Craig discusses problems that businesses can face when using VPNs and why you should be looking to a Zero-trust network if you are running a business today.

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Automated Machine-Generated Transcript:

Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] We’ve talked about the security cameras on our networks before and of course the internet of things. A new study is out is really very, very concerning to business people and frankly, to even homeowners. So we’re going to get into that right now.

Hi everybody. You’re listening to Craig Peterson, and so glad to have you here. Let’s get into this big problem. Now that we have uncovered.

There’s a new survey that was done by a research firm called Vanson Bourne. And it was done on behalf of Palo Alto Networks. Now Palo Alto networks are one of the competitors for Cisco and others, who make network equipment. Palo Alto network stuff is pretty decent. They’ve certainly had their fair share of problems lately, but so has everybody else.

I’m much more into things over at Cisco that has pretty much everything you need and it’s nicely integrated. Palo Alto networks, good people. I know a few people that will work for them. I know some people that absolutely swear by their stuff. So don’t think you’ve got Palo Alto networks here you’re a completely out of luck, cause you’re not. They’ve got some pretty decent stuff

Let’s get into the survey I found it to be very interesting. When we go into a business, the first thing we typically have to do is scan the network. You must have to have an audit of the devices that are on your network? And then we scan the devices themselves. Typically that means their servers. Whether they’re windows servers, Linux servers, we scan them. See what services they have running, which ports they have open on the local firewalls. We scan them all for any sort of malware that might be on them, spyware, et cetera.

Then we move on to really identify the versions of software they’re running. In many cases, if you’re running Windows, you probably have done some patches, but some 50 ish percent, depending on the number you want to use and whose numbers you trust. About half of all windows, computers are not patched up and something like 30%, 40% of windows computers have never, ever been patched. But let’s assume that they have, let’s assume that you’re on top of your game. You are the person assigned to it in the business. Maybe you are an IT professional. You’ve had some training, you have some certifications, so you’re off and running things are going great for you, right. You have kept it up to date.

We’re moving to the next level, which is our, our macs or our macs up to date. Well, they just keep themselves up to date automatically for the most part.

But remember Windows is just the operating system. Mac iOS is just the operating system. How about all the other apps that you have on those computers? All of the applications. There are all a lot of them there and it’s everything from maybe the Microsoft office apps that hopefully you’ve got set up to do an automatic update. But it’s also all of those other little apps that you’ve put on your computer over the years, that by the way is another good reason to re-install your operating system every once in a while, make sure you have a good backup, make sure you test it before you do the reinstall and don’t just, re-install everything.

Don’t just restore that backup blindly, but actually restore the software. That you need. Okay. The data files you need because there are so many pieces of software. We have not been keeping up to date.

So you are the world’s best IT administrator and you’ve got all of the computers up to date, all of the apps, only applications that you really need are actually there on the computer. You’re not getting tainted by any of this other stuff that’s going on, right? Oh, you are so, so good. Congratulations.

But let’s have a look at the other devices on your network. This is where the survey from the research from Vanson Bourne really raises some questions. They surveyed 1,350  IT, which is of course information technology decision-makers in the US and 13 other countries so that’s a pretty decent sized survey.

I don’t know if these people were self-identified or how exactly they came up with those numbers. You can find it this whole survey if you wanted to download it over on Palo Alto Networks. There’s a lot of good information that you can glean from the survey it’s good stuff all the way around.

It’s the connected enterprise IoT security report for 2020 is what it’s called. These decision-makers, these 1,350 decision-makers in IT were asked questions to identify the strangest IoT devices they found connected to their organization’s networks.

Now let’s define the internet of things devices here for a minute. We’ve already, we’ve concluded here that you are the IT guru, right? You know enough to keep windows up today to remove the apps, to keep your macs up to date. how about some of the other devices that are on your network?

I’m not going to mention security cameras because I talked about them all the time. Right.

 How about your printers? Have you updated the firmware in your printers? That’s part of the reason we use higher-end Xerox printers. They all auto-update themselves, which is really nice and we can delay the updates, et cetera because again, those printers are computers that are attached to your network. Even the ones that are attached by a USB cable, although they’re a little bit less dangerous than something that’s internet-connected or ethernet connected.

How about some of the other devices? Do you have a scanner attached to your network? Do you have a fax machine attached to your network? I know a lot of doctor’s offices you have to have a scanner, you have to have a fax machine.

If you buy one nowadays the odds are extremely high that they are connected to your network and maybe write directly to your file server. Have you restricted the access that they have on the file server to make sure they’re not doing nasty stuff?

44% of these 1,350 IT businesses, decision-makers almost half reported seeing wearable medical devices, 43% said they had encountered kettles coffee machines, and other connected kitchen appliances. People are doing that all the time and remember that this isn’t just in the business offices, this isn’t our homes, right? 38. Percent said the same of IP enabled sports equipment. We are seeing more and more of those. Have you seen like the commercials for Peloton or this mirror thing? This mirror thing is really kind of cool. You hang it on the wall. It’s kind of a mirror with a builtin display that lets you exercise with somebody remotely who is a coach, or maybe it’s a prerecorded class.

Some have had IP enabled sports equipment includes skipping ropes and weights. 34 present percent reported smart toys. 27% said they found smart vehicles on their network.

I want to make sure you guys pay close attention to your networks or whether it’s a home network or an office network. Make sure you segment the networks. As I mentioned in my video this week. Hopefully, you got that training video on Wednesday. Keep an eye out for them. Make sure you click through. I also, if you don’t want to watch the video, I also have the transcript there when you click through. So you can just read it pretty quickly. It’s like a minute to two-minute read and a three-minute video. So enjoy it and be careful out there.

Scan your networks and scan them frequently.

You’re listening to Craig Peterson.

Stick around. Cause we’ll be right back.

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