Hey, can you turn off my Internet?

So, your CEO comes to you and say, “Hey, I hear this Internet is real trouble and can cause us lots of issues, can we just turn it off to be safe?”.  That follows in the vein of those who ask you questions like, “Can you reboot the Internet?”, “I think you deleted my Internet, can you bring it back?”, or even “My antivirus software gives me a warning when I go to this one page ….. can we shut it off long enough for me to get what I need from the page?”.

Oy Vey!

These are TRUE cases.  I know you will read about them all over the internet at various “Funny Stories” web sites, but I  experience clients that ask these things… ALL THE TIME!   The problem is, we all need it these days to do our jobs, or to stay in touch with the parents.

But, these users do not get that the Internet is not a service, or an appliance, or a program that YOU have created for them that is a safe place to do the things they have come to take for granted, like Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Amazon…. they don’t get that it is a super highway outside the realm of your control.  Like the real super highways of our world, the street is full of really really GOOD drivers and really really BAD drivers and every kind of driver in between.  There is not always a cop available on the side of the road when something does wrong, and people, whether on purpose or by accident, can make things happen that will affect the very lives of others, and can get away with it in some cases.  That is our Internet.  There is nothing that limits who can get on the internet and do disastrous things.

The worst part of this is that it is not just that this situation exists on the internet.  It always takes two to Tango.  It is that you cannot trust your user-base. No matter how much you train them to watch out for tricks, they will ALWAYS fall for one of those tricks.  And the tricks change over time.  What worked in the past may not work now because people usually do learn, but only after they were bitten.  But next month a new way to trick your users WILL begin to appear, and they WILL be tricked and they WILL be duped into clicking somewhere that will possibly make your day, or week, or month, a true disaster.

All of the risks and dangers that exist in the world that are meant to infect your computer or business network have only ONE thing in common… they are spread to your PC by way of the Internet.

I am telling you that you need to take every precaution to protect your corporate network form infiltration and hacking and virus-borne activity that otherwise will destroy workstation, server, and network device infrastructure and cause hours or days of downtime, or even the complete halting of business…. forever.  Hacked networks have been known to put companies OUT OF BUSINESS!  Do not be one of those networks.

How can NMJ Technology LLC help?

Well, there are obvious forms of protection that every network should be using.  They consist of the following:

  • Email Spam and Virus scanning protection.

All corporations, no matter where you host your mail – whether it be an in-house email server, Microsoft Office 365, or any number of other hosted systems such as Google, or an Exchange based host – need to have their incoming mail scanned for virus or spam activity that lead to issues.

  • Workstation Antivirus and other risk protection.

This is also no-brainer and most common users know about this one.  Microsoft even finally got on board and at least installed SOME sort of built-in antivirus in the newest Windows 10 operating system.  But trust me when I tell you, it leaves a LOT to be desired.  Why?  The most common belief is that Microsoft does like to promote some development and competition in the products that are made available on their platform by other manufactures.  If Microsoft made the most awesome antivirus product as a built in feature of thee operating system, no one would need to buy anything else.

  • Network firewall advanced protocol scanning protection.

Your network firewall needs to be corporate class.  Of course these are more expensive, but the price of a corporate class device isn’t just because it has the name Cisco, or Juniper, or SonicWall on the label.  It is because it has sophisticated code that scrutinizes the communication by your users, or by internet access from the outside world and prevent hacking attempts into your network from the rest of the world.  Home routers, that are a faction of the cost of a corporate firewall, also come with a fraction of the protective capabilities.  You do NOT want to put a $100 Netgear router to protect your corporate network… simply because it WON’T!

  • Device and Operating System updates and patches.

Another source of irritation for users, especially executive users, Windows security and critical updates are available to install on every system on a pretty regular basis.  They are called “Security” and “Critical” for a reason.  They help to patch holes and exploits in the operating systems that allow hackers to gain access to a system to do some dastardly thing.

  • Internet Content Filtering.

It is important to note that the one most commonly overlooked is “Internet Content Filtering”. I don’t know why this is, other than most of the fiscal decisions are simply that they do not want to spend money on yet another service or device to do something that has no tangible results while it does its job.  It is like insurance, as long as it is not needed, it is just a financial irritation.  A content filter will watch everything everyone is doing when they are browsing the internet, and even prevent access to risky sites.  Every facet of every job requires using the internet in some way every passing moment, and this is the place where the threats come from.  Why would you not want to monitor where people are going and prevent them from accessing sites known for spreading infections?  In addition, you can see where people are going in the normal course of business, even if it is legitimate site, such as Facebook.  If you desire, you can block access to sites that do not pertain to the business, so Facebook (for example) will not be accessible from your corporate network.

  • User and IT Personnel Education.

It is most important that users learn how to recognize attempts to gain access to their systems, usually by luring them into thinking they are doing something legitimate.  One of the common examples is notices from their “Bank” indicating that their bank account has some issue and they need to “log in” to fix it.  These are called phishing attempts.  The user goes to the “conveniently” provided link to the login page, which when clicked looks just like the real bank login page, but it is not.  The user puts in a username and password, and gets a generic failure message…. but now its too late, they just gave someone their username and password….. and who do you know that does use the same username and password on every system?  After this, anything can happen….. and it will be bad.  Training user how to recognize these attempts, in addition tot he other common methods to extract information, will protect them, and protect your network.

NMJ Technology LLC can make sure you have installed ALL of the protective layers.  Don’t forget to look at everything NMJ Technoloogy LLC can do for you.

We provide everything you need to keep your business running: NMJ GuardianComplete managed services!

I have been in the Information Technology Consulting business since 1987. I studied at Kent State University in the field of Industrial Technology with the desire to become an electrical engineer like my father before me. My segue into computer networking was a complete surprise that I gladly accepted as a way to move forward in my experiences. I learned networking from the Novell point of view, and that eventually led me into the Microsoft world which is where I have become an exceptional consultant. Away from business, I continue to perfect my musicianship and write music. I have a lovely wife, and darling daughter, and super step son, two cats, a dog, and some gold fish in my pond.