Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

Security holes that’ll keep you up at night: Sensitive data in the cloud

Factors impacting Cloud Security

Cloud computing that involves processing sensitive or regulated data in shared environments needs extra scrutiny in terms of security (as well as codifying requirements, defining a cloud services contract, managing the transition from in-house to cloud, and overseeing the resulting mixed IT environment).

Cloud security is at risk when…

  • You don’t have an adequate cloud-oriented governance/risk/compliance framework,
  • The hypervisors in your virtualized infrastructure harbor vulnerabilities that can be exploited,
  • It’s possible to infer information about one virtual machine by observing the state of the shared system from another aspect of the underlying system — which might enable malicious code execution, or
  • When vulnerabilities are introduced by incorrect configuration of a hypervisor and/or its related tools.

Continue reading

Security holes that’ll keep you up at night: Insecure virtual machine deployment

Vulnerabilities of Virtualization

Rare is the information technology professional these days who doesn’t understand the prodigious efficiencies and savings that can be derived from virtualization. Yet, too often virtual machines are deployed insecurely. One Gartner analyst has estimated that 60% of virtualized servers will be less secure than the physical servers they replace.

That’s because too often virtualization projects tend to be developed and deployed without considering security. This can result in vulnerabilities that enable bad guys to compromise the hypervisor/ virtualization layer (e.g., DoS attacks), which can spread to all hosted workloads.

Continue reading

Security holes that’ll keep you up at night: Advanced persistent threats

Impact of Advanced Persistent Threats on IT Security

Malware comes in many flavors. I’m focusing now on one of the most pernicious, advanced persistent threats (APTs), because these frequently use the techniques of zero-day attacks  to remotely manipulate a system while remaining virtually invisible to standard defenses.

Continue reading

Security holes that’ll keep you up at night: Managing the use of social media

Managing the use of Social Media

The ever-richer user information on social media presents an irresistible opportunity for ‘fraudsters.’ Because it’s so easy to research a target online, attackers have developed very effective masquerading and social engineering tactics that can fool even the most sophisticated users.

Continue reading

Automating network performance: 6 key capabilities

Capabilities to look out for in a Network Performance Monitoring Provider

The right network management capabilities will provide the feedback you need to eliminate bottlenecks and IT failures while also enabling your network’s ability to deliver data, voice, wireless, Internet, and video services.

Which is why adequate performance management, trending and capacity planning, protocol analysis/fault isolation, and onsite/remote network health monitoring have become so essential.

Continue reading

Isolating and resolving network problems

How to resolve Network Problems.

When it comes to keeping your IT network performing optimally, finding and fixing network faults certainly is crucial. But it’s just as crucial to sustain network operations while the issue gets resolved.

Which means that the first order of business is to ensure that your network has entered one of the failure modes you’ve designed for it so that remaining network resources are allocated according to your organization’s business priorities.

Continue reading

Network performance planning: About performance baselines and failure modes

Network Performance Planning & Monitoring

Even before you automate your network performance monitoring and management, you’ll need to do some planning. If you don’t have experts on hand, consider bringing in a reliable, dependable network advisor to help you:

  1. Establish a performance baseline
    Planning involves establishing baseline performance thresholds — called quality-of-service (QoS) rules — using historical data, estimates of how existing services will grow, and anticipated demand for new services.To determine if your plan is working, you’ll need to measure current network behavior. Such metrics include the traffic generated at certain interface points and the load levels of trunks and devices.

    This is how network administrators monitor and manage network conditions. When conditions are out of whack, an alert is generated.

    These alerts can indicate an emerging issue, such as a need for additional resources, or a serious problem, such as load levels so high that network and/or application performance has been impacted.

  2. Continue reading