

01/10/2012

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