Sunbelt W2Knews Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Thu, Jan 31, 2002 (Vol. 7, #9 - Issue #340)
The Price Of Info Security
This issue of W2Knews contains:
- EDITORS CORNER
- TECH BRIEFING
- The Price Of Info Security
- NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
- Need To Check For Illegal MS Licenses? Here's a freebie!
- NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
- New Powerful Exchange Message Store Monitor
- Transcender Sale: Prices Reduced As Low As $79
- Dramatic Price Reduction Of Fazam 2000
- W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
- This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
- PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
- Clustering Windows Server
IDC reports that IT personnel spend 50% of their time in software
installation and upgrades while performing a hardware and software
deployment operation. Marimba helps reduce the total cost of ownership
of your desktops and laptops to dramatically increase your ROI. With
Marimba, enterprises can distribute, update, and repair applications,
and collect hardware and software configuration information from each
Visit Marimba for more information.
Back To Basics
The year 2002 will go into history as the "back to basics" year. I
do not see anything in the market that you could call the next big
thing. The only exception would be wireless gear that allows you to
stay in touch when you are on the move, but that's an evolutionary
step and nothing radically new.
And back to basics means security and high availability. It's time
to batten down the hatches, get sufficient redundancy built into
your infrastructure, and get it secure. The U.S. Government is going
to do the same thing, and spend megabucks to do it.
Some feedback on the last issue regarding passwords is next.
Using special ASCII characters over 128 has a few drawbacks, several
of you reported back to me after trying it out. And I ran into
unexpected trouble myself as well. Here are some pitfalls:
- VNC (a remote control tool) only supports keyboard characters and
if you ever try automating using the ASCII table characters, you'll
find yourself seeing different symbols in the DOS prompt.
- Some VPN's also choked on these special characters, and even Sunbelt's
own Remote Admin tool did not like them, which I found out when I tried
to remotely log into my cable-model connected Dell box at my house.
- Investigate with the apps you have in use. Large corporate database
apps that aren't exclusively tied to NT are unlikely to identify such
a keystroke combination as a character, and won't permit their use in
- Use the ALT characters only in situations where remote connectivity
is not an option and no scripting is needed when changing the passwords.
(email me with feedback: [email protected])
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The Price Of Info Security
Gartner just came out with a very detailed analysis of the real
cost involved to get your environment as secure as possible. This
was just released as a web-report. You can almost use it like a
checklist of things you need to have "in". Here is the summary of
their report. The link to the full report is at the end. I'd almost
say this is required reading if you are (partly) responsible for the
security of your enterprise or need to create cost justifications
for security related purchases. Let's hear how Gartner's summary
"The risks in the e-commerce model are greater and more critical
than they are in the traditional computing environment. Because of
these risks, the cost of protecting businesses is rising. Better
tactical solutions are needed, such as including risk assessment
and information security design into project life cycles and
including a security test plan with application and infrastructure-specific test cases.
"Information security concerns in the core design of infrastructure
products, e.g., operating systems, databases and networks, are also
needed. In the United States, the President's Critical Infrastructure
Protection Commission is bringing together business, government and
technology vendors in an effort to provide sound advice, solutions
and practices for information security. Once the true cost of
protecting businesses is documented, that information can then be
used to bring change to the marketplace. The TCO for Information
Security can help each enterprise do just that.
"Enterprises need to take the following actions to ensure a well-protected enterprise:
- Establish a CISO (Chief Info Security Officer) position, preferably
a peer of the CIO, with responsibility for ensuring that a formal
business program is in place to protect the information assets of
the enterprise (see Research Note SPA-13-2933, "The Role of the Chief
Information Security Officer.")
- With senior management and the legal department, review and update
the enterprise's information security policy to ensure that it can be
shared with trading partners.
- Integrate information security into the PLC (programmable life cycle),
including a security test plan with application- and infrastructure-specific test cases.
- Implement an information security risk assessment process covering
all businesses and information assets of the enterprise.
- To assist in the management of the information security program,
establish an inventory process including all applications, infrastructure
components and personnel.
- Establish an information security investment management process that
includes hardware, software, personnel, external services and training
(internal and external).
- Perform a risk assessment on the outsourcing vendor prior to signing
a contract to ensure that the vendor can comply with the information
security policy. Ensure that the service-level agreement covers security
- Select security solutions that are compliant with open standards
rather than proprietary solutions. Establish processes for responding
to requests for security reviews from trading partners, and for conducting
them in trading partners' environments.
NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
Need To Check For Illegal MS Licenses? Here's a freebie!
As you all know, Sunbelt is a Gold Certified Microsoft Partner.
That means we get to use some of the MS software without having
to purchase licenses. But a month or so ago we also got a letter
from their legal department to make sure we'd not be running too
many licenses. So we needed to do an inventory. Our production
environment in the USA has 70 machines in it, so we needed a
scanner. That is when we were alerted to the existence of the
Microsoft Software Inventory Analyzer (MSIA). We ran it and
came to find we had to shell out 24K for some SQL licenses to
This puppy allows you to scan your local and network boxes and
look for MS apps and tools. And just for fun, I just ran it again
over the whole network. It takes about 20 minutes for 70 systems.
MSIA identifies all the versions of Windows 2000 Pro and Server
but also all the Microsoft Office versions. (We're W2K wall to
wall, and a few of our Techs are running WinXP Pro on their
MSIA was really only created to manage licenses. But it's free.
You can enter the amount of licenses you officially own, and
then run MSIA which will do the (simple) math for you. This puppy
runs on your desktop and if you are a system admin, it's worth
having for sure. Better yet, it's worth running every three months
or so, just to make sure you stay legal. Here is the free download:
THIRD PARTY NEWS
New Powerful Exchange Message Store Monitor
A lot of companies have jumped on the new CAMEO Recon to monitor
their Exchange Information Store. Because of the sensitive nature
of e-mail and corporate security, many of these customers do not
wish to have their names published, so we're talking "in general"
here. However, the product has a lot of customers in many different
corporate, educational, government and military structures.
The functions the software performs for each company can differ
based on the individual needs of each organization. For example....
Companies use CAMEO Recon to monitor and delete unwanted e-mails
and attachment files from users mailboxes and sub-folders. This
is especially useful if a company is hit with a virus that invades
the mail system.
Antivirus software can prevent viruses from spreading however,
antivirus fixes are not always immediately available to an
organization and by the time that most users were alerted to
the threat, the damage had been done. Virus scanning should be
mandatory in any organization, but it's not enough. We have an
Independent School District that used the product when they
were hit with the 'Goner' and 'BadTrans' viruses. They used
CAMEO Recon to delete the email message that was distributed
to the users to prevent the virus from any continual spreading.
Other companies are using the product to monitor and scan for
specific content employees have sent or received in e-mail
messages. This is beneficial for many corporations that may
be required to go back into their Exchange Information Store to
research content that may be useful for legal situations.
More often in the headlines today it is revealed that a certain
corporation is in a lawsuit over something that can be traced
through e-mail. Even if a company is utilizing filtering
software for real-time monitoring, the content they are looking
for now may not be what was being monitored for at the time
the original e-mail was sent; as a result, employers must try
to go back and research the store.
Whether it is leaked corporate secrets or evidence for a
harassment claim, CAMEO Recon can find messages buried in
any part of an e-mail system-even in folders created by the
user. Check it out over here:
Transcender Sale: Prices Reduced As Low As $79
Transcender has lowered single-user license prices for most of
their TranscenderCert products, including Paks, for a limited time.
During the current sale, single-user prices are $79 each for
C++ Cert/Desktop 6.0, C++ Cert/Distributed 6.0, VBA-Cert 6.0
CommerceCert 3.0, SiteCert 3.0, i-Net+Cert 1.0 and Win98Cert.
Single-user licenses for other products range from $99 to $149.
In addition, Pak prices have been reduced and savings range from
$160 off the MCSD Pak, which is now available for $339, to $20
off the CompTIA Pak 2.0, which is now available for $339. More at:
Dramatic Price Reduction Of Fazam 2000
Migrating to W2K and Active Directory? Here's a way to plan,
deploy and manage Group Policies way more efficiently and save
SO much time. If you do not know what GPO's are, this offer
is not for you. If you do, read on! You'll love this product.
FAZAM 2000 (made by FullArmor) provides you with management
and analysis of your Group Policy Objects (GPO's), which
everyone agrees are a major headache in the more advanced
environments. W2K based IT infrastructure can dramatically
improve overall business performance. If done right. You need
some third party tools to get that really done.
Enterprise policy management simply is needed in mid- to advanced
W2K environments. FAZAM 2000 complements and enhances Microsoft?s
policy management initiative. Check these features. Then check
So now, how about that pricing? There are no more tiers. From
10 to 9,999 users the price is just $10 per license and $2 per
license for maintenance effective immediately. This is a really
good deal. This tool has suddenly become available for practically
anybody running Windows 2000 and plans AD as well. Check:
- Provides Resultant Set of Policies (RSoP) or the set of
effective policies that apply to a user when logging on to
- Multi-Forest/Multi-Domain GPO Replication: Ability to create
GPOs in one domain and replicate them to other domains and forests.
- Reporting: Allows you to view detailed reports on GPOs in
Active Directory through MMC console or Web Browser.
- Automating Administration: Allows you to script the backing
up, importing, and reporting of GPOs.
- A Policy-Centric view of Active Directory: Provides a view
of Active Directory with Group Policy links and filters.
- Back Up, Restore, and Import: Allows you to back up and
restore individual GPOs on a domain including filters and links.
- Policy Auditing & Diagnostics: Provides you with the ability
to perform remote diagnostics from a central administrators' console.
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
From our web-archeologist: One of the earliest (if not the original)
readme.txt of the most popular password cracker around.
The Ultimate Car Book is a grrreat resource. Separates the 'lemons' from
the peaches. $US14 @ Amazon, a must if you plan to buy a new one.
The Microsoft-English Dictionary 1.5 (What Microsoft Really Means To Say)[grin]:
Paul Robichaux maintains a website called the ExchangeFAQ. If you are
running Exchange, check it out:
PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
Clustering Windows Server
This book demystifies Windows clustering from both a hardware
and software viewpoint. It defines clustering terminology and
concepts from a vendor-neutral perspective, and provides a
matrix for evaluating the multitude of cluster technology
offerings. You can use it as a road map to creating scalable
and reliable Windows 2000 clustered systems.
This unique book is for everyone from system designers to IT
managers who want a solid understanding of the optimal products
and technologies they can use in creating "clusters" of
computers to support truly enterprise-caliber programs.