Adare Enterprises Inc.
151 Lincoln Hts. Road,
|Detailed Computer Security Info
Providing Service, Confidence and Commitment to your door for over
Because the whole field of Computer Security is
so complex, we can do a full scale Security Audit for larger
enterprises, and provide a detailed report defining the steps necessary to
properly secure an organization's computer systems and network. For individuals
and small companies, a more direct approach is all that is required, here we
will outline the things you can do.
Did you know that a firewall and anti-virus are simply just NOT enough?!
PHYSICAL SECURITY. First, we would like to show you an important item
for Computer Security.....
Confused?...here, let's explain by
getting to the " nuts & bolts" of it:
a thief breaks into your home or office, one of the first things they will go
after is your computer. It takes about 5 seconds to disconnect and remove it. A
simple precaution to frustrate a potential burglar is to bolt it
to a desk or shelf, which is quite easy to do. Often, there are already holes in
the base of the computer, and all you need to do is take the cover off, and
drill matching holes in the desk or shelf, through which of course you pass the
bolts. We can also do this for you if you are uncomfortable (like many are) in
doing so yourself.
Another wonderful Anti-Theft item is Anti-Theft Recovery
Software (not to be confused with Data Recovery). This ingenuous piece of
software once installed is undetected by the average person. Yet protects your
computer in many different ways. It literally send out a "distress" call letting law inforcement track it and recover it.
And as a dual protection it prevents your hard drive (even if removed from your
computer) from being reformatted, protecting your data from erasure. This is an
absolutely amazing product and we recommend it to everyone who owns a
computer,laptop or Palm Pilot. For both Macs and Pcs, Palm Pilot and Network
Deployment we can provide you with one of the greatest anit-theft devices for a
one time(no monitoring or renewal fees!) fee. What's your computer and
it's information worth to you? Contact
our office today or order via the various banner links throughout our
website to order your very own copy of the pre-eminent computer tracking and
theft recovery software in the world!
Apart from burglars, many other things can happen to cause damage to your
computer hardware, and/or your data. Some can be called "acts of god"- others
are caused by human acts of commission or omission.
During the summer months, we are often
affected by thunder-storms. Lightning has a propensity for striking power-lines,
and when it does can send large voltage spikes long distances through the power
grid. Should your computer get hit with one of these spikes, it could cause
damage ranging from some data loss to complete destruction of the computer.
In winter, we also get some power problems. Generally they are less severe,
except in extraordinary cases like the ice-storm of January 1998. Heating
systems in commercial buildings or apartment buildings draw large amounts of
power when they start up, which cause momentary sags in the local power.
Your computer may freeze or hang, with the possibility of some data loss. In
summer, air conditioning systems cause similar momentary power sags.
The best solution for power problems is an UNINTERRUPTIBLE POWER
SUPPLY (UPS for short) - not to be confused with surge suppressors, which
are only a partial and imperfect solution. A UPS maintains steady power to your
computer through brown-outs, over-voltage situations, and complete power
outages, so no matter what happens to incoming power, your computer
continues to run smoothly. Many different sizes and types of UPS are available,
which can keep your computer running anywhere from just a few minutes
following a power outage, up to many hours.
Another problem can be STATIC ELECTRICITY, mainly
in winter time. If you get static shocks when you first touch your computer,
there is a danger of losing data, and in some cases of damaging the computer
electronics. Remember, the electronic components of the computer are operating with
power at 3 volts or less, and the static shocks you feel can be thousands of
volts, so the stress on those components can be very great indeed.
When a computer is subjected to static, the effects may be immediate, such as a
freeze-up or crash, or may be more long term and insidious, such as damage to
the memory chips, which may not immediately manifest itself, but cause future
The solutions for static problems are proper grounding of the system, proper
power outlets and things such as anti-static mats under the computer, keyboard,
and your office chair. Your type of clothing has an effect, as some materials
such as silk and some artificial fibres produce a lot of "static electricity". Most
commercial carpets contain a high percentage of artificial fibres, which produce
static. Try to keep the room humidity at 50% or higher to reduce static
problems, or use a product such as "Static Guard".
The Hard Disk on which your data and
programs are stored, is generally very reliable - but hard disks do eventually
wear out, or sometimes just fail instantly for no apparent reason.
Everyone who has a computer has data they don't want to lose. By having a
backup system, any data loss caused by the aforementioned problems can be
remedied. Backups can be performed using elementary things like floppy disks,
though it would take an enormous number (not to mention the time required) to
fully back up a 20 or 30 Gb hard drive. A much better solution is a Tape
Backup, which can back up an entire hard drive, which makes restoration
much simpler than having to individually install each application and data. By
scheduled backups, i.e. scheduled by your computer,
much of the hassle of remembering if or when you last backed up is eliminated.
For instance, at Adare Enterprises our Tape Backup is scheduled to run at 10:00
p.m. each evening; we just need to remember to change the tape once a week.</P>
a real threat to your data, and sometimes your sanity !
Originally, a virus was a piece of rogue computer code, which was inserted into
an unused portion of a file. To-day we also have what are called WORMS and
Trojan Horses, which are also a kind of virus. Other variants are Boot Sector
Viruses and Macro Word Viruses
In the Microsoft file system, originally designed for DOS and carried over into
Windows 95, 98 and even Windows 2000, each file must contain at least 1024
bytes or a multiple of 1024. So if the file is shorter, there could be up to 1023
bytes wasted, a great place to hide a virus, and a clever programmer can do a lot
of mischief with 1023 bytes!
Note that viruses are not Computer Viruses or Internet Viruses per se. They
are in fact almost all Microsoft Viruses. That is not to say that they are written
by Bill Gates and Co., but that viruses are generally aimed at computers
running Microsoft operating systems. A virus written for a Microsoft operating
system will do nothing on a Linux, Unix or a Macintosh operating system for a
variety of reasons, which time does not permit me to discuss now.
If your computer starts behaving erratically, could be that it has gotten infected
by one of the thousands of viruses that are out there. A good ANTIVIRUS
program is a must to-day, and there are quite a few to choose from, such as
McAfee and Norton. Trial versions of these and other anti-virus programs are
available on the Internet for download. These ANTIVIRUS programs scan the
files on your computer to see if viruses have been placed in the spare bytes
area. They can also inoculate your files by padding them to fill any spare space,
so there is no longer room for a virus. They also check for known Worms and
If you already have an anti-virus program, have you updated it recently ? New
viruses appear every day, though you are more likely to be infected by older
ones, simply because they have had more time to propagate. That is not to say
that with the internet a new virus cannot propagate rapidly and widely, as we
saw recently with the Blaster
virus and its clones. It is also important that anti-virus programs be
configured properly, to ensure maximum protection and minimum performance loss.
If you have the slightest suspicion that your computer may have a virus, put it to
bed and call us ASAP! Continuing to use it may cause total loss of
Another variation on the virus theme is that of the
VIRUS HOAX. Generally,
this will be an email, which will say something like "this morning Microsoft
issued a press release regarding the 'Wild Willy' virus. This is an extremely
virulent virus which can completely destroy your computer. Please forward this
email to everyone in your address book, and let's stop this virus". This has the
effect of clogging the Internet with totally useless spam email.
FIREWALLS. Many people leave their computer on all the time. Did you
know that whenever you are connected to the Internet your computer can be
accessed by hackers, and valuable data stolen or corrupted? We have heard of
the Pentagon, NASA, and more recently Microsoft being hacked into, despite
high levels of security. Also, if the computer is part of a local network, it may
be possible for a hacker to access all machines on that network from outside,
thus spreading the threat. If you have a high speed connection, then you are
vulnerable all the time your computer is on. The solution for this threat is to
install a piece of software called a FIREWALL, which blocks electronic
intruders. At Adare Enterprises, we typically find that 5 or 6 times a day, an
attempt is made by someone unknown trying to access our system. Some of
these accesses are quite innocuous, but on other occasions it has been as severe
as someone trying to take total control of the system, but our firewall blocks
If you think that you have nothing of value to anyone on your computer - think
again. Does your credit card no. appear anywhere in a file on your computer? How about your SIN number on a tax return?
More elaborate Firewalls use a separate piece of hardware, between the internet
and the users computer or network. And, in large organizations, firewalls are
used to block certain users within the organization, from accessing portions of
a network, such as accounting and financial systems.
INTRUSION DETECTION - Here are some stats you might want to ponder for a moment before reading further:
It takes 90 Seconds for an intrusion to occur.
85% of these intrusion go undetected.
70% of them come internally.
Do these numbers alarm you? They should.
Your firewall is your "perimeter protection" if you were to compare it to a home security system. Intrusion detection is like the motion detector in your home, the last bit of defense, you want that last bit of info knowing that they're there and stopping them from doing damage. Especially if the threat is coming internally. Intrusion Detection takes the "detect, alert, prevent" approach to safeguard your networks, providing
realtime, non-intrusive detection and automatic prevention.
"Intrusions today can bring our eBusiness operations to a halt as well as steal corporate data from us. We need realtime intervention in addition to our virus protection."-Computer Associates
Notification of all types of malicious content such as Java, ActiveX and viruses. Automatic attack signature updates along with predefined policies allows you to keep a step ahead of would-be attackers.
Important files and data can be protected by various levels of encryption, which
can be used either when accessing the internet, or also whenever files are saved
on a hard disk. For instance, when you use internet banking services, the
information is very heavily encrypted, which is one reason these services seem
When was your computer last checked ? You go for regular medical and dental
checks, and take your car in for regular maintenance also. Many people plug
their computer in, and run it for years, without thinking that perhaps it needs
some attention once in a while. By having preventive maintenance done
periodically, your computer can be kept in optimum running condition.
Frequently, dust builds up inside the computer, clogging fans and reducing
cooling. Fans sometimes fail, and the user does not know until a component burns
out. Hard drives, floppy drives and CD-ROM drives need to be checked for proper
functioning; printers need periodic interior cleaning and lubrication.
BACKUP - BACKUP - BACKUP ! Regardless of whatever may
happen to your computer, or its data, the greatest "sin of omission"
is the failure to BACKUP. A good backup is
priceless, whether your hard drive crashes, or is hit by a virus, or
the machine is lost to fire, theft or vandalism.
There are many ways of backing up critical
data. Common ways in use to-day are USB Flash Drives, external hard
drives, and CD or DVD media, but they all suffer from one
potentially fatal flaw - they require some operator intervention to
insert or connect the backup media. Another backup method becoming
increasingly popular is
which does not have this problem - you
just set it and forget it!
ANY backup is better
than NONE. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of
being too busy - this of course is when disaster (or Murphy) will
strike. I have had this happen to me, and it is not a pleasant
feeling to see months of work suddenly disappear!