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Networking and Internet Connectivity
For more information on businesses that provide Internet and
Networking services, please
From the the Senate Intelligence Committee:
"Any computer connected to or containing modems that allow external
connectivity to computer networks such as the Internet. Such computers
are vulnerable to attacks by unauthorized persons." the report said.
From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
A survey by the Sans Institute, a Bethesda, Md., research group, said network
security administrators earned $56,442 a year on average in 1999, an increase
of 11.47 percent from 1998.
- "Computer security has been important for many years, but the recent increase in
online retailing and business-to-business transactions has made it a top priority."
- "Last month's . . . attacks help yet another few people learn about
the perils of security," said Rob Kolstad, Sans Institute program manager.
Any business that wants to build an e-commerce presence and
have an internal network (intranet) connected to the internet
will have to address certain needs:
- Establishing a Written Security Policy
- Security and Firewall Administration
- Network (Intranet) Administration
- Web Administration
Establishing a Written Security Policy
The establishment of guidelines that will constitute an adequate
written security policy includes, but is not limited to:
- An inventory of all machines and users involved in any
activities on the network
- Determination and implementation of security measures
- A plan for backing up of information and usage of back-ups
when the need arises
- Disaster Recovery
- Dial-up Modem
With a dial-up modem (33.6 K, 56 K) the transfer rates are
dependable. If you establish a connection to your provider,
your ability to "surf" the internet and accomplish other
tasks is generally consistent.
The overall speed or transfer rate is slower than
a cable modem or DSL, but there are exceptions to take note
of, and we will mention those in the other sections.
A stand alone computer using a dial-up modem
connection poses no security risk to an office network,
since there are no wires running between the stand alone
and other computers.
This is by far the lowest cost way to go with connectivity,
but if efficiency becomes a problem, then other technologies
offer better solutions.
- Cable Modems
Cable Modems generally achieve speeds up to 512 K. The main
exception to this is that a cable subscriber's bandwidth
is shared with the "neighborhood". This means that other
cable internet subscribers in your immediate vicinity are sharing
your pipeline. This can cause painstakingly slow transfer rates
during peak hours or because of extraordinary usage.
The security offered by cable modems is nil. There are more and more
cases of systems being compromised through cable connections.
No one is immune, and many attacks are automated with no specific target
- DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)
Currently DSL offers speeds from 128 Kbps.
A range of speeds is available with
faster connections costing increasing amounts of money per
There are two types of DSL: ADSL and SDSL or
Asymmetrical and Symmetrical. The biggest difference between the two is
that ADSL does not allow for bi-directional high speed movement. In other words,
although you may be able to receive files, or surf the internet at
high speeds, you cannot send information out very rapidly.
SDSL does allow high speeds in both directions, but is more costly.
DSL technology, in general, offers very little in the way of
It is generally not recommended that a network be hooked up to the
internet via a cable modem or a DSL connection, at least not
without the implementation of a security plan.
Many commercial "firewalls", a combination of computer hardware and software
that are designed to thwart off break-in attempts, are readily available.
Unfortunately, none of these are 100% bulletproof. Most software has
been worked around by the latest methods developed by hackers.
Some email and web browser programs also pose serious threats to internet
security. Users of these kinds of programs owe it to themselves
to be educated about these issues.
A combination of measures must be implemented to have the best chance of
securing one's systems. Experience has shown that these measures
- Regular updating of firewall software by a capable security administrator.
- Education of the users behind the firewall, in areas such as viruses,
cookies, java, email attachments, and other safe surfing practices.
- 24/7 monitoring by the security administrator through the use of
their eyeballs and the analysis of system operations.
The Internet allows administration from locations other
than where the machine to be administered is actually located.
Normal adminisitration should not be visible to the system users
behind the firewall.
Network (Intranet) Administration
A network administrator is needed for workstation maintenance,
software installation and troubleshooting and general tecnhical support for users.
The on-going time commitment of the network administrator is
dependent on the size
of the network, type of server(s), age and condition of the computers,
applications in use and the level of expertise of the users.
In the case when an on-site administratior is needed,
this item will have to treated as budgeting for a full-time employee.
Web administration covers maintenance of website front-end and back-end
e-commerce functions. Most of this work can be done remotely by
the web administrator, unless he or she is an employee. In this case,
there will be the need for interaction between the administrator
and the internet service provider.
Philadelphia Spirit Experiment Publishing Company
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