Cost of ethernet switches has dramatically decreased

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cost of Ethernet switches has dramatically decreased so they are not out of the budget reach of the normal corporate enterprise. Physical Security Physical security is one of the more important areas of computer security but it is also one of the most often overlooked. Systems (servers) and critical equipment should not be easily accessible and should not be accessible to non IT staff. Many companies do not have their critical systems behind locked doors. In some workplaces servers can be seen sometimes stuck in hallways or open closets. The threat is real that an inside threat would be the actual theft of the entire file or email server. A related issue is that battery backup and fire prevention systems are needed to provide disaster recovery for the servers.
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Another exposure of physical security is that a hacker can more easily gain access to network systems from inside the network perimeter. Being on the local area network can often totally circumvent the firewall. Not only is access to systems easier from inside the network it is also much faster. This is where site security with access cards and alarm systems meets the threat. The Network Security Center of the University of Chicago has the following recommendations related to physical security: - Access Control. Control access to the machine itself, only authorized people should be able to get to the machine, put machines behind doors that are locked when the machine is unattended. - Power and Electricity. Have some sort of power conditioning such as a Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). - Climate and Environment. Make sure that the systems are not in a room where they will overheat, temperature should generally be 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit, install heating and cooling systems with air filters to protect against dust. - Smoke and Fire. Fire extinguishers should be able to handle electrical devices, use automated fire suppression systems, install smoke detectors near machines. - Backups. Store tape backups in a secure location, store some data offsite. - General Advice: o Don't put your machines behind glass walls where people can watch passwords being typed in. o If you have raised floors or dropped ceilings make sure that walls extend to the ceilings and floors so that they can not just be climbed over. o Install a monitoring system that monitors the physical environment and warns you of and dangerous changes. o Have a written disaster recovery plan which outlines a plan of action in case of natural disaster which destroys hardware and renders the room which stores your machine unusable. o Store important machines in machines in machine rooms which often provide many of these services and more.
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Authentication The corporate enterprise should entertain the use of an authenticating system. Solutions include products such as Cisco Secure Server, Security Dynamics SecureID, and Remote Access Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) compliant or Terminal Access Controller Access Control System (TACACS) compliant authentication servers. Other authentication
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