Securing Wireless Networks
Wi-Fi Wireless networking lets users compute from any office or conference room in your building, as well as from home, Starbucks, etc. Most new notebooks have wireless networking built in, as will tomorrows PDAs and cell phones. In an attempt to prevent the spread of unsecured access points, Intel has announced that the wireless tech in its Grantsdale chipset will be turned off by default. Click here to read more.Users: Turn off SSID broadcasting to hide your access point from ITs prying eyes. Make sure you use some sort of security, so that when you do get caught, you can at least plead intelligence. Click here to read about Aruba Networks WLAN monitors to sniff out rogue access points. Install Groove Networks nifty synchronization software, Laplink Software Inc.s Laplink Remote or Citrix Systems Inc.s GoToMyPC to let you sneak inside the firewall while at your local coffee shop. Middle ground: Lets face it, wireless is here to stay. Its an incredible productivity boost, and your users are demanding it. Set up a secure wireless network at the office and install VPN software to let users easily and securely connect while on the road, down the street or at home. Instant Messaging "Why do we need IM?" Ive heard some IT managers complain. "Weve got e-mail." Well, its the difference between a letter and a phone call. IMs instant and provides an easy way to share info and keep track of far-flung employees. Plus, it offers a quick and dirty replacement should your corporate e-mail system go on the fritz. Advanced versions allow for quick file-sharing and will even set up free Internet voice and video calls. IT: Use policies to prohibit installation of any unapproved application. Block IM ports on your firewall. Instruct your staff to keep a listen out for the telltale "boop-beep" that signals in incoming IM. Quickly delete and warn offenders. Users: Web versions of AIM and other popular IM clients make discovery unlikely. Use Trillian or another cross-IM client in case IT shuts access to one or the other. Middle ground: Its not just for the pimpled and tattooed crowd anymore. My advice: Try it. For quick communications and figuring out if someones reachable, theres nothing like IM. If your corporate policies or the law require tracking and retaining instant messages, then consider a secure solution. Yahoos got a decent one, as does Groove. Next Page: Bloggers could expose company secrets.
IT: To catch a thief, think like a thief. Outfit a notebook with the latest version of Netstumbler, and leave it running around the clock. Do a daily walk-around with the system to try to pick up any rogue access points. Confiscate and destroy immediately.