Security, Maintenance Top IT Pros Networking Concerns - Page 6

eWeek: Michael Schwedhelm, how is storage being handled at United Labor Bank?

Schwedhelm: Every day, we have tapes that go off-site.

eWeek: Are you able to do those backups while the network remains up, or do you have a maintenance window when services are reduced?

Schwedhelm: Were able to do it with the network being up. We do the backups starting from about 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., when weve got little to no traffic.

eWeek: Although youre a 24-by-7 network, your activity pattern is such that youve got resources to spare during that long period of time?

Schwedhelm: Thats correct.

eWeek: Is that changing a lot, in terms of people expecting more online services? Are you using more services on a 24-hour basis?

Schwedhelm: Yes. Weve recently come out with our Internet banking product, so were beginning to see additional off-hour activity. Were [still able to] do the backing up. Things run a little bit slower, but the traffic is so much less than during the day that it hasnt been an issue yet.

eWeek: Michael Skaff, youve mentioned security as being high on your priority list. I would guess that wireless is a big part of that picture for you.

Skaff: That is very definitely true.

eWeek: Do you have a lot of rogue access points coming in, or have you put policies into place regarding that?

Skaff: We do have a policy in place, and it has been very successful internally. Externally, were actually using wireless more, for our customers, because there is more of a demand for it. What we have to do is test it extensively internally so that when we deploy to our customers we are basically resident experts.

eWeek: When you talk about deploying wireless to your customers, does that mean making access available to them through a third-party network, or do you actually assist them in configuring that?

Skaff: We are assisting them in configuration. A lot of times with our customers, we will work with them to integrate the access points into their architecture. But with the way we install, a lot of times its either were recommending best practices to them in terms of security or they just ask us to go ahead and implement that ourselves for them.

eWeek: Is the typical environment for that a retail store floor?

Skaff: Correct. Thats why theyre so concerned about security. Theyre worried about someone coming by with a laptop and hoping on.

eWeek: What do you feel is the current state of the art in terms of providing that kind of security for wireless access in a public space?

Skaff: So far, I think Cisco has the lead, but other vendors are starting to catch up a little bit. It looks like theres a lot of research being done in this direction, and Im hoping that it continues. As things are developed, they are cracked. So, like every other part of security, its sort of a constant catch-up game.