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I have to agree with David.  The person with the most firewalls won't win
the battle.

Diversity is good - security in layers.

I'm always scared of that user that comes in from vacation then jacks into
the network.  Today I went out to all the little programs to update their
computers.  I also try to keep the users posted about this stuff, especially
the RNESU office staff.  Education and awareness goes a long way.

My two bytes about Microsoft -- Microsoft has some great tools.  They are
un-secure in the wrong hands, just like Linux and FreeBSD.

I read somewhere that Linux hacks are on the rise - may have been The
Register.  As more people adopt Linux you will start to see this type of
activity increase.  Since MS has most of the market share they are the
target and like David said we should diversify to deflect attacks suck as
the sasser worm.

This was the first year I attended the conference at South Burlington and I
came away with a lot to think about.  You guys are awesome and did a great
job!  Plus I won an hour of Lambert's time!

Thanks,
Paul Wood
RNESU

-----Original Message-----
From: School Information Technology Discussion
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Dave Tisdell
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2004 4:17 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Security

Dennis,
I respectfully disagree. A firewall is not a guarantee of protection.
It is a vitally important security component but really savvy people can
find ways around them. More importantly, It does not protect against the
mobile user that has been outside your network, gotten infected with
something, and then plugs into your network. If it is a worm, it will
immediately begin scanning for open ports and replicate itself on any
machine that does not have virus signature files and/or patches up to
date. A firewall will also not protect against the user who deliberately
unleashes some sort of attack from within. I suppose this begs the
question of whether or not we should put a personal firewall on every
computer. Personally, I want a product that does not have a big red sign
on it that says "attack me". Even if you are a master at firewalls, you
have to have ports open to communicate on the internet. If any kind of
data can get in, it is possible for the bad stuff to get in. Firewalls
only minimize the risk. They don't eliminate it.
Micro$oft says that security is their top priority. I still don't see
it. Every security class and conference I have ever attended has talked
about the importance of platform diversity. Any attack that is an
executable must be compiled to run in a particular platform. With
diversity, you won't see the kind of disruptions that we have seen over
the last few years with Melissa, code red, nimda, Bagle, slammer, etc.
It is not good for any vendor to own 90+ percent of the market; whether
it be M$, Apple, Linux, Sun etc.
Right now, every mid-sized or larger network could employ a person full
time devoted to security and we still wouldn't cover all of the bases.
Dave


David Tisdell. Computer Coordinator
Mt. Mansfield Union High School
211 Browns Trace
Jericho, VT 05465
802-899-4690 (Voice)
802-899-2904 (Fax)
[log in to unmask] (e-mail)

>>> [log in to unmask] 5/4/2004 2:36:19 PM >>>
Dave,

Have a good firewall and know how to manage it and the OS platform on
the
computer does not matter.

Dennis Beloin


-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Tisdell [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2004 1:13 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Security


Hi all,
After last Friday's conference at South Burlington, Security has been
on my mind even more than usual. Just today, I had my antivirus
software
popup and tell me it had taken care of an infection attempt by sasser.
My paranoia level went up even more than usual. Since we centrally
manage our antivirus updates, how did a machine get infected that was
trying to infect other machines on our network? Simply by chance, I
came
across a mobile user from central office who had plugged into our
network and was infected.
This mobile user goes to most of the schools in the district and uses
dial up from home. The machine is set to get its updates directly from
symantec. The signature file in use was only a few days old but too
old
for sasser.

If as a group of technology people we could get away from a Windows
centric view of the world, we would be much better off security wise.
Just like Bio diversity, platform diversity is healthy. We invest huge
amounts of dollars into security and virus protection (more on that
than
enhancement of instruction). If we had more platform diversity, it
would
make things tougher for the bad guys. I would like to have all my
mobile
users like the case I mentioned at the beginning be either on Macs or
Linux laptops. They would be much less likely to be the target of the
latest worm on the net.
Unfortunately, many tech support people walk around saying I hate
______(fill in platform of choice). Should we be so closed minded (I
have to admit an antimicrosoft bias)? If we had diversity, we might
not
have to scramble so much when the latest threat pops up.
Let the discussion begin!!!!
Dave
P.S sorry for the cross posts

David Tisdell. Computer Coordinator
Mt. Mansfield Union High School
211 Browns Trace
Jericho, VT 05465
802-899-4690 (Voice)
802-899-2904 (Fax)
[log in to unmask] (e-mail)


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