ISC   Information Support Concepts, Inc
A Certified Woman Owned Business Enterprise (WBE)

Issue 19

Publisher:  Jack Burlin                                Editor:  Patti Hammonds

January 5, 2007

IN THIS ISSUE
Your success story            Monthly product special            Kevinisms            Trivia         

Articles of Interest:  Top 10 Reasons that Small to Medium Businesses Need Intrusion Prevention Services

            Part 19:  "When is a toilet like a salt shaker?"

Back to ISC Main Page

Your Success Story

All, 

 I just wanted to e-mail you and tell you about my experience dealing with ISC and, specifically, Binh Lam.

 I am very pleased with the service, professionalism, and product knowledge that Binh has demonstrated.  It was an absolute pleasure working with him.

 We are a full service Electrical and Control Systems Integrator.  We have expertise in many industries including ethanol, food, pharmaceutical, agricultural products, wastewater treatment, refining, etc.  Most of our work is industrial (PLCs, HMIs, App servers, Ethernet, etc.) and we purchase many industrial enclosures of all different sized configurations and ratings (NEMA12, 4, 4x, etc.).  Every once in a while we have needs that are out of the norm for us and this was one of them.

 Binh worked very hard to find exactly what I needed.  He listened and then offered a solution.  Because of our business, we are always “encouraged" to seek multiple quotes for equipment.  From past experiences, I have always considered service as a value added component.

 Binh’s attitude and service pretty much negated any price differences.  They were the main reasons I decided to place an order with ISC.

 I would not hesitate to work with ISC again, if and when the need arises.

 Thank you for the excellent experience,

 Christopher A. Brown
 Project Manager

     Note:  ISC is continually looking for new and innovative cabinet products to meet the special needs of our clients.

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Monthly Product Special

 

 

Information Support Concepts (ISC) is now an Authorized National Partner for a full line of intrusion prevention services called Sentinel IPS™.  Sentinel IPS is a complete, affordable managed-service appliance, designed specifically for any small to medium sized businesses operating on the internet.

 If you are doing business on the internet or host your own mail server, web services or other applications, like VPN; then you are operating with open firewall ports on your firewall.  Open firewall ports are vulnerable and can be exploited by hackers and malicious users; "bad guys."

 The threat is real and growing.  Sophisticated, automated penetration tools are getting better and are being shared.  If your network has not been exploited yet, you may know someone whose system has been.  Firewalls are no longer enough.  Intrusion detection and prevention technology is becoming a requirement in the banking, health care and government markets by their auditors.   Protecting private and confidential information is becoming a real concern in all industries.  Damage caused by lost or stolen information can be extremely expensive.

                                      The Sentinel IPS technology and business model is unique in the industry:

                                                       *  A complete managed service appliance;
                                                       *  Installs ‘outside’ of your firewall;
                                                       *  Requires no upfront hardware purchase and
                                                       *  Leased on an open-ended, affordable 90 day invoicing plan. 
 

                                                       Everything is included in the service:

                                                       *  Maintenance
                                                       *  24/7 monitoring
                                                       *  Updates, upgrades etc.
                                                       *  If it breaks, it’s replaced at no charge 

Sentinel IPS is the most sophisticated gateway intrusion prevention system on the market.  It recognizes and records all attempts to infiltrate your network and through our patent pending technology we call Network Cloaking™, your network becomes hidden from the bad guys.  “They can't hack what they can't see!"  And lastly, you will spend little or no time managing the system.  We use the term “just fix it and send me a report."

 ISC is making this system available at no obligation for up to 30 days to qualified companies.  Please contact us to determine if you qualify for this free on-site security audit & assessment offer.  You will find out what is really going on at your gateway.  Call 800-458-6255 for more information.

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Top 10 Reasons that Small to Medium Businesses Need Intrusion Prevention Services
by Jack Burlin

    Many of you might be thinking… "What the heck is Intrusion Prevention Services???"  And then the next thought might be … "And why do I need it?"

    The Internet has become critical to us in all aspects of our daily lives.  That’s a fact.  And with the convenience of the Internet, comes the increasingly daunting concern over internet fraud, identity theft, medical records getting into the wrong hands, Social Security numbers being breached on computers, military records getting hacked into and a myriad of other woes.  Almost daily we read in the headlines of some 12 year old hacking into business computers, compromising financial and personnel records that could cause unlimited damage over the long term.

    The vast majority  of intrusions are being done by hackers using random algorithms to shotgun the internet with numeric combinations in the hopes of pinging a live address.  These programs create millions of random combinations of numeric addresses in the hopes that they will be able to penetrate an open port on a firewall.

    Many companies mistakenly believe that implementing a firewall will protect them and their corporate data from hacking threats.  Good in theory…. But it doesn’t work that way.  The reason is that in order to allow corporate communication, data, or emails, to leave the corporate Intranet and move into the Internet, a port must be opened in the secure firewall.  Think of building a secure wall around a fortress, but then creating an open door from which to leave.  And once you open that port or door, not only can communications leave, but hackers can come into your Intranet.

    So, in other words, your corporate data is only as secure as your weakest link, and in this case it’s an open port.  Have I got your attention yet?  Maybe you placed a call to your IT department to check this out.  Now that we have established a potential security problem, what can be done to resolve it?

    Intrusion Prevention (IP) Services resides in front of your firewall, thus preventing hackers from getting through your firewall and finding that open port.  The real issue is why you need Intrusion Prevention Services. 

The top 10 reasons small and medium sized businesses need Intrusion Prevention Services are:

1.  Internet based Intrusion attempts are increasing yearly at an almost exponential rate.
CERT (computer emergency response team – Carnegie Mellon University) stated in 2002 that by the end of 2006, hackers and malicious attempts to penetrate corporate networks would become the single largest problem on the internet.  As users and uses become more sophisticated, so will the threats to the security of your data. 

      2.  Hackers are getting better, and sharing their information with others.
Sophisticated penetration and hacking tools are becoming more and more available.  Hackers do not have to be ‘Black Belt’ experts to do well.  Unfortunately, hackers find great glee in sharing the secrets of their “trade".  Think about all the computer games that have back door cheat sheets into their games.  They look at it as a game, with serious consequences for you.

      3.  Organizations worldwide are becoming more dependent on the Internet.
The number and complexity of applications used on and over the Internet is increasing rapidly.  Daily, we rely on the Internet for personal and professional communications and transactions, assuming the data is safe.

      4.  The number of successful network intrusions and hacks will continue to rise.
The report of successful hacks is almost a weekly occurrence in national and local news feeds.  When data is compromised, the consequences can be staggering.  Recently a friend received a letter from a past employer that stated that their personnel data had been compromised and that they would provide personal credit services for the next three years to ensure that they did not have any problems from their breech in security.  Gee, thanks, .... I think.

      5.  Firewalls are no longer enough.
Almost all firewalls have ‘Open Ports’ to the Internet.  Opening a port anonymously is the same as turning off the firewall on that port.  IP systems actively filter all data moving through open ports; especially when placed in front of the firewall.  Remember, if you can get out… they can get in.

      6.  Compliance with applicable laws (SOX, GLB, HIPAA, ISO 17799, etc.)
You are legally bound  to do everything reasonable to protect company records and sensitive data.  You can be liable for criminal and civil penalties if you don't.  This is really a new frontier.  It is yet to be determined just how liable a  company is in protecting your customers' personal data, and what legal recourse customers may have when it is compromised.  Expect to see landmark legal decisions in this area, and it won’t be pretty.

7.  Understanding corporate responsibility.
Directors and Officers of organizations may have a legal requirements to protect private data and digital assets.  Fiduciary responsibility and liability is becoming more and more a legislated issue.  The public and courts systems are holding Directors and Officers accountable for corporate actions as we have seen in many recent events.  This will become more of an issue as damages are determined by the court systems. 

8.  Automated reporting for HIPAA, GLB, SOX, and ISO 17799 compliance.
Many company audits now require comprehensive reporting of network security logs and intrusion attempts.  Due to the emphasis on data protection, company audits concerning data protection and security are impacting corporate standings and stock prices.  We have seen where corporations have lost public confidence and financial backing due to security breaches.  An auditor's job is to ensure you are compliant, and have the records to prove it.

9.  IP Systems actively remediate intrusion attempts.
In contrast to Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), Intrusion Prevention systems don’t just send alerts and wait for you to take action.  This is a little like closing the barn door after the horse is already gone.  Rather, the IP system will just fix it and send a report and tell you what was done. While it is important to know what happened, it is much more important to know that an intrusion was attempted but not successfully completed.  This is where the value lies in Intrusion Prevention Systems.

      10. A Properly designed IP System saves time and money.
Network administrators have neither the time nor resources to devote to managing complex security technology.  IPS is a critical component in your network topography, but can become unmanageable if not properly designed and implemented.  An IP System's  value lies in its ability to quickly deter any intrusion attempts and provide timely reporting of any and all activities, without requiring active participation or action by administrators.

Intrusion Protection is a critical factor in the security of company data and communication capability.  It is so critical that breaches in data integrity can negatively impact the viability of a company .  IP Systems allow you to benefit from the positive features of the Internet while negating the impact of network intrusion.  

Call us at 800-458-6255 for more information on Intrusion Prevention, and to find out if you qualify for a free on-site security audit and assessment from ISC.
 

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Kevinisms

A Kevinism is a funny or intriguing statement or idea from our Vice President of Sales, Kevin Hunt.  Kevin is a big fan of Sandra Bullock, Pizza Inn black olive pizza, and Dr. Pepper (not necessarily in that order).  He is not a big fan of Chinese food, seafood, or other types of "dead" stuff.

Sometimes Kevin has some pretty good ideas.  If you go back to newsletter #1, you will see this Kevinism:

"Our inaugural Kevinism is a classic called "flavorshot."  Flavorshot is Kevin's idea for duck hunters.  Instead of steel shot, why not use a specially manufactured pellet that is a hard, dense combination of spices?  That way, you don't have to worry about finding the steel shot, you just cook the bird and it seasons itself!"

Well, if you can believe it, someone is actually putting this idea into production.  The article I saw did not specifically site duck hunting as the beneficiary of the idea, but I don't see how you could deer hunt with a flavorshot  equivalent to a lead bullet.  Perhaps they have figured out a way.  The production version is going to be available in multiple flavors, so you can have Southwestern, Cajun, and other styles.

Kevin was very excited when he found the article explaining that his idea was being put into production.  I don't know if the person actually behind this effort is aware that Kevin has copyright.  It will be interesting to see if there is any opportunity for Kevin to claim royalties from the sale of the product.

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Trivia Question

Q:  Who played the role of Liberty Valance in the 1962 film, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance?

All correct answers will be placed into a pool for a random drawing at the end of the month.  The winner will receive a free 25 foot reel of reusable velcro cable ties (part number MD88-25RLBK), plus free ground shipping.  Send your answers to:  Jack Burlin

See next month's newsletter for the winner and the correct answer.

Answer from December's Newsletter.

Q:  What is the relationship between the Lone Ranger and the Green Hornet?

Note:  We are NOT looking for "similarity" type answers like these:
Special conveyance: 
     The horse "Silver" (Lone Ranger),
     The car "Black Beauty" (Green Hornet)
Special sidekicks: 
     Tonto (Lone Ranger),
     Kato (Green Hornet)
Special weaponry: 
     Silver Bullets (Lone Ranger),
     Sting Gun (Green Hornet)
Both are "masked men"

A:  The Lone Ranger was named Jonathan Reid.  His nephew Dan Reid ran the silver mine that was the source of the silver bullets, and later the family's wealth.  The Green Hornet was the secret identity of Britt Reid, who was the son of Dan Reid.  So the Lone Ranger was the Green Hornet's great-uncle.

The winner was Jason Hilton.
Congratulations from the "Rackmount Ranger" and from ISC!
 

            

 

When is a toilet

 like a salt shaker?

 

Part 19  Continued from December 2006

     Since the October 2005 issue the following personality types have been defined:
 

The men who prefer the toilet seat up are: Macho Men
The women who prefer the toilet seat up are: Fairy Godmothers
The men who prefer the toilet seat down are: Men of Leisure
The women who prefer the toilet seat down are: Queens of the Realm
The men who prefer the lid down are: Paleolithic Men
The women who prefer the lid down are: Interior Decorators
The men who have no preference are: Philosopher Kings
The women who have no preference are: Warrior Princesses


     In the July issue, we used the chart below to address the conflicts that can arise when different personalities interact within the same household.  Conflict is    inevitable when multiple personalities interact, although the level of conflict differs depending on which of the four types of men are interacting with which of the four types of women.  We have already gone over the intersections where no conflict exists (NC).  This month we are going to cover the instances of possible conflict, represented below by the + OR - symbol.

  Macho Man Man of Leisure Paleolithic Man Philosopher King
     Fairy Godmother NC + OR - + OR - + OR -
     Queen of the Realm ++ NC + +
     Interior Decorator ++ + OR - ++ +
     Warrior Princess NC NC NC NC

     Here is what the symbols in the above grid represent:

     NC = no conflict,     + OR - = possible conflict,     + = minor conflict,     ++ = major conflict

Conflict Resolution

     This section addresses the ultimate goal of this book.  Once people understand which personality types are represented in their homes, they can take steps to reduce or eliminate the conflicts that exist.  It can also be important for people to understand why they may not have any conflict, if in fact none exists.

     We can review the last few issues in order, and examine the best ways to eliminate the conflicts that exist.  Keep in mind however, that this book is not designed as a highly detailed psychoanalysis of anyone.  Even though there are generally four personality types for each sex, there are probably multiple gradations within each type.  Just keep things light and remember to have some fun.  If all else fails, at least you will understand your partner and their motivations a little better.

     Conflict Resolution - Minor Conflicts

     The Macho Man has a major conflict with both the Queen of the Realm and the Interior Decorator.  Conflicts of this type are unlikely to be resolved.  It may just be too tough for anyone to change.  These are strong personality types that are ingrained over a lifetime.  If the position of the toilet seat were a more important aspect of daily life, then there might be more pressure to resolve the conflicts.  But being relatively minor in nature, this toilet seat conflict tends to go unresolved when no one is willing to take the time or make the effort to change.  In these cases, the best that can be hoped for is that both parties agree to disagree.

     Over time, it is possible that one party or the other will decide the conflict has become more than a minor irritant.  In that case, the determination to do something about the issue becomes strong enough to create action.  Even though they won't change their basic type, for purposes of getting along with their partner they will "temporarily" adopt their partner's preference.  This is in contrast to the permanent changes that take place with the other levels of conflict resolution.  In these cases the Macho Man "acts" like a Man of Leisure.

     There is also a major conflict between the Paleolithic Man and the Interior Decorator.  However, since they both like the toilet seat down, but for different reasons, the conflict shifts.  Rather than being centered on the toilet the conflict starts to encompass the entire bathroom environment, or even the whole home environment.  The Paleolithic Man and the Interior Decorator will find they concur about the preferred position of the toilet seat, but will find they argue about nearly everything else.  So the toilet seat question is resolved, but also somehow escalated into something larger and more difficult to resolve.

Continued next month in our final chapter.

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Information Support Concepts, Inc.
Mansfield, Texas

ISC, Information Support Concepts, Inc. offers an Extensive Selection of Quality 19

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