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
  • Vista UAP (User Account Protection) - too much? First let me tell you I have not seen first hand Microsoft's Vista UAP (User Account Protection) I cannot then claim firsthand experience with it, the following is and will be based on what I have read plus how it relates and compares to linux and "run as" functionality. George......
  • Exporting an active linux desktop with vnc, or vnc remote desktop under linux There are lots of ways to get a remote desktop under linux, remote X, nxserver, vnc. One of the problems though is the most common configuration doesn't let you connect to a running desktop session. There is a vnc component that let's you do this and I'm using it right......
  • Network Security guide for the home or small business network - Part 2 - A Software Firewall Do I really need a hardware firewall? I'm running XP Service Pack 2 with the built in firewall? (or norton, or zonealarm?) Well, personal firewalls (the name that software firewalls go by) are good for a great many things that hardware firewalls AREN'T. They do have their limitations though and......
Blog Traffic Exchange Related Websites
  • Preparing for Winter Running Winter running is a challenge because of many different factors. Depending on where you live, you may have to face conditions which will include snow and ice. If nothing else, you will have to face lower than usual temperatures. This is enough to cause some people to put off running......
  • How to Regain Momentum After Skipping Runs [/caption]If we're being honest, it's not always easy to keep a consistent running schedule. There are some obsessive-compulsive exercisers who would probably feel miserable if they missed a run, but for the rest of us, we occasionally trip up and find ourselves in need of some momentum. Anyone who's ever......
  • MyFasterPC Review (Why It's Not Worth the Money). I don't usually do software reviews, but software development is my day job and I know a lot of people are looking to save time and money by keeping their old PCs (or even newer PCs!) in top running condition. I've been seeing a lot of commercials for MyFasterPC.com and......
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