Network Security guide for the home or small business network – Part 4 – Know your software



Ok, so you’ve got a hardware firewall and you’ve got antivirus. You’re safe right? Well, not entirely. I’ve mentioned the flaws of antivirus. It’s always a step behind. A firewall doesn’t protect against unknown viruses, so what else is there to do? I’m going to tackle this in two steps. The first is to know what software is running on your system. Isn’t there a lot of that? How can I keep up?


Take an inventory of what software you typically use. Email program (maybe outlook express), web browser (internet explorer), are there any programs that you’ve given permission to listen for remote access on? (telnet servers, web servers, ssh servers, ftp servers???) inventory everything that either you run, or you have allowed through your firewall.

Beyond that, I would suggest you take a good look at the programs that run when your computer boots. (ctrl-alt-del should give a list of running processes under windows.) *(msconfig gives you options to control things starting at boot under windows). Identify what each one is. Search online, get an idea of what is “normal” for your system. systray is normally running for instance, explorer, make a list and make sure you know what they are. You don’t have to know what they DO, just identify them as “friendly”.

When I see an infested system, one of the first things I do is skim the msconfig list of what will run at startup and the ctrl-alt-del list of what IS running to see what looks safe and what might be questionable. Anything that I can’t identify I consider suspect and disable until I see evidence that it may be legit. In other words if a web search doesn’t turn up a conclusive “it’s ok”, I disable it. One problem is that I rarely know what is normal for the specific system I’m looking at. Yes, there are some things that are generic to most any windows system, others that I commonly run across, but some, more obscure, programs may look suspicious to someone unfamiliar with the system.

So, know what you run and use on a frequent basis and know what your computer loads at startup and is normal. Also, know if you’ve allowed any program to actively listen for connections as a server from your pc. (FTP server, http server, etc.)

Related Posts

Blog Traffic Exchange Related Posts
  • Network Security guide for the home or small business network - Part 1 - A Hardware firewall Computers can communicate over networks. (Surprise!) That's how you're reading this post. The machine that this site is hosted on is listening for requests for connection. When it receives a request it answers back with a web page. In fact, computers can listen for a great many different kinds of......
  • Is it a Hardware Problem or a Software Problem? Last night I was working with an older HP laptop and things hit the fan very quickly. I discovered I couldn't write a file to disk and before I knew it the system had thrown up to a black screen and needed the power cut to reboot. I immediately realized......
  • More on Explorer vulnerability Among other things... Sans has lowered the infocon to green, NOT that the threat is diminished, but there have been no new developments with regards to the announcement yesterday of a major Internet Explorer security vulnerability. Sans recommends browsing the web with firefox (with the noscript extension, so you can......
Blog Traffic Exchange Related Websites
  • How to wreck your business credibility and how to avoid it When running a small business your credibility is vital. You spend a lot of time and money building your credibility, reputation and integrity within your chosen market. So if I told you all that hard work could be completely destroyed, just by you failing to do something simple, would......
  • How To: Programmatically Open Folders Recently as a part of support activity, I came across a unique task. This application had a windows service running on cluster of 8 different servers. To ensure that windows service is up and running, I had to check the timestamps of the log files this service was updating periodically.......
  • Making the Most Out of Competition by Running for Charity Charity is alive and well in the modern culture. This is seen in the donation drives as well as the charitable events which are held every day. For those who are into running, there are many ways you can do your part by running for charity. While some people will......
en.pdf24.org    Send article as PDF   

Similar Posts


See what happened this day in history from either BBC Wikipedia
Search:
Keywords:
Amazon Logo

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Switch to our mobile site