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Tag Archives: World Cup

Security Series Part 2: World Cup Photo Proves Importance of Network Security Once Again

One of the most difficult challenges in managing networks is their inherent vulnerability to human error. No matter how robust an organization’s security policies or how dedicated its IT staff, a silly oversight by one or more employees can render many precautions meaningless.

A startling example of just how quickly and thoughtlessly network security can be compromised occurred recently when the Wi-Fi network name and password for the security center at the World Cup in Brazil were accidentally posted online.

A newspaper photo of Luiz Cravo Dorea, head of International cooperation for the Brazilian Federal Police, was taken inside the center, run by Israeli security firm Risco, in front of a bank of computer screens, one of which showcased the sensitive information. Soon after the photo was posted, it was re-tweeted repeatedly for the entire world to see. Once the newspaper was made aware of the photo it was taken down and presumably, the network name and password were changed. But it is impossible to know if any intrusions occurred in the interim.

While businesses should make every effort to avoid these kinds of blunders, the unfortunate fact is that they do sometimes happen despite network engineers’ best efforts. When these mistakes occur, it’s imperative that businesses have network monitoring and security solutions in place that keep a simple oversight from turning into a total disaster.

Best-in-class network forensic appliances can be used to monitor compliance with security policies and to intercept and analyze unauthorized attempts to access a network. These products can automatically respond to security threats in a variety of ways, meaning that even if a password is leaked, intruders can’t freely enter a system and steal or compromise data. Continue reading

Has World Cup Fever Spread to the Network?

It’s called World Cup fever for a reason. With millions of people watching and reading related news online, it undoubtedly increased Internet traffic. In fact, people apparently care more about soccer than they do the presidential election. The very first day of the tournament, traffic exceeded the previous record of 8.5 million views per minute (vpm), which occurred when Barack Obama was elected. According to measurements by Akamai, traffic for news sites on June 11 started to
climb steadily at 6 am ET and peaked six hours later, reaching nearly 12.1 vpm.  And the fact that June 11 was a workday didn’t stop people from watching. People turned to their office computers to follow the action. Being able to identify high talkers and effectively manage traffic is a must for organizations that want to stay productive and successful.

Below are some considerations for enterprises in regards to their networks during times of high traffic:

Understand how your network performs normally

The only way a company can improve network performance is to know where they stand in terms of network demands. Then they can measure success against those baselines. By looking at Internet connections, WAN links, WLAN environments and the data center, enterprises can get a sense of how their network normally acts. A network analyzer can also help organize this information into a report that can be used to not only solve issues that currently exist, but also to allow organizations to go back in time to validate performance and bandwidth utilization as necessary.

Prune and clean WLAN traffic

Remove unnecessary traffic. Devices like printers, support stacks and protocols that aren’t in use in the environment can be eliminated. Sometimes, protocols that help manage the network, like routing protocols and SNMP can be found, hogging valuable bandwidth without any purpose.

Know your options

Consider a Web surfing policy. The 2010 FIFA World Cup lasts from June 11 through July 11, 2010 and will likely suck up a lot of bandwidth. Having a set policy in place will help keep traffic down and is an option to be explored. However, getting employees to abide by regulations it’s often more of challenge than it’s worth.

The fact is, it is important to see new trends approaching and make changes to the network to account for an enterprise’s behavior. Popular events can erode profitability and corporate security, as employees not only watch but also participate in social media discussions and gamble online. Review network analysis measures and policies now, so when 2014 rolls around, networks stay healthy and humming.