The musings of an IT Consultant


November 30, 2011  11:58 PM

Mobile Device Policies



Posted by: Raj Perumal
Citrix, Citrix Receiver, mobile device policies

Hi folks! So as I spoke about in my last post, there will be a huge mobile device explosion this Christmas.

I mentioned that IT personnel should get prepared for the coming storm. Where to start? Well first off, you will have to define the risks and benefits to the use of mobile devices in the work place. Then you will have to determine how you can mitigate those risks and take advantage of those benefits.

There are many pieces of technology out there that can help you deal with MDM (mobile device management) in the work place, but my best advice? If you have any say in the matter, see if you can hold off. Wait even just a year and the technology should mature a bit more where we might have a fighting chance at adequately supporting these devices in a corporate environment.

Don’t get me wrong, there are solutions out there now, but they are all in their infancy. If anything one of the best things you can do now is use products such as Citrix and the Citrix Receiver App to keep all your data in the cloud, so nothing actually exists on the actual device. This way you’re using your mobile devices more like a dumb terminal. That way if it’s lost or stolen, no data goes missing.

-RP

November 30, 2011  11:57 PM

Penetration Testing



Posted by: Raj Perumal
BackTrack 5, penetration testing

Hi folks! So often there are questions from fellow IT colleagues, what can they use to help them in testing their networks to make sure they are secure?

After all, you need to know for sure that everything you’ve done to secure your network is actually working. How do you verify this? You perform a penetration test. If you are not well versed in this you can easily hire a consultant to come in and do this for you. However if you don’t have the monetary means to do this, you can use freely available software out on the Internet to test your security.

One of these is BackTrack 5. This is a security Linux distribution that consists of many tools used to test your network. In addition to this, purchase of a promiscuous wireless network adapter is recommended. This will allow you to perform proper wireless penetration testing.

Just remember one thing, do not ever do this on a network that you do not have permission to do this on. Even if it is for a network that you run, please ensure that you have an outage window declared and permission from the proper people who are authorized to give you permission to carry out the penetration test.

If you’ve never done penetration testing before, I encourage you to build a lab network where you can test to your heart’s content without affecting anybody in a production environment.

-RP


November 30, 2011  11:57 PM

QNAP 1279



Posted by: Raj Perumal
1279U, QNAP

Hi folks! As you know I am a big fan of the QNAP series of NAS devices for the SMB market. QNAP makes a great product at a great price point.

QNAP has just released a new product at the top of their product line, the 1279 model which allows for a maximum of 12 drives, increasing your maximum capacity using QNAP substantially! Of course with hard drive prices through the roof these days, it might make things temporarily more expensive than usual. The device is also capable of 10GBe connectivity!

However once hard drive prices come back down again, this will make for a great buy. Especially useful for archival/backup storage in your network or even as a SAN for small non-critical VMware environments.

You can read more about the new model here.

-RP


November 30, 2011  11:57 PM

UN Server hacked!



Posted by: Raj Perumal
united nations

Hi folks, according to recent news the UN has been hacked!

Apparently the hackers compromised a server and pasted email addresses and login credentials to paste bin. This would show how important it is to make sure you encrypt this kind of information so even if there is a breach, then the information is not easily accessible.

The hack isn’t confirmed yet but from initial reports it looks like it could be possibly legitimate.

You can read more here.

-RP


November 30, 2011  11:57 PM

Carrier IQ



Posted by: Raj Perumal
Carrier IQ, EFF, Trevor Eckhart

Hi folks! So here’s an interesting tidbit of news. A company known as Carrier IQ has been featured in the news due to a security issue pointing out how the application can be allegedly used on smartphones.

The security researcher was then served with a takedown notice. In kind, the researcher teamed up with the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) who in turn refuted the takedown notice. Then Carrier IQ apologized and retracted the takedown notice.

At the end of the day I think everyone involved realized the error of their ways once the EFF got involved. Kudos to the EFF for protecting our rights in this digital world!

On a side note, the lesson learned here is that you shouldn’t assume your cell phone carrier isn’t spying on you without your consent!

You can read the details of the story here.

-RP


November 30, 2011  11:57 PM

How secure is your wireless strategy?



Posted by: Raj Perumal
mobile devices, wireless security

Hi folks! So in this day and age with all the mobile devices out there, you need a secure wireless strategy. Whether you like it or not your users are going to need wireless access.

Some users will be content to use cellular networks, but the majority will prefer to do their data intensive work over wifi. At this point the day will come where management puts the screws to you and requires you to open up wireless to mobile devices.

Before you do this you will have to ensure that you have a secure strategy for implementing access for this devices, consisting of encryption, authentication and even segmented networks to make sure that compromised devices will not compromise your corporate network.

-RP


November 30, 2011  11:57 PM

Finally got a tablet!



Posted by: Raj Perumal
Android, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Honeycomb, tablet

Hi folks! So my birthday just recently flew by and i got a great little gift from friends and family! I got a tablet!

Specifically the Samsung Galaxy tab 10.1. I have used iPads, touch pads, slates etc. But i hadn’t really used Android yet in the tablet market. So I am quite happy to play around with the Galaxy tab. I haven’t rooted it yet and am just using it as is for the time being.

I have to say it’s quite the nice piece of work, but not as smooth as the iPad 2. Having said that, I much prefer the Galaxy Tab due to the plethora of flash websites that are still out on the Internet. As time passes and people move over to HTML5 then this really won’t be an issue anymore.

Stay tuned for my experiences using the Galaxy Tab as an IT consultant in the corporate world!

-RP


November 30, 2011  11:56 PM

BlackBerry Fusion



Posted by: Raj Perumal
BlackBerry, Fusion, mdm, mobile device management, RIM

Hi folks! So unless you have been under a rock you’ve heard about RIM’s latest annoucement. They have announced BlackBerry Fusion!

What is this? It’s their entry into the MDM (mobile device management) market. I think this is a great idea but just a little to late. RIM should have come to the table ages ago, because right now there are a ton of vendors already providing these features for managing multiple OS mobile devices.

However, if they can refine the product to the standards of BES, then maybe they can steal market share away from the existing vendors. However they did themselves no favours by being late to the game. This seems to be RIM’s life story.

Read more here.

-RP


November 30, 2011  11:56 PM

Kaseya Mobile Device Management



Posted by: Raj Perumal
Android, BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, Kaseya, mdm, mobile device management, tablet

Hi folks! So back to MDM! I mentioned that if you are forced into using mobile devices in the work place and you can’t wait, there are technologies out there right now that can help.

One of those is Citrix as i mentioned. But what can you use to track and wipe devices that are not BlackBerries managed under BES? Well for you managed services folks out there, Kaseya has a great solution. Kaseya now has a Mobile Device Management module you can purchase from them.

This allows you to not only remotely wipe devices, but also geo-locate the devices. Not a bad idea. This is accomplished through the installation of an agent on the mobile device which is downloaded through the various mobile device app stores available.

You can read more here.

-RP


November 30, 2011  11:56 PM

Mobile Device Explosion this Christmas



Posted by: Raj Perumal
explosion, mobile devices, smart phones, tablets

Hi folks! So now that halloween has passed, and December is on the horizon, Christmas is around the corner! Now what is going to happen this Christmas?

Every IT support person’s nightmare! Tons of users are going to get mobile devices (phones, tablets) for Christmas! Why is this bad? Well mobile devices are taking over faster than IT departments can cope with them. Mobile devices present all sorts of logistical and security issues.

More and more IT is getting pressure to allow users to use their personal mobile devices in the work place, also known as BYOD or Bring Your Own Device. This isn’t going to go away either. After this Christmas with all the recent price slashes in tablets, you will see many more people in January pushing IT departments to allow them to BYOD.

This explosion is going to present fresh new challenges to IT departments, so if you find yourself in this position you better pack a lunch, as it’s going to take us IT folks a while to figure out the best way to implement this.

-RP


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