I’m sure you’re probably tired of the bombardment of Info-Sec (Information Technology Security) articles and posts telling you that you need something more to fight lateral movement. Do this, do that, buy this, trial that, use this freeware. It is exhausting if you are an IT Pro trying to do the best thing without impacting your budget or users too much. Ransomware and other exploits target lateral movement as a way to get to the privileged accounts on your network. I am not going to list changes that have a big impact on your users like removing local admin rights. You should never allow users to have local admin rights in any production environment and, if you are allowing it, you’re going to spend a lot of time implementing the removal of those rights. Passwords should be long and complex and if you aren’t protecting your log in accounts with lock out policies then you have bigger problems than Ransomware. Patching shouldn’t be talked about because patching isn’t negotiable any more. Do it and don’t ask questions. You shouldn’t be more than 30 days (14 days is better) behind in patching and you should be patching ALL of your third party software in that time frame as well. Instead, I will be talking about things that IT Pros can do that cost very little or nothing at all and have little impact on your users. Most of this will consist of minor configuration changes in Microsoft software including Windows and Office as well as other infrastructure changes related to networking that can yield decent protection rewards. So let’s get to it.
“If you’re working on something you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you in.” -Steve Jobs
“Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.” –Andy Grove
Exchange 2013 is a whole new beast when it comes to a stand alone Exchange server. A failed Exchange 2013 CU (Cumulative Update) can leave your Exchange server unresponsive to outside requests even though all Services are up and Powershell diagnostics are reporting everything working correctly. It leaves many Exchange Admins new to 2013 scratching their heads and attempting to restore from backup only to learn that a restore from backup does not work! What is this sorcery?! Stay calm. This is an easy fix and a lesson for new 2013/2016 Exchange admins that are used to the previous versions.
“People think computers will keep them from making mistakes. They’re wrong. With computers you make mistakes faster.” – Adam Osborne
“Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.” -Joseph Campbell
“The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do.” – Ted Nelson
As far as small business antivirus is concerned I have always been an ESET fan. So when I was recently recommended by a colleague to check out the latest Webroot business antivirus client I wasn’t really looking for another antivirus since ESET had always treated me well. After getting to know the product and having used it now for 30 days, I can tell you that this is a top notch product in almost all aspects of premium antivirus clients.
Microsoft updates are not to be trusted. A lot of you might hear that and say “Duh”, however, it hasn’t always been this bad. Recently, Microsoft has really hit a wall with security updates reeking havoc on systems and applications. The new Microsoft CEO has been actively pushing faster software development cycles. This has been a boon for them as it keeps developers and enterprises moving to refresh their software and hardware. This has also been a huge pain for the IT staff in charge of managing upgrades and updates.
Use Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) to a computer at your office or home frequently? Do you go through launching the default RDC shortcut you dragged from the start menu to connect up? If so, this blog entry can help you.