Sunbelt W2Knews Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Jan 12, 2004 (Vol. 9, #2 - Issue #458)
Security in 2004
This issue of W2Knews contains:
- EDITORS CORNER
- TECH BRIEFING
- How To Quantify Downtime
- Security in 2004
- Key Security Statistics
- Disabling The Shutdown Event Tracker In WinXP
- NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
- Five No Charge SBS CALs From Your Friends At Redmond
- Short Takes from the CES
- NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
- Best Selling Tools In The Year 2003
- Vulnerability Management Strengthens IT Security
- Panda Software Previews New Web-based Antivirus
- W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
- This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
- PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
- The First Real Dick Tracy Watch
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Highly Available News
More and more of the newsletters you want are being blocked by
spam filters, either on the ISP-side or your organization. There
is a new way to get news. It's called RSS and really it's a
backup for the essential information flow you need to get your
job done. I strongly suggest you get a free RSS reader and add
"channels" to the sites you know are important. Here is another
link to a new RSS-feed I discovered! The fave RSS Link of the
week: Only4Gurus, awesome technical information:
Quote Of The Day:
"A lie can travel halfway around the world
while the truth is putting on its shoes."
(How did he know the Internet would be there?)
(email me with feedback: [email protected])
Are your servers protected? Disaster Recovery is #1 priority!
This means you have to have a tested plan and reliable tools in
place for the moment your site goes down. DOUBLE-TAKE is that
tool. Sold more than all other High-Availability tools combined.
It is even certified for W2K Datacenter. No other HA tool is. How
it works? "Server A goes down--Server B takes over". Get the eval
copy here, this is your ultimate job-security.
Visit Double-Take for more information.
How To Quantify Downtime
Network World has a good article about downtime. They start with:
"A conservative estimate from Gartner pegs the hourly cost of
downtime for computer networks at $42,000, so a company that
suffers from worse than average downtime of 175 hours a year can
lose more than $7 million per year. But the cost of each outage
affects each company differently, so it's important to know how
to calculate the precise financial impact.
"By achieving just the average amount of downtime of 87 hours
per year, companies could save about $3.6 million annually. And
for companies that rely entirely on technology, such as online
brokerages, trading platforms and e-commerce sites, hourly
downtime risks can be $1 million or more, making availability an
even greater concern."
It's a good article if you need ammo for
tools like Double-Take that provide protection by replication and
Security in 2004
Hmmm. The future in this area is not that rosy. It's probably
going to get worse before it gets better. Not because Admins
are doing a bad job. You guys are battling in the trenches to
protect your domains. But malware coders are going to make our
environment less than friendly.
This year will see more so called "blended threats". These
nasties combine their malicious code with an unpatched security
hole. These kinds of threats, like for instance the Blaster
worm, unfortunately keep system and network admins that are
tasked with security in reactive mode.
More breaches will undoubtedly cause more regulations that
mandate higher levels of security. The problem is that these
laws are usually written by politicians (supported by some
industry experts) and are watered down by multiple compromises.
The end result is no clear way to get yourself really
protected, but very clear ways in which you will be punished
when you suffer a breach. Caught between a rock and a hard
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is the law that will be the start of
companies seriously looking into infosecurity. This law was
passed in response to the many "Enron-type" scandals of 2002.
It does not directly address security, but what it mandates
is that your CEO and CFO sign off on the integrity of your
company's financials, and that forces your bosses to take a
personal interest in security. It may very well happen that a
similar law will come to be in 2004 which mandates upper-level
management sign off on your organization's information security.
Many vendors will propose expensive hardware solutions, and
most companies will not be able to make those kind of budgets
available. Then MS will likely make a lot of progress in the
area of security, however for the most of us Redmond's work
will always be a bit too little, too late. A security expert
predicted that new applications and platforms will be pirated
and hacked before they even hit the shelves, and the people
that are charged with securing their company domains are forced
to continue racing to keep up with the bad guys. That is why
Sunbelt is coming out with the Network Security Inspector: A
World Class Vulnerability Scanner, affordably priced per admin.
Key Security Statistics
The Pew Internet and American Life Project has studied the online
habits of 64,000+ Americans for more than three years. Recently
they came out with some interesting numbers. Among the findings
they list are dozens of different activities performed on the
Internet. The bad news: Researching and downloading security
patches did not show up at all as an activity consumers indulge
in. This also means that you guys need to take a hard look at
the security of your telecommuters. Here are the numbers:
And then some specific security related stats:
- 126,000,000 Number of Americans who use the Internet daily. That's 63% of all adult Americans
- 34,000,000 Number of Americans who have done banking online
- 36,000,000 Number of Americans who have downloaded music files
- 52,000,000 Number of Americans who have used instant messaging
Source of the report at PewInternet:
- 115 new security alerts in the last 30 days
- CERT reports that over 95% of all network security breaches are the result of known vulnerabilities. Scan your network regularly to ensure that you are protected from the latest exploits.
Brand new Security Scanner SNSI:
Disabling The Shutdown Event Tracker In WinXP
The Shutdown Event Tracker is a feature new to both WinXP
Professional and Windows 2003 Server. Whenever an admin signals
a shutdown of the computer -- whether from the local console
or remotely through a Remote Desktop session -- the admin
is prompted for some descriptive information about why the
system was shut down. This feature can be useful during audits,
but not so much when you are setting the machine up. Here's how:
NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
Five No Charge SBS CALs From Your Friends At Redmond
In response to the Windows SharePoint Services and Windows Small
Business Server 2003 installation issue, Microsoft is providing
all Windows Small Business Server 2003 (standard and premium
edition) customers the ability to order five free CALs. The offer
will be available from January 5, 2004, through February 5, 2004,
so act now.
It's kind of a "making amends" to SBS users after embarrassing
problems with Windows SharePoint Services blocking users during
installation of Small Business Server. Harry Brelsford, an author
and consultant specializing in Small Business Server, credits
Microsoft for acknowledging pain and suffering among customers
over the glitch. "Microsoft has historically had a difficult time
making these types of admissions," Brelsford said. "I see this
SBS 2003 CAL offer and dialog as a sign of Microsoft maturity.
It's greatly welcomed and will go a long way towards building
trust around SBS 2003."
All Windows Small Business Server 2003 customers are eligible,
including those who licensed the product prior to January 5,
2004. All product types, including Retail, Open, and OEM SKUs,
are eligible. To qualify, customers must provide a valid Windows
Small Business Server 2003 product ID. Customers are eligible for
one 5-pack CAL for each licensed copy of Windows Small Business
Server 2003. Customers can choose either user or device CALs.
To order your five free CALs, complete the order form:
Short Takes from the CES
The Consumer Electronics Show this week is actually interesting.
I'm sorry I can't go. Microsoft discussed their TV Foundation
Edition 1.5 software for network operators. HUH? Whazzat? I was
not aware that Redmond was creating software for TV networks,
but they are. This software is a key component of MS-TV. What
this division does is creating client/server software aimed at
enabling cable and satellite operators to create interactive
digital TV services. The new stuff MS announced has integrated
support for high-def television and digital video recording.
An example of this technology would be stuff that lets consumers
find video-on-demand movies they might be interested in.
Also, the Smart Watches running on Smart Personal Objects
Technology (SPOT) we have been waiting for since the last Comdex
2002 are now finally available. You have to have a MSN
subscription ($59/yr) but it looks cool. The gear features
personal messages and reminders, news, weather and financial
information, personalized content, multiple watch faces and
automatic time-zone adjustment. You can configure and personalize
your watch at:
Check the Product Of The Week section below for more detail.
And then MS announced extensions to their Media Center PC. The
upshot is that you can get both wired/wireless links from these
MCPC's to your TV's, anywhere in the house. Pretty cool stuff
actually and here is a PDF that explains this in much more detail (848 K):
THIRD PARTY NEWS
Best Selling Tools In The Year 2003
You all want to know what the other admins actually use for the
day-to-day management of their networks and servers. I regularly
give you the monthly Top 10, but here is the Top 10 for the whole
year of 2003, With product name and the category it sits in
(they are sorted in total dollar volume sales).
And you can find them all HERE:
- Double-Take: High Availability (Downtime Prevention)
- iHateSpam Server: Anti-Spam
- UpdateExpert: Patch Management
- ScriptLogic: Logon Scripting / User Management
- Sunbelt Remote Admin: Remote Control
- Retina: Vulnerability Scanning
- iHateSpam Client: Anti-Spam
- SecureIIS: Web Server protection
- LanHound: Network Packet Analysis
- Sunbelt Network Security Inspector: Vulnerability Scanning
Vulnerability Management Strengthens IT Security
The Yankee Group has issued a report recommending Vulnerability
Management Services (VMS) to provide security officers and IT
Directors a proactive program of continual enhancements to their
security profile. The basic conclusions of the Yankee report are
"Security teams that once reacted to security incidents now are
proactively addressing network security throughout the life cycle
from vulnerability discovery all the way to confirmation of a
deployed correction," says Eric Ogren, Yankee Group Security
Solutions & Services senior analyst. See Tech Briefing articles
in this newsletter for affordable solutions.
- Enterprise security teams are overwhelmed with the volume of
security information from intrusion detection systems (IDSs)
and patch notifications from vendors.
- Security officers must implement process improvements to raise
the security profile of their network, but they also must manage
a lean operating budget that precludes them from sending in
security experts to rectify the problem.
- There are significant challenges in identifying
vulnerabilities in their network infrastructure and in tuning
network security products for optimal efficiency and protection.
- A VMS reduces many vulnerabilities to a manageable set of IT
Panda Software Previews New Web-based Antivirus
Panda Software announced a preview program for its new Panda
WebAdmin Antivirus (Powered by Secure Resolutions) in the USA.
This is a new solution offered jointly by Panda Software and
Secure Resolutions to protect computer systems and networks
against malicious code that can be managed securely and remotely
via the Internet.
The powerful management functionalities incorporated in WebAdmin
Antivirus allows companies to protect their IT infrastructure
with the latest antivirus technology within minutes. Its means
that users of this new Panda Software product can install and
update the antivirus protection even on computers that are not
connected to the corporate network or those without an Internet
"I have totally switched my entire LAN to Panda WebAdmin
Antivirus exclusively because of its reliability. I will be
recommending your product to our corporate IT people, who support
90,000 computers. Moreover, I've installed it on my parents home
computer That is how strongly I feel about the product," said
Robert Haney, IT Manager, TYCO Intl. Panda WebAdmin Antivirus can
be installed in two different ways:
More at the Panda website:
- Through an automatically generated URL.
The Panda Software
server creates an Internet address that network users can connect
to in order to download and install the antivirus software on
their computers automatically. This type of installation allows
antivirus protection to be deployed even to laptop computers that
only occasionally connect to the corporate network.
- Through remote deployment.
If the system administrator selects
this option, they can install the antivirus on every computer on
the network (including machines without an Internet connection)
through an Active X control.
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
SpeedGuide.net is one of the leading Broadband related sites on
the Net, as well as a popular source of information on improving
Silly link of the week: If for some reason you can't laugh about
mad cow disease, I suggest that you may want to ignore this link:
Bizarre IT stories to help you loosen up after the holiday season.
A really cool RSS reader that nicely integrates with Outlook:
This is definitely nothing I want on my tombstone.
You're probably wondering what to do with that old '486 you're
storing in the closet. Wonder no more: Here's the perfect way to
get more use out of it.
The latest version of Sony's "Qrio" robot can actually run like a
human. Here's the video. Extremely interesting. Next week some
PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
The First Real Dick Tracy Watch
The first Smart Watch running on SPOT technology is out at retail.
For 200 bucks you get Stocks, news, personal messages, and more,
delivered wirelessly to your watch. One of the first devices to
use MSN Direct, a wireless subscription service. It automatically
updates to the correct local time when you travel, and you get
customizable data channels and watch faces. It also syncs up with
your Outlook calendar. I like. I want. I bought one. Here at