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Focus on Security: Part I Print E-mail
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Source: - Posted by Vincenzo Ciaglia   
Security There's nothing more important than your data. In today's world technology is the driving factor in almost every facet of business life. bar none. More and more, businesses across the globe are becoming what we refer to as "connected", in that they are connecting entire departments of computer equipment together for faster communication and those machines are inevitably tied to the Internet. What many system administrators don't understand is that at this point, their data becomes public domain. What "connected" admins sometimes fail to realize is the age-old basic rule of network computing: our data relies wholly on network security, and a computer network is only as strong as its weakest point.

How secure are you?

As I said, your network is only as secure as its weakest point, so where do you begin? Wherever you feel comfortable I suppose. Some will argue which end of the cable you should start with, but I prefer to start at the very target of most attacks: the computer itself. This is what I'll be focusing on today, though it must be noted that all points of entry should be equally concerning to the security-aware system administrator and should be treated as a potential weakness. Then there's physical security and depending on your situation, physical security such as locks, tie-downs, super glue, or some form of alarm device may be appropriate, but we're not going to get into that in this article. I'm here to touch upon data security. Just remember to lock the door on your way out. Also remember to lock your workstation. All operating systems I know of support this function. An open workstation is an idiot's way of saying "come sit down, relax, read through my personal files, feel free to sign me up for some penis enlarging samples, and while you're at it, send my resignation to the boss".

Aside from hardware failure, the operating system you choose to use on your system plays a large part in how secure your organization actually is. For instance, running Microsoft Windows on workstations or even worse, servers, can be likened to driving to the Grand Canyon, positioning yourself exactly three feet past the edge of cliff, and praying you don't fall to your death on the ground below. Is it the OS itself in this situation that's at fault? Maybe, but I think most of the blame can be placed on Microsoft's careless attitude toward system security. In light of this fact, home users and businesses around the world place their faith in the fact that they won't be the ones who are attacked. It's a textbook "it will never happen to me" example similar to a smoker who can't quit even with the threat of death by cancer. Human nature is a funny thing. I'll get more into that later on.

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