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 Secure Networks for SMEs

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PostSubject: Secure Networks for SMEs   Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:19 pm

I don't know if there are any technical people who can help me with this.
I am trying to make a stab at questions Non-technical firms with no in-house techies should ak their IT suppliers to make sure they have a relatively secure network.

e.g.,
- is my firewall blocking x, y, z and ports xxx to xxx?
- how often is windows update set to run on workstations?
- how do I make sure non-Microsoft software, such as adobe flash player, gets updated to avoid security breaches?

Has anybody seen a list like this? There are lots of good sites but most of them want to to techify yourself which is not going to happen.

It would be better if we could swith the responsibility and risk to those who know about this stuff. Then it would be a case of, "yes, I can do that for you but it will cost you €x for that level of guarantee".
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PostSubject: Re: Secure Networks for SMEs   Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:02 pm

Zhou I'm guessing that ibis is the one who could most advise you from here - perhaps EVM knows somethings which could help you. I worked on mainframes so know little about windows networks to help you immediately.

Doesn't windows and non-MS software just update itself now? On Windows the OS updates appear near the start button as a shield when there are updates available and virus programs/firewalls will also update themselves by polling their host sites for regular updates once you've made your subscription.

Disclaimer on the above of course.
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PostSubject: Re: Secure Networks for SMEs   Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:22 pm

It's not that simple I'm afraid.
If you are using an internal proxy web server or if users do not have install rights then it might not work perfectly. Also, you don't want all your machines connecting to Update directly as the same software gets downloaded a load of times slowing your connection. Better if it can be done centrally through WSUS.

I think it should be possible to come up with a standard configuration for SMEs to use as a starting point.
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PostSubject: Re: Secure Networks for SMEs   Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:49 pm

Centrally yes. What is thegeneral makeup of your network ? One server or more? one acting as a gateway and the user computers attached to that? I imagine the gateway machine should have the necessary packages on it unless your network is bigger..the Gateway machine should protect the sub-nodes no? and possess a firewall to protect each computer attached to it..
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PostSubject: Re: Secure Networks for SMEs   Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:35 pm

I am more tryin gto get a generic list a questions that will serve all SME's to the benefit of the commercein the country. makeitsecure.ie it the start point.
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PostSubject: Re: Secure Networks for SMEs   Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:20 pm

Zhou, are you trying to make a procedure to assess an existing network, or a procedure to follow for a new network ?
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PostSubject: Re: Secure Networks for SMEs   Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:35 pm

More for existing networks EVM.
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PostSubject: Re: Secure Networks for SMEs   Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:49 pm

Zhou i'd guess that your background is Law not computer networking from an acquaintance with your posts. If I'm wrong tell us what experience or particular knowledge you have with regard to networking..
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PostSubject: Re: Secure Networks for SMEs   Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:02 pm

I have a technical qualification as well. I am trying to approach this from the point of view of SME's generally though.

www.makeitsecure.ie is a good start but it does not address coporate firwalls, network/user configuration options or policies to have in place for an SME. Really this is an issue that should be addressed by the Dept of Communications, ComReg, IBEC and ISME but none of them have published what I have in mind, i.e. a guide for non-technical people running SMEs who rely on third parties for IT support.
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PostSubject: Re: Secure Networks for SMEs   Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:08 pm

My experience of networking is rather limited save that I would be the main liaison with our IT suppliers. I understand the basic concepts, firewall, router, hub, proxy, profiles, groups, permissions, log on scripts, scanning, hacking, software vulnerabilities, VPN, V-LAN, dongle, encryption, PPK, DNS Server, gateway. Ultimately though, I am a jack of all trades and master of none and I am not unusual in that.
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PostSubject: Re: Secure Networks for SMEs   Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:09 pm

I have a programming diploma and some experience with networks where there is an IBM minicomputer connected; after that I know little about MS networks really although there is one at the place I teach so perhaps I could wreck someone's head there with questions. Networks always interested me though - do you think we could pool our resources and do some research for the Minister for filty lucre in return?

And snap about the jack of all trades
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PostSubject: Re: Secure Networks for SMEs   Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:21 pm

I couldn't do it for pay. I am all tied up in that regard. If you wanted to make money then Eamon Ryan is the man to ask for a job!
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