Magazine article Security Management

Keeping Computers Safe and Healthy

Magazine article Security Management

Keeping Computers Safe and Healthy

Article excerpt

Protecting computer data in the face of virus scares, hacker practical jokes, and decentralized information storage may seem daunting, and it is. But knowledge of the threats, vulnerabilities, and security basics can help.

Mitchell Zahler, director of PC and LAN security for Productivity Management Group Inc. of Newark, NJ, spoke on network security at the National Computer Security Association's first International Virus Prevention Conference and Exhibition.

Zahler opened with the following five rules of security:

* Security exposures should never be ignored.

* Security should be transparent to the user.

* Security should never reduce s functionality.

* Security should be implemented by a specialist.

* Security should not be too costly.

Zahler identified one of the biggest obstacles to network security as removable media (disks, tapes, etc.). "When we started using removable media, security went downhill," he said. But the only real solution to this problem is the diskless workstation.

Zahler said, "If you have a diskless workstation, I guarantee you'll never have a virus." Yet, not many people are ready to give up their disk drives. For those who absolutely need floppy drives, he suggested having certain workstations behind locked doors that are capable of reading disks. …

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