Patch those holiday gifts

As 2011 draws to a close, I hope all of you have at this stage sorted out holiday gifts for your nearest and dearest. For a change this year I think I have gotten everything in time -- thanks mostly to a few hours spent in Abu Dhabi...

Problems with Internet filters on college networks

Internet filters have being around for a while now, and they can form a vital part of the network security infrastructure. Typically they are used forBlocking access to inappropriate or non-work related sites, sometimes called a...

How LAN problems can impact on your firewalls

Last week seems to have been a firewall issue week for me. I worked on incidents in two large networks where problems on the LAN managed to bring down firewalls at the edge of the network. Firewalls have come a long way since the...

The dangers of browser add-ons

One positive outcome of browser wars is that we are now spoilt with choice when it comes to fast and feature packed Internet browsing applications. Not that long ago, I remember downloading browsers and then installing a series of...

Why has my Internet connection slowed down?

Slow Internet access can be a right pain both at the workplace and at home. Nowadays, we demand fast access to websites and cloud services. Gone are the days of 9600 baud modems and in its place we have high speed links allowing...

Who's doing what on my network?

I was away for a few days this week on customer sites and a common question that came up was around finding out what a particular individual was doing on the network. In some cases the query was around web usage and in others the...

5 risks of mobile devices on networks

Like many of you out there I own a smartphone, and I use it for both business and personal reasons. It seems like only yesterday when smartphone's were seen as an expensive upgrade. Now their appeal is spreading worldwide as prices...

Network breaches, vulnerabilities no longer required

Some people presume that network attacks are the result of hackers accessing un-patched systems. However, most of the recent hacks and attacks that I have looked at can be attributed to one or more of the following.Weak...

9 top tips for upgrading controlled systems

We all know that it's important to keep our systems up to date with the latest software upgrades, and antivirus updates. However, there are many networks out there with controlled systems. Examples of controlled systems would be...

Detecting worms on your network by focusing on network scans

I am just back from my annual family vacation, and this year we went to Kerry in Southern Ireland. We got lucky with the weather and had a wonderful time. Highlights for me were swimming in the Atlantic on most days and visiting Tom...

Security cameras and multimedia streaming are affecting your network

There was a time when security cameras were hardwired back to a central location with lots of screens. Here people sat and watched and made sure that tapes of footage were changed and properly stored. In today's world, these devices...

How do I know if my Internet filter is working?

Over the past week, I have worked with a number of people who wanted to know if their Internet filter was working. There are the obvious things to do like try and access blocked websites yourself. However, in today's world a lot of...

10 things you need to do to manage your network effectively

It can be expensive and time consuming implementing network management systems which claim to do everything. This adds up to headaches for network managers and can result in wasted money. In my view, you have to get the basics right...

File and database activity monitoring

When I started my career in network management many years ago, my primary focus with file sharing and database applications was to make sure that they had enough disk space to grow. This basic level of monitoring is still important...

Is there a zombie on your network?

When some people hear about DDoS attacks and botnets containing thousands of zombie hosts, they think it could never happen on their network. While it is true that most of the recent attacks on websites were directed at high profile...

Troubleshooting application problems by looking at network traffic

My favorite type of onsite meetings are those where I help to solve a major problem. A couple of days ago I was visiting a large online gaming company. Most of what they do revolves around a web-based game application which they...

Discovering your network core

Over the past few years I have worked on networks of all shapes and sizes in many parts of the world. My main interest is in finding the optimum way of monitoring network activity, without the need for agents or client software on...

File hosting services and their data leakage risks, Part II

Over the past few months I have looked at a range of file hosting services. While using these services, I have being monitoring the network traffic as I upload and download files. So far I have found that most of the popular files...

File hosting services and their data leakage risks

As part of my day-to-day role, I am finding that the use of online file hosting services is increasing significantly on computer networks, and, in most cases, these networks host highly sensitive data. In one instance, the network...

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