TBG Blog

19Oct

A very common misconception is that Apple products cannot get viruses.  That is not true! Devices running OS X, Windows, and Linux, Android or any other operating system are all capable of being infected with a virus or other malware.

Apple Macintosh has a lower change of getting a virus than a Windows users.  Many Apple users don’t run antivirus software on their computers. Whether that is a smart or not is debated and discussed by IT professionals.

There are a few reasons why Apple Mac’s are less likely to get a virus than a Windows PC

 

1. Mac OS X is based on the UNIX operating system, which is one of the oldest and one of the most secure operating systems when configured properly.

2. Windows has a larger installed based and it makes it a much bigger and easier target.

3. Numerous Toolkits exist that are written for windows that make it easy to attack the Windows Operating system.

Windows Threats For Apple Macs

     Many Mac users find themselves having to use Parallels or other virtual machine software to run Windows programs such as Microsoft Publisher. Because these Macs are now running a Windows operating system, they are now susceptible to Windows viruses. In addition, an Apple computer can certain become a “carrier” of a Windows-based virus. This virus would not infect the Apple machine, but could infect other Windows machines on your network if it were to send that virus via email or across the office computer network.

And Even More Threats…

     Any software, plug-in or other 3rd party add-on that is installed onto any computer that connects to the internet can introduce its own security risks. One of the most common ways that the “bad guys” are able to attack a Mac is through browser applications and browser plug-ins such as Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Java and others. Just about every Mac user has all three of these plug-ins installed on their computers (and many more). These are a necessary part of business, but do introduce additional security risks for all computers.

The Human Factor

     Although Apple Macs are less vulnerable to viruses, they are still operated by flawed humans who can still be the victim of Trojan Horses, phishing and other online fraud. Your best bet is to keep everyone informed about online security risks in your business, no matter the computer they’re using.

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17Oct

BYOD is a term that it tossed around quite a bit as of late as a way to save money or give end users freedom to choose the platform they want to use. Before you believe all of the hype you need to consider a few items.

The first item to consider is the platforms you are going to support. You can purchase $80 tablets, are you really going to support that with your BYOD efforts? You should really provide a list of platforms that are supported so you can save your employee’s headaches.

The second item that you need to consider is how are you going to support those BYOD devices? Since you don’t own them are you going to send time supporting the device or arrange for someone else to support the device?

Applications, you need to consider how you are going to get the applications to the different platforms. You will need to find something that will render the applications to support Phones, tablets, Mac OSX. Currently, software such as Citrix XENServer, 2x Software, Mokiafive provide this type of support.

Finally, network connectivity and security is a large concern. Since you do not control the device, how are you going to secure it? The best answer is to not allow them on to your production network. You will need some way to segment these devices off from the regular network.

This is just a short list of many to consider when deploying BYOD.

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11Jun

I have been testing Ruckus wireless for about 2 months in my house and I am very happy with it.

I have been looking for a great wireless product for my clients that is easy to manage and includes options for BYOD and guest access. Ruckus has both covered. They have a guest portal that allows you to register guests. They also have the ability to configure wireless clients with a package that is downloaded to the client that includes encryption settings.

The other feature I like is the beam flex technology it accounts for the various profiles of the various devices.

The controller is also very easy to manage and maintain. In fact out of the box it took me less than 15 minutes to get it setup and I did not have to even crack the instruction manual.

Overall, I think this is a great product worth a look.

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03Jun

I have numerous clients that are looking at BYOD with one in the initial deployment stages. Before you get to far down the BYOD path, a few things to consider.

  • Policies and Procedures – You need to define what type of devices are going to be supported. You also need to define who is responsible for supporting what, you do not want your IT staff fixing the hardware of BYOD. You also need to define if you are going to reimburse your employee’s for bring your own device. There are numerous items to consider when creating your policies, but this needs to be the first step of any BYOD program.

 

  • Wireless – Most wireless networks where not designed for a capacity model, it was more for a coverage model. So if you are planning on going heavily into BYOD, you will need to review your wireless network. You will want to make sure it can handle devices in the 2.4 GHZ range and the 5 GHZ range. You will also want to make sure your wireless network can ensure air time fairness, ensuring that everyone has equal time on the wireless network.

 

  • Applications – How are you going to get people to Applications is an important question? Devices such as IPADS/Android tablets do not support Windows Applications natively. You will need to either have Virtual Desktops or use an application delivery service such as Citrix or 2X software. Either one of these tools will work well for you.

 

  1. MDM – Are you going to deploy a Mobile Device Management software? With devices such as APPLE IPADS and IPhone getting easy access to corporate email, you will want something to secure that corporate data. Some of the Mobile Device management software programs gives you the ability to secure the corporate data part of the device while allowing for the user to continue to use his/her personal applications. You can even wipe the corporate data while leaving the personal data alone.

 

BYOD can be a great way to allow people to bring their own device and allow them to work from anywhere with that device. But the planning part of BYOD is very important and make sure that you are not forgetting about it.

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20May

I recently did a conference at GIPAW. Click here to view the presentation files, and learn everything you need to know about BYOD and High Density Wireless.

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13Mar

Java has been the source of numerous security vulnerabilities as of late.  The question is, is it time to disable Java?

A flashback Trojan breached Macintosh computers.

You should disable Java in your web browser if you can. If you need to use Java for certain applications, you should  run an updated Java in that browser and either only use that browser for Java enabled websites or only enable it when needed.

To find out some more information about this, check out this URL http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2414191,00.asp.

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10Jan

Windows Server has had the ability to install only the core features, it is not something that I have done as I have not found it useful.

With the release of Server 2012, I can see the value in installing core only. The first server i would install core only is on Domain Controllers.  Why? I have seen time and time again Administrators browse from Domain Controllers and cause them to get spy ware and malware. I have also seen people use them as a default for test programs. This will prevent this nonsense.

Windows Server 2012 has a great management console that makes remote management of servers very easy and is very useful. You can also configure some basic features on the server core by running a command called sconfig.exe.

I also like the fact that the GUI overhead is removed and how quickly the server boots.

I believe Microsoft has finally gotten server core 2012 right and it will be something more and more people are going to use.

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07Jan

I have been preparing to present on Windows Server 2012 and one of the neat features is Storage Spaces.

With the available cheap NAS, SAN and direct attached storage, Microsoft has created a method to allow you to cluster them together to create mirrors using the various type of storage. For a small business this is a good way to create high availability and redudancey using inexpensive disks.

While I would not recommend this for an enterprise that has more fault tolerant storage such as high end SAN, Storage Spaces does have some uses. One that I can think of is IT Data such as software. The IT share is one that has a bunch of utilites and typically is not backed up. Storage Spaces could be a great way to use some cheap disk and make it redudant.

Microsoft had this in mind when using Storage Spaces.

Some of the goals of Storage Spaces include the ability to:

  • Obtain and easily manage reliable and scalable storage with reduced cost
  • Aggregate individual drives into storage pools that are managed as a single entity
  • Utilize simple inexpensive storage with or without external storage
  • Provision storage as needed from pools of storage you’ve created
  • Grow storage pools on demand
  • Use PowerShell to manage Storage Spaces for Windows 8 clients or Windows Server 2012
  • Delegate administration by specific pool
  • Use diverse types of storage in the same pool: SATA, SAS, USB, SCSI
  • Use existing tools for backup/restore as well as VSS for snapshots
  • Designate specific drives as hot spares
  • Automatic repair for pools containing hot spares with sufficient storage capacity to cover what was lost
  • Management can be local, remote, through MMC, or PowerShell

You can find out more about storage spaces here.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askpfeplat/archive/2012/10/10/windows-server-2012-storage-spaces-is-it-for-you-could-be.aspx

 

 

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07Jan

Security of technical systems and devices used in the office environment is an issue that is important to many companies. Businesses often go to great lengths to ensure that their systems are secure from external threats, yet often fail to take into account inner threats. One of the most common inner security threats is that employees have too much access to systems.

According to the survey, conducted by Viewfinity, 68% of the 600 IT professionals surveyed don’t know who has administrative access to computers in their office. While this survey looks at the numbers from the IT viewpoint, it’s highly likely that many managers don’t know who has what access rights to computers.

The survey also found that 20% of all respondents noted that between 15% and 30% of users in their company had administrative rights. Is this a bad thing? Yes and no. Some users need to have full access to their systems, especially if they manage other systems, while others don’t.

Admin access to systems can be dangerous. If you browse the web from a server or critical system, it can be a way to pick up a worm or a virus. Having admin access can greatly increase the risk of a system compromise. Be careful before handing out admin access.

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31Dec

Did you know that advertisers can use ads to track you? Have you noticed that if you are searching for a new car or shopping for an item, it has a habit of showing up in your ads? Why, you are being tracked with cookies. Be careful of what cookies you accept and watch this video that describes how they track you. http://live.wsj.com/video/how-advertisers-use-internet-cookies-to-track-you/92E525EB-9E4A-4399-817D-8C4E6EF68F93.html#!92E525EB-9E4A-4399-817D-8C4E6EF68F93

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