Cyber Warfare

Written by Richard Lowe

In these days of all-out combat in Afghanistan, terrorist attacks in New York and Anthrax in Washington, it's easy to lose one's perspective. I know I've become addicted to checkingrepparttar major news web sites several times a day. I now listen torepparttar 132119 news radio stations onrepparttar 132120 way to and from work instead of my normal rock and roll station. It seems like something might happen at any moment, and I want to know immediately.

Something that seemed to be mentioned in every IT related publication forrepparttar 132121 last year or so isrepparttar 132122 possibility of cyber warfare. This isrepparttar 132123 concept of attacking a country through it's information systems (specificallyrepparttar 132124 internet).

Sincerepparttar 132125 attacks I've seenrepparttar 132126 number of articles go from a few per week dozens per day. Warnings about security risks seem to be popping up all overrepparttar 132127 place. It is important that these warning be taken seriously - it's time to wake up folks and get your systems locked down.

What could be attacked? Just about every company has an internet connection these days. Many of those companies do not have good security, as is proven byrepparttar 132128 recent Nimda and Code Red outbreaks, as well as numerous penetrations by hackers.

If you are an IT manager you probably need to ask yourself some important questions to be prepared forrepparttar 132129 possibility of attack. In fact, it is your patriotic duty to be sure your systems are safe and secure. To do otherwise not only puts your company in danger, it actually threatens, even in a small way,repparttar 132130 security of your country.

Does your organization really need to be attached torepparttar 132131 internet at all? - This isrepparttar 132132 first question to ask yourself. I know it seems like every workstation at every company must be attached torepparttar 132133 internet, is it really necessary? Does it add torepparttar 132134 company bottom line? For many companies,repparttar 132135 answer is yes, for others no.

Isrepparttar 132136 information that you provide torepparttar 132137 internet community appropriate? - This question has come up on a large number of government and utility sites. Is it really necessary, for example, to include a map of a power plant? I know this might seem useful to, say, schools for educational purposes, but it may also be even more useful to terrorists and other evil-doers.

Is your backup and archive strategy sound? - The most important single task that you perform is backups. Do them regularly and checkrepparttar 132138 data occasionally.

Are your password policies good enough? - The weakest link in most security schemes isrepparttar 132139 user and his or her passwords. If your management will allow it, make sure your users have long, complex passwords which they change regularly. Enforce best practices with their passwords.

If your front line security adequate? - Have you got firewalls installed? Regardless of whether you've got a home computer or a hundred million dollar complex, you'd better install a firewall if you have not done so already. A hardware firewall isrepparttar 132140 best solution, but a software one will do for a home system if money is tight.

Backing Up Your Stuff Part 3: Software

Written by Richard Lowe

All right, now you need to consider what software you will use to back up your data.

Do it by hand - One possible method (which will not work if you are using a tape drive) is to simply copy files to your backup media by hand. This does have some advantages:

- It does not cost anything. And after spendingrepparttar money to buy some backup hardware this may berepparttar 132116 best solution.

- It's very easy. Just drag and drop (assuming you are not using a tape drive).

The disadvantages are numerous:

- You must be present to dorepparttar 132117 backup. However, you could just drag and drop before going to bed.

- Since it requires you to actually performrepparttar 132118 backup yourself, you may have a greater tendency to allow backups to slip.

- Your system will be very busy whilerepparttar 132119 backup is being performed, since it is done "inrepparttar 132120 foreground".

Second Copy - Possiblyrepparttar 132121 best all-around product that I've found for simple backup operations is called Second Copy (this is not an affiliate link - this is an honest recommendation and we will not make any money if you purchaserepparttar 132122 product). Second Copy is inexpensive (less than thirty dollars for a one user license) and extremely simple to use.

The program sits in your system tray whenever you are logged in. You create profiles (this is very easy) which specify which files to back up, where you want them to go and when you wantrepparttar 132123 backup to occur. The entire process of setting up a profile generally requires a couple of minutes.

What I've done on my own system is create a series of profiles to back up different things.

- I created one profile to back up my Outlook stationary. This is not set to go at any particular time - I must manually start it up when I want this directly backed up. This is because I have setrepparttar 132124 output to my writeable CD unit, so I only want it to run when I haverepparttar 132125 proper CD inserted.

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