Good morning everybody! 

I was on WGAN this morning with Matt Gagnon. I went into a little detail about what a Zero Trust Security Model is and how it differs from a traditional network design and why you should be considering this type of system.  Then we discussed the future of computing and why Chromebooks are so popular. Here we go with Matt.

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Automated Machine Generated Transcript:

Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] Morning, Craig Peterson here. 

Hey, if you’ve ever wondered about Chromebooks and if you should get one, talked with Matt about that. Matt Gagnon, of course, I’m on every Wednesday morning with him. Also zero trust. Why is the national security agency pushing a whole new way of thinking? When we’re talking about our computers. So here we go. 

Matt Gagnon: [00:00:26] Seven 36 WGAN morning news on a Wednesday morning. That means it’s time to talk to Craig Peterson, our tech guru. You hear him on this very station on Saturdays at one o’clock to hear more depth of detail about these very stories we’ll be talking to him about right now. Craig, how are you this morning, sir?

Craig Peterson: [00:00:41] Hey, I am doing really quite well. I’m looking forward to spring. It’s been actually a nice winter. 

Matt Gagnon: [00:00:48] What are you doing, man? You’re tomorrow, there’s going to be some sort of blizzard because you just said that you are now tempting fate. I already had to walk outside yesterday.

 I got gas in my car. Sadly, I had to, I had no choice. The wind hurt my face. Okay. That happened yesterday, 

Craig Peterson: [00:01:03] We were outside pouring diesel into our generator because there was no power and it was really cold. 

Matt Gagnon: [00:01:10] It really was. It was frozen. Terrible. I was actually reminded of my old college days. March in from the perimeter parking lot and the wind and the cold just beating me to death on my way in. It was not good yesterday. 

Craig Peterson: [00:01:24] I keep reminding people where that comes from. It comes from Russia. They blow it over the North pole in order to destroy our economy. 

Matt Gagnon: [00:01:31] Yes, they do. And there’s so many things that those Russians do, those pesky Russians.

Craig Peterson: [00:01:34] Canada gets caught in the cross hairs. It’s just not fair to them, 

Matt Gagnon: [00:01:38] You might say, Craig, that I have zero trust in Russia. See where I’m going with this one. Could you tell me what a zero-trust security model is and why it perhaps should be something that people embrace? 

Craig Peterson: [00:01:50] This is a concept that’s relatively new, at least to most people. The whole idea behind it is we have. To assume in this day and age that our systems have already been compromised. Not just that they might get compromised, but they have.

So when we’re setting up networks for businesses, we look at things in a much different way. It’s no longer about the perimeter. Trying to keep people out. The NSA, the national security agency, used to call it no such agency. The NSA has come out with a warning to be bold and also a description of what to do.

 The idea is you’ve got things inside your network. You’ve got a printer, that’s connected to the network. You’ve got laptops, desktops, a server. None of them should be able to talk to anything else on the network that it doesn’t absolutely need to talk to. It’s like the lowest privilege type thing.

So for instance what I do on my office network is the printers are on a completely different network that is firewalled from the servers, which are firewalled from the desktop which are firewalled from the laptops.  The printers can not get to anything else on the network unless first someone’s trying to send them a print job. It’s just an example of it. You don’t want the laptops to be able to scan. 

We have a customer who just this week, he has a little SonicWall firewall and SonicWall’s are okay, but he hasn’t been updating it for three years. It hasn’t been supported in years either. That little SonicWall firewall was then used to get into his network and start spreading. It got around the firewall because he was using it for a VPN controller.  Then it started crawling all the way through this network and playing all kinds of havoc, internally. Again. If that firewall couldn’t have gotten to a machine and then that machine starts probing everything else, it couldn’t have spread.

In other words, the zero-trust only allows machines to talk to each other that absolutely need to talk to each other and only using the protocols that they’re supposed to.  I’ve seen many times, which is the sales guy is tinkering around and is getting into the accounting data.  Why are you doing that? They should not be allowed to, so that’s the bottom line. 

This is a real big deal. We’ve got to start building our networks with the assumption that they have already been compromised. How are we going to control it? If it’s compromised? 

Matt Gagnon: [00:04:34] Craig Peterson tech guru joins us at this time on Wednesdays going over to the world of technology.

Another interesting story that I saw here this morning, Craig, was that Chromebooks apparently outsold Macs worldwide in 2020. That’s something that surprised me a little bit here. I didn’t realize that the market penetration, if you will, of the Chromebook, was that deep, but apparently, it is. What does this mean for the industry?

Craig Peterson: [00:04:54] Yeah, it’s interesting because you’re talking about it surpassing the Mac and it sounds like maybe Chromebooks are leaning into Apple. In fact, these things are very lightweight computers. They’re typically a tablet, maybe a laptop and they’re running an operating system that comes from our friends at Google called Chrome OS.

It is really designed for being online, although you can store files locally. Where it’s been eating into is people that have been running Windows for years. Those Windows machines have been getting more and more expensive. Intel is just not keeping up with everything, particularly from the price standpoint. Putting a chip into Chromebook that is a non-Intel chip.  It is way cheaper than Intel, we’re talking to 10th or less of the price allows them to make these devices very inexpensive. You can go to a big-box retailer. You can get a little Chromebook device for 150 bucks at the low end. Now you’ve got a computer that can go online, get edit word documents, or spreadsheets, whatever you might want to do. Can talk to the grandkids or get on a business call, all right there from the Chromebook. 

 It is hurting the Wintel monopoly, which is the Windows-Intel, a monopoly, if you will, that has been around for so long.  It’s a direction that Apple is following the Apple’s computers will all be using non-Intel chips within the next two years, all of them. They already have computers out with these new chipsets. 

That’s the bottom line, they really have gained some significant market share. People love them. I’ve got also mentioned here, not just regular people security researchers love the Chromebooks. They are very secure, but remember, we’re talking about Google, their business is selling your information. They’re not going to sell your files, but they’re going to keep track of you.

The other big driver of the Chromebook sales is schools because now we have so many kids at home going to school, the school says, Hey, you got to buy a $300 Chromebook for your kid for school. That’s much easier to swallow than a thousand-dollar Mac or a $700 Windows laptop.


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