Re: Oh Dear, Where to start?!

From: Jason K. Boykin (
Date: 06/25/03

  • Next message: chris: "Re: Firewall on server itself"
    To: Steve Frank <>
    Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2003 12:49:51 -0500

    On Wednesday 25 June 2003 06:55 am, Steve Frank wrote:
    > What I need advice on is the following: If you were
    > introduced to a mixed network (literally all versions
    > of windows since 3.1 and mac systems) that have no
    > updates, backups, or patches installed... connected to
    > a network with only a basic NAT table and no other
    > security... with not even anti-virus software
    > enabled... with no user policies or disaster plans in
    > place... with unprotected netbios shares everywhere...
    > where would you start the process of building some
    > sort of security solution?
    > I mean, I've seen passwords on monitors, shared
    > accounts, open public ports (even the wiring cabinet
    > was unlocked in plain view of passbys to the
    > building). I've been tasked with creating the security
    > policies relating to internet use, network and phone
    > use, passwords, physical security, backup/disaster
    > plans, antivirus, incident response, email
    > use/protection, and whatever else needs done. This
    > wouldnt be so bad normally I guess, but there is
    > virtually no budget allocated to help for this project
    > and I have approximately 3 months to do it. To make
    > matters worse, I am also responsible for systems
    > admin, network admin, tech support, programming, and
    > whatever other tasks may need to be done in the
    > meantime.
    > So basically, if you had to start from nothing, where
    > would you start first? What would you consider to be
    > the most important things to be implemented? I am
    > literally working from ground zero here... heh!
    > Thank so much in advance ;-)
    > Steve Frank

    I think the first step would be to get your policy on paper and mail that out
    in a way everyone can understand. Explain why they need to follow these
    rules. This policy should include good password practices, do not share
    passwords, do not share your drives without permission, do not open e-mail
    attachments unless you are expecting it from someone you know etc. Mostly
    stuff that would be common sense for a net admin that users dont think about.
    The Art of Deception by Kevin Mitnick is a pretty good book about all this.
    On top of social engineering it covers a lot of common technical security.

    Have everyone change their passwords.

    Next step would be to get rid of all the unneeded shares and set up groups who
    can access needed shares.

    Get a firewall up and maybe put snort or another ids behind the firewall.

    At some point you need to get all those machines patched.

    Theres lots of software out there for backups. Windows XP has one, I think
    its just called backup or something like that. If you want to go the Linux
    direction check out amanda. If you dont have a whole lot of linux experiance
    that might take more time than its worth

    It would prolly help the anti-virus situation to scan incomming mail on the
    server before the users get to it. Find a free online virus scanner and send
    out e-mails to everyone every few weeks asking them to scan their machines or
    since your an admin you could do it remotely for them while they are out.
    Your firewall should help keep a lot of the bad packets out from the net.

    Sounds like you have a very large task to fulfill in 3 months time. I just
    think get everything on paper, spend a few days researching then tackling it
    should go fairly smoothly. Hope this helps you.

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