Designing Home and SME Networks 13 – Network Security – Physical Security

Network security covers a multitude of issues. The last article referred to the security policy. This article discusses the threats posed by people – both from outside and inside – trying to steal your equipment and data and suggests some strategies to counter them.

Physical security

  1. The first issue to address is physical access to your network.
  2. If you’ve a wired network, don’t imagine that it’s necessarily proof against being broken/tapped into:

    • Do you have a live network port in a publicly-accessible room or an unsecured garden shed?
    • Do your childrens’ friends bring their laptops to visit?
    • Do you have a network cable tacked to the outside of your building or passing through an unsecured lobby?

    If so, or if you can think of any other way for unauthorised people to connect equipment to your network, you need to address these issues immediately. At the very least, someone may be using your resources without paying you. At worst, they could download all your confidential data or even erase it from your system…

    • Secure the room/shed or, better, unplug the cable from the router when you’re not using it (a pain, but better than having your private data stolen or corrupted).
    • Keep all cabling inside your secure perimeter.
    • Lay down the law about connecting other people’s computers to your network (see a later article about wi-fi security).
    • Make sure that your personal, private data is secured against being accessed from unauthorised computers connected to your network – most operating systems allow you to set usernames and passwords to control access to individual PCs and this should prevent illicitly connected computers reading your network shares.
    • Ensure that really sensitive data (such as bank or password data) is NEVER kept on a network share: It is best stored on a removable disk/pen drive that’s kept locked away.
    • If you’re really paranoid, set all your software to not remember your passwords to web sites etc. Of course, that means that you’ll have to…
  3. Consider how to stop people walking off with your computers and peripherals
  4. People worry about having TVs, DVD players and other domestic equipment stolen by burglars, but loss of your PC and all its stored data is much more serious, especially if you’ve got your bank or credit card details in a plain-text file on the hard disk! Most portable and desktop computers and many peripherals (such as routers and printers) come with a ‘Kensington lock’ slot: a small slot in the case that allows you to fit a security cable. Use it to attach your equipment to a solid fixing point:

    • Make sure that the cable lock goes through a HOLE – not just round a leg.
    • Make sure that the attached furniture item is HEAVY and LARGE. You can hide a laptop under your coat, but a desk is more obvious…
    • Best of all, provide proper anchors set into the wall or floor.
    • Since cables can be cut, consider using cable locks with alarms incorporated
    • IMPORTANT: Number your locks and keep spare, numbered keys in a secure location, so when the PC user loses the key or quits, you can get your computer back…

    Servers should be properly secured in a locked cabinet or cupboard. They can also be attached with cable locks or proprietary security devices, and the room/cupboard should be fitted with an alarm. As a matter of interest, more and more domestic entertainment devices (such as games consoles and TVs) are also being fitted with security slots. A job lot of cable locks will make loss to burglars less likely (although they may trash them out of pique!).

  5. Stopping visitors and employees stealing your data
  6. Businesses should remember that the greatest threat to your data is from your own employees. Carelessness and accident will be dealt with in a separate article, but employee or visitor theft or deliberate damage falls under the same heading as other break-ins. To reduce the risk of theft by staff or intruders:

    • Keep your data servers locked away in a secure room or cabinet – an alarm is a useful addition
    • Use security cables to secure devices, especially in areas accessible to the public
    • Keep to a minimum the number of staff that have access to the servers
    • Protect your data by using proxies (such as web services) between the front-end the users see and the data. Don’t allow ordinary users to log in to the servers that store your data and files. This helps to prevent wholesale downloads of valuable files and data.

Remember: Enforce your security policy…

Home Furniture – The Evolution of Home Furnishing

It’s rarely noticed but furniture has gone through it’s own transformation over the last few decades. There’s not a lot of super whizz bang technology involved. Nope. These changes have just made your furniture more comfortable, environmentally friendly and easier on your butt! Without the developments in cushions and support technology the world would just me a more painful place full stop.

Ever heard of the trustworthy storage Ottoman? It’s a charming addition to any living room space. It’s a fuss-free type of furniture that’s not a must for the style-conscious but it’s actually a heavy duty addition to your living room to organize stuff that would otherwise be lying around. Some of designs of the storage ottoman have covers that you can turn over to show a cup holder and just enough space for a plate. If you’re the typical couch potato who likes spending dinner in front of the TV, then the storage Ottoman allows you to get things organized minus those television trays! It’s the next best thing to having a best friend!

Did I mention television trays? That’s because we’re not done talking about it yet. Now I’m sure you’ve had the same problem with this kind of furniture too, because it has this unspoken hatred for couches! They never pull up to couches without a Herculean effort on your part, right? If you’re even luckier, it will get bumped at, and your dinner, fresh from the microwave goes flying all over your brand new carpet! Well now, TV lovers have reason to rejoice because this living room legacy is now installed with plastic legs that glide beneath the couch without a hitch! So you don’t have to share that soda with your living room rug! Don’t you wish this was invented earlier? Now spill-free TV times are something only your kids can totally appreciate…

Ever returned from the office with your back feeling like it was a hundred pounds heavier? I’m sure you’d give anything for a day at the spa. Too bad you haven’t got the time to spare! What if I told you that massaging chairs are all the rage these days? These are comparably more affordable than an actual home service from a masseuse or a spa session. All you have to do is to sit back, and sleep your stress away. If your budget is a bit limited, you can also purchase chair pads you can affix on your favorite chair at home! Meet your new masseuse, and look she’s clad in leather too!

Last and by no means least is the slipcover. This simple item is not usually considered an item of furnishing but it’s something that most couches can’t live without. Slipcovers prevent so much wear-and-tear on couches and help them blend in with any change in your interior d├ęcor. The fact that they’re washable means you won’t live in constant fear of your kids spilling juice or rubbing chocolate all over them. You can let your kids be kids without the risk of them destroying that new sofa of yours.

So as you can see furniture and furniture accessories have made a lot of progress over the last few decades – I’m sure you’d agree?

Elegant Home Furniture

Some basic items for the meal

The humble dining room table is a piece of furniture that has surely stood the test of time. There are different versions that have come into the fore but the basic structure remains the same. Our ancestors had very basic table manners and there was no room for sophisticated furniture in the rough lives that they lived. As life became easier we started to look for luxuries to enhance our existence. Thus items such as the dining room furniture were born. From palaces to the humble abode this became one of the symbols of a meal time. The market has responded by creating very wide diversity in the types of items that consumers can purchase. It is no longer the case that the standard holds sway.

The people that manufacture the furniture for the dining room have come up with versions that are quite interesting. You can have ones that are made of glass or wood or even some other modern material. The designs are open to the imagination of the people that are responsible and there are no firm rules about what you can do. This has opened up the world of creativity to the extent that many people are using the item as a fashion statement. It is no longer just a case of eating but also the method in which you eat. The humble domestic dining furniture is being elevated to iconic status by the eminent designers of the day. The results speak for themselves.

There are those practical people that do not believe that the importance of the furniture for domestic living should be exaggerated in any way. For them this is just about the marketing gimmicks that are used to ensure that the customers keep buying the product. There is some sympathy with this view especially if you look at some of the prices that are being charged. You could get a good car from the prices that are quoted from some pieces of furniture. This seems like a waste of money but for the people that have that money this is just a way of living. If you can buy an expensive homemade furniture items then you should not be put off your purchase.

For a family there are other reasons for purchasing a dining room table. This is the hub of the home and it is sometimes the only place that the entire family meets together. If there is no effort put into resolving the problem of disparate lives then the meal times will remain the default meeting forum. The people that are involved in managing this element will need to ensure that the furniture for the stylish home is not lost in the mist of time and the other elements that come in to affect the family. The homes that lack this sort of furniture might end up having their meals in front of the television. This habit will carry on with the children and will be very hard to break.

How To Choose The Right Home Furniture

Furniture is one of the most important fixtures that you can have in your home. This will not just give you a stylish look but it will it is also functional and useful. There are many furniture shops and designs that you can choose from, not to mention the enormous number of stores that you can visit either at your local furniture shop or in your area or in the internet the sources is really abundant. But the problem arises on where and how to find the right furniture for your home because of the many choices.

The first thing you need to assess when you want to buy furniture is the place where you will put it. Are you buying for your bed room, kitchen, and living room or for your lawn? You also need to consider the theme that you want to achieve, would you like to have traditional, conventional, contemporary look? Your budget is also a consideration, do you have enough budgets to buy expensive pieces of furniture or do you want to find chic furniture which you can afford. The material the your next piece of fittings will be made f should also be considered as there are many materials that you can choose from, wood, plastic, glass, metal, leather and many more. When you already have this thing in mind, it is easier for you to narrow down your choices and hopefully find the best pieces to fit your home.

The next thing in the process of searching for the best furniture for your home is where to find one. When you are not that busy, you can just drive around downtown and look at some of the furniture and fixture in your local shops but if you just cannot leave your home but you badly needed new furniture, you can still have what you need through the help of the World Wide Web. Online, there are a lot of furniture shops where you can browse and find some great looking furniture which will fit perfectly not just in your home but also in your budget.

Furniture is not cheap so you need to look for the one which will give your home the style that you need and will also last for a long time. List down your requirement for a furniture and search it over the internet or at local shops in your area.