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Data Security in Law Firms

I recently read an excellent article by Matthew Goldstein published in DealB%k.  I believe it needs to be read in its entirety.   Accounting and insurance firms are next in line.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/03/26/law-firms-scrutinized-as-hacking-increases/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&ref=business&_r=1

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Windows XP End of Life

April 8th, 2014 is fast approaching.  At this time, no new patches will be released for vulnerabilities discovered.  It is a high probability that attackers have exploits developed,  just waiting to be released.

Windows XP is 12 years old.  What can you do to protect yourself?  Upgrade to Windows 7 or beyond.   If that is not possible, isolate all Windows XP machines from the internet.   This will lessen the risk but risk still exists.

 

For more information, go to:   wilsontechgroup.com

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Determining Your Current Network Bandwith Needs

Your primary concern in determining the type of cabling to use is your network’s current bandwith requirements.  This figure can vary greatly based on the size of the network (i.e., the number of workstations connected to the network).  A small network of 15 workstations will generally have much lower bandwith requirements than a network that needs to support 100 workstations.  Future growth should also be factored when considering network size.  If your company is expecting to double the number of employees over the next two years, then you can expect your bandwith needs to increase accordingly.  To complicate matters further, you must also factor in the type and volume of the data traffic that your network will be supporting.  For example, a small multimedia and graphic design firm with only 10 stations will likely have much greater bandwith requirements than a law firm consisting of 25 workstations.  Again, this is due primarily to the type and volume of the data one can expect in each work environment:  a single user transferring a 5-minute high definition video across the network can easily consume more bandwith than 20 users opening MS Word and Excel files.

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Assessing the Network Environment

Your network environment plays a large part in determining the best type of cabling you should use.  While optical fiber offers the fastest possible bandwith and is the best medium for “future proofing” your network, certain environments are ill suited toward fiber optic installation.  Unlike twisted copper mediums like Cat5e or Cat6, optical fiber is prone to transmission problems due to dirt and scratches on the fiber.  This can be typical of dirty or dusty mechanical closets, equipment closets, and any rooms that are not clean or friendly to fiber technology.  In such cases, twisted copper solutions might be the best way to go.  Alternatively, certain environments cause problems with twisted copper mediums.    Although Cat5e and Cat6 have much improved noise immunity than their twisted copper predecessors, they are susceptible to high RF (radio frequency) and EMI (electromagnetic interference).  Hospitals, for example, have tremendous RF interference problems over twisted pair cabling.  A Cat5e or Cat6 cable running alongside a CAT scanner or NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) scanner would be rendered virtually useless due to RF interference.  In such environments, optical fiber is the ideal solution as it is all but immune to such interference.

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The Onsite Survey

Once in the new location, a cabling installer will be looking at several things to help him or her provide you with a quote.  Specifically, a voice/data network cabling installer will be looking at or verifying:

  • The type of construction in use
  • Location and appropriateness of the server room and/or wiring closet
  • Measuring distances of the various cable runs
  • Determining whether an IDF (intermediate distribution point) will be required.  For larger spaces, or spaces containing many company divisions, it is often necessary or beneficial to have multiple wiring closets to separate logical divisions in a network, or to extend a network beyond 300 feet from the MDF (main distribution point, usually the main wiring closet or server room).
  • Determining whether any special cabling will be required, such as fiber optic to connect remote IDF’s, CAT6 over CAT5e for spaces that might cause interference in data transmissions

Once a cabling professional has been able to physically survey your new or existing location, they will then take the information they have gathered to provide you with a quote.  It is a good idea to get multiple quotes from different vendors.

Learn more at:  www.wilsontechgroup.com

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