Friday, May 11, 2012

Preventing Data Loss Easily

There are several ways to prevent data loss. Here’s a quick rundown of potential methods.
There are several products offering ways to make copies of your important files, if not all, therefore, you shouldn't have any excuse to not be able to make a copy of all of the documents you need in case you lose the original ones. You can even have a dedicated backup server. RAID 1 configurations are also nice. This allows your data to be mirrored in case your hard drive fails.
There are also products online that are very useful, as they can automatically backup files. To do this, you need to open the backup program, then, select the folders on your computer that contain all of your important, essential documents such as those work-related, as well as those pictures taken from several events and occasions which serve as your memories. Backup your important documents to a CD or DVD and place it in safe keeping. You can even back up your entire system as an ISO file type. This is a direct image of all of your files.
However, if you cannot afford these kinds of programs, then, you have no choice but to stick to the manual options. Backing up requires you to be disciplined and not be lazy, because you may be regretting it later when you can't look for the file you need.

Why Does Your Computer Crash or Fail?

What are some reasons why computers crash and hard drives fail? There can be many reasons, some of which are outlined below.
1. Due to viruses.
This is one of the most common causes of computers crashing and data getting lost. Whenever you purchase a laptop or a computer, if the seller doesn't already install an antivirus for you, they usually will recommend that you purchase a good one. You also need to update this software to protect your computer and your data from hackers, who attempt to steal your personal data and use it to make illegal purchases or even worse. Viruses can take over your computer and steal your bandwidth.
2. Overheating.
Desktop computers and laptops usually have built-in electric fans to help keep the system and machine stay cool, avoiding overheating. However, there are instances that commonly happen where these electric fans malfunction, therefore, causing it not to function properly, that it may not even work anymore. Computers need cool air to run, this is essential. Make sure your computer case is well ventilated. Also, clean out the dust at least once a year from inside the case. This can help reduce heat and make sure your hardware is running in good operating condition.
3. Malicious software.
In the technology world, not only viruses exist. There are various kinds of software nowadays that contain not only viruses, but also Trojans, malware, worms, adware and so many more. Be careful what you download. These programs can cause hard drives to fail and data loss to occur. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Backing Up a Windows Server

Choosing the best windows server backup should be a company's top priority. The hub in any manufacturing or business firm is the server. Since it contains the database with the systematized collection of production and transactions down to minute details, loss of data held in the server can lead to total breakdown of company functions and services. This is why it’s very important to backup company data. If data loss occurs, you want your business to be secure and ready for recovery.
Selecting a software with all the right features is a must. The top servers include a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in and command-line tools that can solve basic backup and recovery problems, including four wizards for running these processes. You can recover files, folders, applications, system settings, and a variety of other data points. If your hard drive fails, every piece of data can be restored.
One great advantage of the Windows Server is its automatic running ability once scheduled. One-time backups to support scheduled events can also be performed. Local or remote computers can also be created and managed with this backup. To choose this software, online service providers can be consulted on the Web. Prices can be expensive, so select the right provider and software. Always be prepared hen data failure strikes. Look for the best solutions and be ready for the worst at all times.

How to Backup Your Data Remotely

CD-ROM. This is probably the least technologically savvy way to back up your information, but there is something going for it - it can be cheaper than the other methods, and it does work. DVDs are another great method of backup. They store even more data than a CD, making them idea for backing up pictures,videos, and user profile data.
External hard drive. External hard drives are quickly becoming a steady addition to the "must have" electronic list. Just like the name implies, an external hard drive is basically a second hard drive that is outside of your computer. You connect to it either by a USB cord or through Bluetooth (for the more advanced versions), and then you can load it up with files. These external hard drives hold a huge amount of data at a reasonable price. I personally use a 250gb external drive for all my files. It also provides mobile access if you carry the hard drive with you.
Remote computer backup services. These are the newest and most technologically savvy way to back up your files. Essentially, you pay a fee to a third party, and then you can remotely back up your files any time you want. Carbonite is one of the leading hard drive backup services. They offer a mobile app for your cell phone as well. If hard drive failure strikes, be sure to use one of the methods listed above. You never know when your hard drive may fail or crash.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Three Key Mistakes Users Make When a Hard Drive Fails

1. Relying On Un-trusted Data Recovery Software
We all are subject to this: whenever we have any kind of problem in our life, our first move is always to go to Google and see we can find a solution to that problem. The issue with this when you have had a hard drive crash is that often the search results you will get will direct you to data recovery software companies.
If your operating system cannot access user data and files, how are you going to recover them. Well, you can always plug in the hard drive to another computer that already has an OS installed and retrieve the lost data from there. This is a point a lot of people miss.
2. Computer Repair Help
Calling for help is definitely not a negative. In fact, if you actually have a physically crashed hard disk, the best thing to do is call a professional data recovery service right away.
The unfortunate thing, however, is that most people do not actually contact a professional hard drive recovery
Computer repair can be expensive and often times unnecessary. These companies like to gouge consumers and feed off their lack of knowledge. Simple 5 minute fixes can cost you several hundred dollars.
3. Video Killed the Hard Drive
Everyone loves YouTube. Where else can you learn to rebuild your carburetor while watching an old episode of Dukes of Hazzard?
We all love to do things ourselves these days, and YouTube provides a lot of incredibly good instructional video. Check out some of the newest videos and techniques around. Their how-to videos on data recovery can be helpful, if not a life saver.

RunCore Pro V MAX 240GB Solid State Drive Preview

Just like the original Pro V, the Pro V MAX model is shipping in 60GB, 120GB, 240GB and a massive 480GB capacity size.

RunCore claims a maximum read speed of 560MB/s and a maximum write speed of 525MB/s. The actual performance is higher than the specs say, which is always a good thing. Users should be happy to see this. This hard drive blows the competition out of the water when it comes to input/output speed, and is idea for performance and data recovery.

The Pro V MAX uses a 2.5" form factor that is 9.5mm high. RunCore just announced a new 7mm z-height drive, but this is not it. Our test sample arrived OEM style - no retail box, desktop adapter bracket, SATA cable or documentation, but all of these are included with the retail drive.

Also included is a software package that is pre-installed on the drive itself. You can download special drivers from their website, which may be needed for installation of an operating system. If the hard drive crashes or fails, you can use a special software driver to help recover lost data.

At the time of writing the new Pro V MAX is a new product for RunCore and not many are available in the wild. MyDigitalDiscount.com has the 240GB model that we are looking at today listed at $469.99, but we look for this price to change soon.

Crucial Solid State Drives at All Time Low Price Point

The fact that Crucial would be a leader in competitive SSD pricing has been front and center for quite some time now.
In fact, only a few days ago we posted what we thought to be a great deal on the Crucial M4 128GB SSD as it broke the $1/GB barrier and seemed to be a sign of things to come.

It seems like Crucial has done it once again. They have dropped the price of some of their most popular lines and increased production. Solid state drives are suddenly becoming affordable. Their latest prices put them under $1/GB. This should make things interesting, especially among their competitors.

Crucial/Micron  makes no secret of the fact that they ‘Own the Fab’ which, as Wayne Eisenberg had predicted in an earlier report, puts them in a very unique position with so few other NAND flash memory manufacturers to literally control market pricing of SSDs.

This morning at Amazon.Com the Crucial M4 256GB SSD hit an all time low of $199.99 which now brings the bar of SSD pricing to a low 78 cents a gigabyte. Check this link out and grab one before their gone!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Why You Should Use Online Storage Methods

There are many reasons why you need online storage, as storing items on the net is inexpensive and secure. However, it is surprising to see how many people do not take advantage of internet based storage systems.
The main reason for storing files on a specialized site is that it will preserve your work. If your computer or hard drive crashes, these services offer an easy way to recover your data. Simply login to their webpage and retrieve your lost data. This can be done on the go or at home on another computer.
Storing files on the net also enables you to access your information from anywhere in the world. You would not need to take a laptop wherever you go, as any computer will be able to access the information once the password has been typed in. Storing information in the cloud is easy and efficient. Accessing it can be even easier. There are many services out there, some are free and others are not. Choose the one that is right for you after doing some research.
You should also realize that a laptop can be easily stolen. Laptop theft is common and many businessmen have lost important information on business deals and clients this way. Backing up your data will help you as a businessman and improve your position within the company. No one likes lost data, but it can be prevented.

A Simple Guide to Data Backup

1) What is a backup?
A backup is a fancy way of saying "a copy of your data." Backing up your data does not have to be any more complicated than copying your data somewhere. On a small scale, backups can be made of documents that are getting edited several times a year, or even daily for that matter. On a much larger scale, you can back up every single file that is placed on your hard drive. If the hard drive fails, data recovery can be a simple process by simple using your backups.
2) Where can I make backups?
Backups should be made on a medium other than the hard drive you are trying to backup. The reason for this is that if something happens to your hard drive then your backups will also be lost. That's why backups are usually done on a second hard drive or other storage device such as a thumb drive or DVD. There is a downside to these certain methods. A USB storage device can be lost or stolen. A DVD can get scratched or worn out over time. Data backup and recovery can be a lengthy process.
Online service providers like Mozy and Carbonite address all the issues of choosing a recovery medium by providing data backup centers that have redundant servers with additional copies of your data. Both of these companies charge for their services, which can be quite expensive. They do make data backup and recovery very, very simple, however.
3) How do I make a backup?
First, you need to choose a medium. Because of size constraints, we recommend using an external hard drive because thumb drives and DVDs are limited by the amount of data they can store. The most popular backup method is another hard drive or DVD. USB devices are becoming more popular as well. Users often times want to back up their user profiles.
On Windows Vista and Windows 7, your user folder can be found at C:\Users\*Your profile*
On Windows XP, the user folder is usually found at C:\Documents and Settings\*Your profile*

Using a USB Device For Data Storage

Make sure you don't try any recovery at home or use your broken USB drive because this can lead to serious data loss.
In case of any physical or logical damages that cannot be sort out using software should be consulted with data recovery experts and professionals. In case the USB drive crashes or fails, stop using it immediately that way data can be recovered easier and faster.
·         Don’t use cheap USB storage devices. Don’t buy recycles ones, or used ones. Buy a quality product that will last for years to come.
·         Remove the drive safely. Make sure it is not reading or writing data when you remove the drive.
·         One strong reason for physical and logical damages in the flash drive is power surges and exposing USB drives to strong magnetic field.
·         Don’t leave your USB device in extreme temperatures. Don’t leave it in your car or somewhere else where it may get hot. (or cold for that mater).
·         Check the device’s read/write speed. A faster speed means an overall quicker device!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Why You Should Use RAID 1 For Data Backups

RAID 1 data recovery is necessary when a RAID 1 configuration is used. The minimal configuration for this would be 2 disks, and will rise in increments of 2 as this particular configuration must be an even number of disks.
This particular set up refers to the fact that the disks have been set up to essentially mirror each other. Data stored on one disk if mirrored and instantly transferred to the other. That way, if one drive crashes or fails, you will have an exact copy waiting and ready for you. This is idea for data backup and recovery.
There are two different types of setups that refer specifically to RAID 1 which I will briefly touch on below:
Software RAID 1 refers to the fact that the disk drive relies largely on a combination of an SDC (standard drive controller) and a software utility to manage the various drives included in the RAID 1 volume. For Raid 1 to work properly, you must have an even amount of drives. Data cannot be mirrored unless it is paired or “matched” with its sister drive. Raid 1 are typically used in important business environments where customer data is crucial. They are also common among enthusiasts and those with important data to back up.

Using a Solid State Drive to Speed Up Windows 7

Solid State Drives have been available for a several years now,and offer a considerable advantage in terms of speed of access compared to conventional hard drives.
If you install the Windows 7 operating system on a solid state drive, expect faster boot times. (As little as 9-10 seconds). And amazing input/output speeds. You will be transferring those large files in no time!
So,what is the difference between a Solid State Drive and a conventional one?
SSDs employ similar technology to that found in flash memory cards such as those found in Digital Cameras and camcorders. There are no moving parts and data is stored similar to that of a RAM module. Data is quickly accessed and retrieved.
Normal hard drives are constantly spinning and can be loud or a nuisance. Solid state drives are quiet and much more compact than your average drive. However, one downside to solid state drives is the life of them. They are typically only good for a certain number of read/writes and are more prone to crashes and failures. Hard drive failure can be common among them after years of use.
A modern conventional hard drive has a read speed of about 106MB/s and an access time of about 12ms. Compare that to around 270MB/s and 0.08ms for a Solid State Drive,and you can see just how much quicker an SSD can be in accessing your data!
Installing Windows 7 on an SSD requires a different approach to disk management than that of using a conventional disk. You typically need to install certain drivers to make the solid state drive work properly. The windows installation process will guide you through this. 

The Importance of Securing Customer Data

Not all data are created equal. Within any individual or organization, there will be numerous levels of data. Some data is more important than others, while others require more security and protection. Customer records are very important and we don’t want this data out in the open and available to hackers. You want to protect this data securely on encrypted hard drives, and create backups of them in case they are destroyed or a hard drive failure occurs.
List of Data Impact Levels
Impact levels determine how a data is a threat or a risk to an individual or organization. Here, is a list of data impact levels based on the category. There are 6 impact levels, impact level 0 is where the loss of data does not have an effect on the company, while 6 is devasting and could possible put you out of business.
0 – Public records, data is available to anyone
1 – Employee information that is not public
2 - General information about the company that is not available to the public
3 - Payroll, customer info, sales receipts and records.
4 – Credit card information and facts.
5 – Cash flow, debts, assets, liabilities of the company
6 – Bank login credentials. Cash flow strategies.
Some organizations believe that each data should be treated as high priority. This cannot always be practical. You need to evaluate the needs of the company, as well as the importance of the information.  Security should be your number one concern. You want to protect your data and hard drives in case they crash, or even get struck by a natural disaster.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Capturing and Analyzing Network Traffic Using Wireshark

Wireshark is a free, often more utilized tool used to capture and analyze network traffic. “It is a free and open-source packet analyzer. It is used for network troubleshooting, analysis, software and communications protocol development, and education.” In many ways, Wireshark is similar to the Network Monitor tool included in Windows Server 2003. It monitors all data packets throughout the network and displays them in a easy to understand, color coordinated GUI. Since it is an open-source and widely used tool, it receives constant updates and technical support. Many IT professionals prefer it to the Network Monitor. Wireshark also includes a “promiscuous mode” which attempts to monitor ALL network traffic on a network, as opposed to a single network adapter.

To get started using wireshark, open the application and select your network adapter from the list. If you have virtual machines installed, their network adapters may appear as well. For this example, we will use the LAN network adapter built into the motherboard. Click “start” under the correct network adapter to begin capturing. I let the program capture data for about 30 seconds while I log into an e-mail account.

I successfully logged into a test account, which I created just for this exercise. Upon successful logon, I stopped the capturing process within Wireshark.

The amount of packets collected after 30 seconds was staggering. Wireshark contains a filter and search feature which makes analyzing your data easy. For this example, I filtered the results to “HTTP” since that is where the majority of our data resided. The filter actually sorts by protocol, so by typing HTTP we filtered our packets to those only using the HTTP protocol. This is traffic that generally occurs over web browsers using port 80. 

Using Disc Imaging to Back Up Data

Data is the key behind any functioning system. With the use of hard disk drives, a large amount of data can be stored in a disk conveniently. As all data can be stored in a single HDD, the possibility of disk failure poses a new threat to the availability of data. A disk may fail due to various reasons. Mechanical failure is common in old disks. Other reasons include natural tragedy like seisms, floods tide, etc.. When sensitive info is stored in HDD, it becomes essential to reduce the opening of informations loss. This is accomplished by storing the informations redundantly. The process of replicating the contents of a information memory device to another device is called in disc tomography.
What is disk imaging?
It refers to the exact duplicate of the HDD which contains sensitive information. All data stored on the hard drive is copied and exact image is taken. Files and copied exactly, verbatim. Image files are often .iso files in which you will mount using certain software. You can also burn these iso files to a CD for easy installation and reference in the future.
How disk imaging software works?
The imaging software creates a clone using the image of the disk. The software does not create a backup with the exact information present in HDD. If this has to be done by the software, then to create a backup of a 80GB hard drive, another 80GB hard drive would be needed. This is not a viable option. Tomography does not deploy informations mirroring technique. The software package will make an image of the disc which is much smaller in size. This ikon can be then used to retrieve the informations using informations retrieval package.

Backing up Email Data

The backup email is greatly needed if you desire to keep your data in the email system. The data usually includes not just the messages, but also covers message attachments, contact information, activities and other tasks. Since email is the most essential application in any organizations you need to backup your email. If you are not familiar on how to back up your email, read this article and try to understand its real concept and application.
One of the main intents of relief electronic mail is securing your e mail. Every e mail explanation feels unexpected incidents such as viruses, power and computer software failures, human mistakes, disk drive mistakes and many more. Once it happens, you need an inst solution to your problems in order to keep smooth line dealingses. In add on, it is also one of the ways of operating your explanation to avoid any hacks. These cybers terrorist can cancel your of import paperses, but you can still retrieve those file.
If you are dealing with several different e-mail accounts, backing up your e-mail data can be crucial. You may have many clients that deal with you, and their data is important to you and them. Use client side software that is built in to back up your data. You  never know when hard drive failure may strike. You want to be prepared and don’t want to lose crucial customer data. Backup every email folder you make, and sure your data is secure and protected on another device.

How a Natural Disaster Can Destroy Your Data

Thinking about Mother Nature could keep you up at night in a cold sweat, but unless you move your bed to the server room, you will never be able to sleep knowing your data is safe and secure at all times. Let's face it you don't have super powers, you wouldn't be able to save it from a wall of water even if you DID sleep beside it!
The beauty of virtualization is that you can obviate all of your in-house computer hardware. That means when a junky tempest strikings, your sensitive company info and substructure will not be affected.
Instead, your informations can be safely hosted in a bomb substantiation, rising tide substantiation, premium Tier 3 informations centerfield with 24 7 monitoring and expert back up, retrieval and upkeep for a bare fraction of the toll.
If you are already hosting your information virtually, ask you host about security policies and disaster recovery. Ask about the data center... is it certified Tier 3 or above? This certification guarantees certain security measures are in place. These hosts have invested in premium data centers that will protect you from expensive downtime or natural disaster outages.
Cataclysms are ineluctable (if you 're superstitious, remember that next twelvemonth is 2012) but you can make a design to save your base from finding its effects. The visibles light may be out in your role, but your website wo n't go down and your customers wo n't even notice.
It may FEEL safer to see your servers at all times, but actually, you can give less to store your informations most in a much safer surroundings. Ask yourself this interrogation - the next time disaster strikes, how safe is your informations?.

Recovering Data on the Mac OS

So, to fix all of the issues regarding data files, Mac Recovery tool is there to recover all files that have been deleted from the trash. What it really do is, it just easily and simply scans the Mac partitions and retrieves maximum data from these partitions. The Mac is a versatile platform and there are many tools in place which make data recovery easy. Apple support is also very helpful if you need to recover lost data as a result of a hard drive failure or other deletion of files.
Following are the features which proves it to be the professional and effective retrieval tool for Mac systems:
• Apple Macintosh data recovery from HFS & HFS+ partition of Apple Mac systems.
• Offers two modes for data retrieval, one is Normal scan and other is Exhaustive scan.
• Data recovery from deleted and formatted drives.
• Retrieve lost folders and missing partitions.
• Data restoration even after deletion of files from Mac trash can, similar to the recycle bin.
• Provides a function of remove data after an installation of the Mac operating system.
• Salvage Mac data after Mac partitions has been re-sized, recreated or split.
• File recovery even if data has been wiped from the hard drive
• File names are preserved if data is recovered. So are folder names
• Multi-Disk Drive Support - Performs recovery on all IDE, EIDE, SCSI, SATA, ZIP & USB disk devices.
• Compatible with Mac operating systems as well as with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.
• Data recovery is doable in any logical data loss that may occur as result of deletion or hard drive failure.
• File Filter feature - To retain files with certain extension types..
• Provides Save log feature, for instance resuming Mac data recovery process later in order to save time.
• Provides Find feature such as searching for specific files from the list of recovered data.
• No need for extensive Mac expertise when recovering lost data.
Mac data recovery is a simple solution. The tools put in place by Apple and the Mac Operating system makes it easier to recover lost or deleted data. With the right tools, you can get the job done quick and easily.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Google vs the People’s Republic of China - How They Store Your Data

Censorship and the internet have been a hotly debated topic for years now, but one of the biggest stories is how the internet search engine Google is dealing with its relationship with the communist country of China. In Short, the government of China has control over the internet service providers within its borders and they filter much of the content from users. Not only do they filter content, they monitor it as well.  Their intent is to stop the free and fair exchange of information and to make their citizens unaware of happenings outside of China’s borders. For example, if you are using the internet in China, it would be almost impossible to find negative facts about their “communist” government. Even certain events in history may be blocked to make it appear like they never happened.  Information in today’s age is an important tool and can empower the people. This is what China is trying to avoid.

Since the U.S. company Google is one of the most popular search engines, they provide search results for millions throughout the globe. This brought about a tough situation in terms of dealing with China. The Chinese government refused to allow Google access unless they filtered their results within the search engine. Google actually agreed to this as first, stating “some access is better than no access”, and that not allowing Google to operate is a form of censorship in itself (Marshall).  Many felt that censoring the results went too far and encouraged the communist ways of the Chinese government.

After months of operating this way, Google felt it was time for a change. They decided they could actually route traffic to servers in Hong Kong, which has far less strict laws than the other Chinese provinces. Google also put a stop to all censorship of its search results. This forced the Chinese government to censor the results themselves. Since all internet traffic in China goes through their firewall, the government was still able to censor the results themselves. This just required quite a bit more work and effectively ruined their relationship with the Google Corporation.  Google also made clear “to Chinese citizens and the world just what content is being censored (those searching for the Tiananmen Square uprising, for example, now get an error page instead of no search results) (Marshall). These changes in policy could greatly affect Google’s business in China. Keep in mind they are not the only search engine available.  Other search engines like Bing and Baidu and increasingly more popular and more compliant with the government.

            In the end, Google had to make the best decision for themselves and the people of China. They as a company decided to do what was most ethical, and not filter or censor content on the internet. Google is not the only organization opposed to the policies of China. Many other groups in the world feel exactly the same. “Until now, Western companies and governments have mostly gone along with Beijing's policies -- though U.S. computer manufacturers successfully resisted an attempt by China last year to require that censoring software be pre-installed on all new computers. Now Google has taken the admirable step of embracing open and public resistance” 

How is Your Network Traffic Data Stored?

What is Network Traffic?
            Network traffic is any data sent over a network interface card (NIC). This data is formatted and sent via a “packet” to other sources throughout the network. It is the most basic way that computers communicate with each other. Network traffic is comprised of many things, including DNS, Kerberos authentication, HTTP traffic, TCP/IP, ARP, and many other protocols. The most common type of traffic is hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), which is data we send and receive using a web browser and other applications. It is the foundation of the World Wide Web and the standard in network communication. Anytime you browse the web, you are creating lots of traffic and packets which are generally sent over HTTP. This data is typically stored on your hard drive and kept their until you delete it. Most individuals do not delete their history and even if they do, traces of it may be left behind. This data stays on the hard drive for extended periods of time. This data can be easy to recover given the right tools. If your hard drive crashes or dies, this data will be lost. Certain data recovery programs can be used to restore this information, if needed. 

Do Copyright Lawsuits Stifle innovation?

Copyright lawsuits are becoming ever more popular in the legal realm. Companies are quick to protect their products and ensure that others do not create something similar. In many cases it can be hard to create an entirely new product due to the nature of the item. A cell phone, for example, will look similar no matter how many unique features/design elements. Almost all smart phones contain a large screen, touch screen interface, and many “apps” which power the operating system. Apple is actually suing Samsung by claiming many features on their phones are stolen from the iPhone and iPad. They claim “Samsung’s Galaxy line of smart 
phones and the Galaxy computer tablet infringe Apple patents and trademarks.

 The lawsuit, filed April 15 in the Northern District of California, represents an effort by Apple to maintain its status as clear market leader” (Apple’s Samsung). Apple is also participating in lawsuits against Amazon claiming they own the term “apps” and “appstore” and that they can’t be used on their website.

“Apple has since asked Amazon to stop calling its store an "Appstore" three times, according to the lawsuit. "We've asked Amazon not to copy the App Store name because it will confuse and mislead customers”  Many feel these lawsuits are just making it more difficult to create and market your product. Large corporations have to be very careful when designing a product or even using certain words. When you can’t make the product you want because fear of lawsuits, it makes the innovative and design process even harder.  

Configuring Internet Explorer Security Settings

Internet Explorer Security Settings
·        Since most users will be accessing the internet via Internet Explorer, it is important to configure the security settings so computers are less vulnerable to outside threats.
·        You will first want to install the Internet Explorer Enhanced security configuration from the add or remove programs dialogue box.

·        After installation you can open Internet Explorer and begin configuring the necessary security settings.
·        In IE, select tools -> Internet Options. Then select the advanced tab. This tab lists a variety of security settings you can configure.

·        These security settings let you enable the use of SSL encryption and also let you check for signatures on downloaded programs.
·        You can also check for certificates and certificate revocation as well as enable integrated windows authentication.
·        Clicking the security tab will bring up security level for zones. By default, the IE security level is set to high. This high setting disables some functionality but makes the browser more secure.

·        You can also use custom settings by selecting the custom level option at the bottom of the security page.

Securing Data on Client Computers Part Three

·        This method disables a file, which is determined by its hash value.
·        You can also disable files & programs using different methods such as path, certificate, and internet zone rules.  A path rule specifies a certain path, such as C:\Windows, and does not let the user access any files in these directories.
·        It’s important to hide and disable any programs you don’t want unauthorized users to use. Generally student accounts and most restrictive and are only given the most basic permissions.
·        Hiding programs from the start menu is also one important step in securing a client computer. This is combination with many other security measures can help insure the safety of your files and network security.
Folder and File Permissions
·         At some point you will want to restrict access to certain folders and files within these folders. This process can be done rather simply.
·         Right click the folder you want to configure permissions for and select properties. Click the security tab to bring up the groups and users that have access.

·         From here you can select the group or user you want and assign them permissions. You can give them several permissions including full control or ready-only access.
·         In most cases when creating a shared folder on a network, you will want to limit the access to read-only unless you are an administrator or a user who can contribute to the folder. You may also want to consider setting a disk quota so users do not fill the entire storage device.
·         Clicking the advanced tab brings up more settings. You can determine inheritance and further fine tune the permission settings. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Securing Client Computer - Windows Server 2003 Part Two

·        Click new to create a new GPO. For this example, name the new GPO Software Restriction Policy. After creating the new GPO, select edit.

·        Clicking edit opens the GPO editor. Under User configuration select Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Software restriction policies. From the action menu select new software restriction policy. From here you can configure your new policy.

·        Two new folders will appear after creating your new software restriction policy. Select the enforcement policy and click properties. A new dialogue box will appear.

·        Select the all software files option and click OK. Next, browse to the additional rules folder. Right click the additional rules folder and select New Hash Rule. Under the hash rule, you can select any file you don’t want the user to run. Generally you will disallow an EXE file so the user is unable to run the executable.

·        Given this is a student account, we will disallow several installed programs. The first thing to disable is the command prompt. Right click the additional rules folder and select new hash rule. From here browse for the program you wish to disallow. The command prompt is located in the system32 folder under cmd.exe