Selecting a Business ISP Connection

You might think that choosing an internet connection plan was fairly straight forward after you’ve chosen a provider. After all most of them only have two or three options for home users which are normally listed in price order and supply different speeds and allowances. However many people are not aware that most ISP companies have two distinct categories one for residential users and the other for businesses. Now you might then think that if you don’t have a registered business that this doesn’t apply to you but that’s not so. Most ISPs are more than happy to let ordinary people register and use their business plans instead of the residential ones.


Many ISPs provide business internet plans that cost a little bit extra, but furthermore offer excellent features such as absolutely no throttling, no data caps, and even higher speeds. And the probabilities are that you can easily receive business internet in your house, regardless if you really have a business or otherwise. So why should you choose a business plan, is anything worth the increased expense that these plans come with?

What is “Business” Internet and Just How is It Different than an ordinary “Home” internet plan?

There are a number of important factors which set business internet plans apart from home internet, and supposing that you depend heavily on the internet in your everyday life, you may like to think about making the shift. Just like with just about anything, there certainly are benefits and drawbacks. Let’s begin along with the good stuff.

A few ISPs make available increased internet speeds (most notably upload speeds) for companies than they provide for domestic accounts. And that’s just the beginning.

It’s 2018, and even at this point the majority of ISPs are operating metered networks for home service, signifying you get a certain volume of data you are able to utilize monthly. Supposing that you go over that data cap, you get billed an overage. In the case of my service provider, if you go over your data bundle three times, they systematically bump you up to the next bundle, costing you more money. For various other ISPs, they might simply bill you additional monthly for what you use. And nevertheless others commence throttling your speed when you reach your data cap.

Nevertheless considering that businesses use more data (and also fluctuating amounts) on a month-to-month schedule, running a capped network does not make a great deal of sense. Most business internet schemes have zero data cap.   If you’re sick of having to watch every gigabyte you download, plan your download days around your billing cycle, or anything else involved in avoiding data overages, a business plan may be for you.

Unlimited usage is probably the most significant reason to consider a business plan over a home package, so if your home internet is already unlimited, a business plan may not be as enticing to you.  However you should be careful there are certain instances where a business connection can be unsuitable.  One of the primary issues is the classification of the IP address, which may different depending on the plans.  It’s possible that a business connection will supply a ‘business classified’ IP address, which can cause an issue for normal users.  Indeed many people actively pay for these home addresses as you can see in the following post about residential proxies.

The problem is that many commercial sites in an attempt to block spammers and automated connections have restricted access to those who have residential IP addresses.  For example if you connect to Netflix using a commercial address then you won’t be able to stream anything,.

When it comes to obtaining tech assistance from your ISP (for basic network problems ), it can be hit or miss on a home data plan. You might be waiting for ages and still just wind up with a generic answer from a script-reading employee.

Support for company plans often tends to be much better. In my circumstances, the wait times are a fraction of exactly what I’ve experienced in the past, and it feels like I’m speaking with a genuine person who really knows what they’re talking about– not someone just reading off a prompt.

In a perfect world, this would definitely be a non-issue, due to the fact that you ‘d certainly never have to call tech support. But we really don’t live in that world, so if having the best support you can obtain from your ISP is crucial, a business plan is a pretty good solution.

Not only that, but the support in general is much better. For example, I fairly recently got an e-mail to let me know my ISP would be performing some system upgrades in my area, so I could experience occasional issues while the repairs are taking place. Now when my’ internet drops for a couple of minutes, I know what’s up. I certainly never got anything like that when I was a home internet customer.

Our perception, though, is that ISPs have become more accommodating to providing business class internet at residential locations over recent years. And why not? Besides, the work-from-home types stand for a pretty large workforce nowadays, so why not offer them your services?

You may also be able to circumvent some of these qualifications (if you run into them) by talking with your ISP’s local rep. Whenever you call the business, it typically goes to a general call center, where they have no idea everything about you (or even care). If you can hit up a local office and speak with the local business representative, then you may be able to swing a change to a business plan with less hassle. Once again, it all just depends upon your location and your ISP.

Nonetheless, it deserves looking into. Maybe even at the increased price, the pros of business class internet often outweigh the cons.

Further Reading: Residential Proxies

Specialist Proxy Roles

A few years ago, there was no real variety in proxy servers.  Mostly they just sat in server rooms, caching and relaying information for corporate and educational networks.  The development of the proxy has run fairly parallel with the expansion of the internet.  In those early days, it was the primary gateway for accessing the web – the only device which was allowed access through the corporate firewall connecting clients with the internet.  However in the last decade this role has expanded and developed. There are now proxies all over the internet performing all sorts of roles and specialist functions.   This article discusses one of those specialist roles – the oddly named sneaker proxies.

Now to 99% of the population, this concept is going to sound a little unusual however it does highlight the importance of proxies today. The term tennis shoe proxies does not refer to some incredibly, stealthy setup of a proxy server more to the function they carry out. Prior to we discuss exactly what they in fact are and their function then we first need a little background.

This is all about the current fashion, and more particularly the current sneakers (maybe referred to as trainers outside the U.S.A). Now in my day, if you desired the trendiest trainers you ‘d wait for their release and pop down to the sports store and purchase them. Naturally life is much more complex nowadays and there’s really a choice of restricted edition sneakers that are quite in demand but extremely challenging to acquire. What occurs is the producer launches a minimal amounts of these and they do so in a really particular way to maintain demand.

  • Producer Releases Limited Edition Sneakers to Merchants
  • Middle Guys usually get them.
  • These are offered online to clients

This sounds easy however sadly, the demand is incredibly high worldwide and the producers only release an extremely small number of the tennis shoes. It’s really a crazy market and it’s exceptionally hard to get even a single pair of these tennis shoes if you play the game by the book. Basically even if you wait for notification and then immediately go to among these sneaker websites you ‘d have to be incredibly lucky to get even single pair. It’s so incredibly challenging to choose these up an entire sub market has been developed with supporting innovation to get them. So here’s exactly what you need and why using sneaker proxies is an important part of this battle.
If you just play the game, it’s pretty not likely you’re going to get any of these rare tennis shoe releases. If you’re desperate for the latest fashion or perhaps simply want to make a couple of bucks selling them on at an earnings then they’re are methods to significantly improve your opportunities of getting many pairs. All these releases are normally offered online from various tennis shoe expert sellers, however just wishing to click and purchase isn’t going to work.
So what do you require? How can you get a couple of and even great deals of these sports shoes? Well preferably there’s three components you have to practically guarantee at least a couple of sets.

A devoted server: now if you’re just after a few pairs for your self, then this action is probably not essential. If you’re in it for company and desire to maximise return it’s a smart investment. Tennis shoe servers are simply committed web servers preferably situated to the datacentres of the business like Nike, Supreme, Footsite and Shopify who provide these tennis shoes. You use these to host the next phase, the Bots and automated software application described below.

Sneaker Bots— there are a lot of these and it’s best to do your research study on what’s working best at any point in time. A few of the Bots work finest with particular websites, but they all work in a comparable method. It’s automated software which can keep getting specified tennis shoes without a human needing to sit there for hours pressing the buy button. You can set up the software application to simulate human behaviour with boundless persistence– requesting these tennis shoes day and night when they’re launched. You can run these bots on your PC or laptop computer with a fast connection although they’re more efficient on dedicated servers.

Sneaker Proxies
Now this is probably the most important, and frequently primarily forgotten step if you’re heading to become a tennis shoe baron. Automated software is excellent for sitting there gradually aiming to fill shopping baskets with the latest tennis shoes nevertheless if you try it they get prohibited pretty quickly. Exactly what takes place is that the retail websites quickly identify these several applications due to the fact that they’re all originating from the same IP address of either your server or your computer. As quickly as it takes place, and it will really quickly, they block the IP address and any demand from there will be overlooked– game over I’m afraid.

The Proxy is the Secret

If you don’t get the proxy phase correct then all the rest will be meaningless expenditure and effort. So what makes a correct sneaker proxy? Well there’s undoubtedly tons of free proxies around on the internet, and totally free is definitely excellent. However it’s pointless utilizing these and indeed exceptionally dangerous.
Free proxies are a combination of misconfigured servers, that is accidentally left open which people jump on and use. The others are hacked or taken control of servers intentionally exposed so identity thieves can utilize them to steal usernames, accounts and passwords. Given that you will need at some time to pay for these tennis shoes utilizing some sort of credit or debit card using free proxies to transmit your financial details is utter madness– do not do it.

Even if you do take place to pick a safe proxy which some dozy network administrator has left open, there’s still little point. They are going to be sluggish which indicates however quick your computer or sneaker server is, your applications will run at a snail’s rate. You’re unlikely to be effective with a sluggish connection and frequently you’ll see the bot timing out. The 2nd concern is that there is an essential part to the proxy which you’ll have to be successful and practically no complimentary proxies will have these– a residential IP address.

Lots of business sites now are aware of individuals using proxies, VPNs and residential IP services to bypass geoblocks or run automated software. They find it difficult to detect these programs but there’s a basic method which obstructs 90% of individuals who try– they prohibit connections from business IP addresses. Residential IP addresses are just allocated to home users from ISPs therefore it’s exceptionally challenging to get great deals of them. Virtually all proxies and VPNs offered to employ are appointed with business IP addresses, these are not effective as tennis shoe proxies at all.
Sneaker proxies are various, they utilize domestic IP addresses which look similar to house users and will be enabled access to virtually all sites. Undoubtedly you still have to beware with several connections but the companies who offer these generally provide something called turning backconnect setups which switch both configurations and IP addresses automatically. These have the ability to simulate turning proxies which is much cheaper than purchasing dedicated domestic proxies which can get very costly.

Testing Phases: Static Analysis

Every programmer thinks his code is perfect, well perhaps that’s not entirely true. What I mean is that no programmer thank you for pointing out obvious flaws in their code if they can help it. However that’s the primary aim of the initial testing phases to spot major and obvious flaws as early as possible. It’s a simple and essential part of the process and arguably one of the most important phases of the test schedule.

Just like reviews, static analysis searches for defects without executing the code. Having said that, as opposed to reviews static analysis is implemented once the code has actually been written. Its goal is to find flaws in software source code and computer software models. Source code is any sequence of statements written in some human-readable computer programming language which in turn can then be converted to equivalent computer executable code– this is actually usually produced by the programmer. A software model is an image of the final solution developed using techniques just like Unified Modeling Language (UML); this is commonly created by a software designer.

Throughout the testing process the core code should be stored somewhere centrally, with limited access to anyone.  If alterations are needed to the core code, it should be done as part of the testing schedule.  Certainly it is vital that these changes are tracked, you should also limit remote access to this store for security reasons.  If remote access is essential then you should use a secure connection such as a VPN  e.g this one for Indian IPTV USA 

Static analysis can easily find issues that are difficult to find during test execution by analysing the program code e.g. instructions to the computer system can be in the form of control flow graphs (how control passes involving modules) and data flows (assuring data is identified and effectively used). The value of static analysis is:

Initial discovery of issues just before test execution. Just like reviews, the earlier the issue is found, the cheaper and easier it is to fix.

Early warning regarding questionable aspects of the code or design, by the computation of metrics, such as a high-complexity measure. If code is too complicated it can be a lot more vulnerable to error or less dependent on the focus given to the code by programmers. In the event that they recognize that the code has to be complex then they are more likely to check and double check that this is accurate; however, if it is unexpectedly complicated there is a greater chance that there will certainly be a defect in it.

Identification of defects not easily discovered by dynamic testing, such as development standard non-compliance as well as identifying dependencies and inconsistencies in software models, such as hyperlinks or interfaces that were actually either inaccurate or unknown before static analysis was carried out.

Improved maintainability of code and design. By performing static analysis, issues will be eliminated that would certainly typically have increased the volume of maintenance required after ‘go live’. It can also recognize complex code which if fixed will make the code more easy to understand and consequently easier to manage.

Prevention of defects. By identifying the defect very early in the life cycle it is actually a great deal easier to identify why it existed in the first place (root cause analysis) than during test execution, therefore offering information on possible process improvement that might be made to prevent the same defect appearing again.

Further Reading: http://residentialip.net/

Residential IPs Proxy

Proxy servers have of course, been around for a long time.  Over 14 years ago I spent a whole Summer, installing Microsoft ISA server in a variety of businesses as slowly the corporate world decided that having internet access was worth the risk.  It sounds incredible nowadays that the issue would ever arise, after all what did we all do in our lunch breaks.  There are lots of different types of proxies and you’ll likely be using one in work or college if you have any web access.

Residential IPs Proxy

The proxy in a corporate network is usually there to act as a central gateway to internet access.  Not only does it apply some control but it’s easier to protect a single connected device from internet baddies than thousands of directly connected clients.   Nowadays though proxies have different roles as well, millions of people use them to provide anonymity and to bypass the geo-blocks that exist all over the web.

The privacy side is fairly straight forward,  if you route your web request through a proxy there’s no record of your address on the web server itself.   In order to bypass the various geo-blocks, all you usually need is a proxy server in the same country as the resource you’re trying to access.  The concept is actually quite straight forward, to watch something on the BBC iPlayer for example you need to have a UK IP address.  Now normally you’d have to be in the UK to have one of these, but if you route your internet connection through a proxy server the web site will see the address of the proxy not your real one.  So as long as the proxy is in the UK then you’ll get complete access.

Considering the BBC alone has about ten high quality free to air channels then you can see why people pay a few pounds to receive this sort of service.   In fact most people subscribe to one of the VPN services which are more secure than proxies and are usually a little faster.

So What about Residential IPs Proxy

Now for watching a TV show online, or accessing a blocked YouTube video a single connection to a single server is normally sufficient.  You don’t need a vast list of addresses available to you, and as long as the VPN servers are not overloaded then you should be fine.

However many people require much more than this primarily for using a variety of automated software.  There are computer programs which do online research, post multiple adverts or social media posts, buy goods for resale and so on.  People generally use these to make money but there’s an issue – all them simulate multiple users and so require multiple connections to run properly.

Take for example a program called a Sneaker bot, these are programs which attempt to buy multiple pairs of limited availability sneakers.  These are very difficult to obtain online so these programs run multiple attempts over and over again until they obtain a pair and then recommence.  However if you do this from a single internet connection, the website will detect the bot and ban the address instantly.  So in order to run properly it needs a selection of IP addresses which it can rotate through to look natural – you’ll sometimes see them referred to as sneaker proxies.

There is another slight complication in that, many web sites now block any IP address that doesn’t come from a home user – i.e. they block commercially classified IP addresses.   So these addresses need to be classified as residential rather than commercial too. These are much less likely to get blocked hence most of these programs need multiple proxies with a residential IP addresses to work properly.

The main issue is that residential IP addresses are much harder to obtain than commercial ones.  They are normally only assigned by ISPs (internet service providers) to their home customers and even then only individually.  So as you can imagine obtaining large numbers of these is actually very difficult and it’s there equally hard to buy residential ips too.   It is likely over the next few years they will become increasingly valuable as more and more websites block access based on the IP classification.

If you’re looking for a decent source of residential proxies then there are a few companies who offer the service. Be careful of one option called the Illuminati Network as these are actually addresses from home users who have installed a free VPN program on their computers.  Most people are completely unware that they are having other people relayed through their internet connections as the details are explained in the fine print of their agreements (which few read).

One of the oldest established companies who offer residential IPs on their own dedicated hardware is a company called Storm proxies, you can find their site on the link below.  They offer a wide range of different options including dedicated rotating proxies and residential backconnect proxies which allow access to thousands of different addresses.

Try the 48 Hour Trial of Storm Proxies 

Link to Storm Proxies

 

Introducing ARP – Address Resolution Protocol

One of the most important lower layer protocols is known as ARP – the address resolution protocol. It’s an important protocol and one you’ll need some knowledge of in troubleshooting all sorts of network issues. From identifying latency problems to application issues affecting the network – it’s a useful to have some knowledge. It’s an essential part of learning to understand your network at the packet level and being able to spot abnormal traffic.

The issue you can have with troubleshooting any network is identifying what’s causing the problem and what devices are involved. For example if you’re investigating the network of a residential IP provider then you can focus on particular protocols and specific areas of the network. Invariably central proxies can be difficult to troubleshoot as most will carry (if not understand) all sorts of traffic and protocols. In addition the servers will be creating a communication channel between completely different devices and even networks.

Both logical and physical addresses are used for communication on a network. The use of logical addresses permits communication among multiple networks and indirectly connected devices. The use of physical addresses assists in communication on a singular network segment for devices that are directly linked to each other with a switch. These two types of addressing must work together in order for communication to occur.

Consider a situation where you want to interact with a device on your network. This device might be a server of some kind or simply one more work- station you need to share files with. The application you are actually using to initiate the communication is actually aware of the Internet Protocol address of the remote host (by means of DNS, addressed elsewhere), meaning the system ought to have all it needs to build the layer 3 through 7 information of the packet it wants to transmit.

The sole component of info it requires at this point is the layer 2 data link data consisting of the MAC address of the intended host. MAC addresses are actually required for the reason that a switch that interconnects devices on a network uses a Content Addressable Memory (CAM) table, which provides the MAC addresses of all of the devices connected into each one of its ports. When the switch receives traffic destined for a particular MAC address, it uses this table to know through which port to deliver the traffic.
If the destination MAC address is unidentified, the broadcasting device will first check for the address in its cache; in the event that it is not actually there, then this should be resolved by means of additional communicating on the network.

The resolution technique that TCP/IP networking (with IPv4) uses to resolve an IP address to a MAC address is called the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP), which is defined in RFC 826. The ARP resolution process uses only two packets: an ARP request and an ARP response.

Protecting Your Network from DoS Attacks

Most network administrators who run web facing servers will spend a lot of their time defending, protecting and patching against network attacks. They can be extremely time consuming to combat and some of the worst to deal with are called denial of service attacks. Although these are usually relatively primitive attacks the problem is that they are easy to orchestrate and very difficult to trace back to the originator. One of the biggest problems is that the attacker rarely needs a valid connection to it’s victim which makes finding the source very difficult indeed.

A Denial of Service (DOS) attack is actually any type of attack which disrupts the operation of a computer in order that genuine individuals can no longer gain access to it. DoS attacks are achievable on most network equipment, including switches, hosting servers, firewalls, remote access computers, as well as just about every other network resource.A DoS attack can be specific to a service, for example, in an FTP attack, or an entire machine.The forms of DoS are varied and wide ranging, but they can be split into 2 distinct classifications that connect to intrusion detection: resource depletion and malicious packet attacks.

Malicious packet DoS attacks work by sending out abnormal traffic to a host in order to bring about the service or the host itself to crash. Crafted packet DoS attacks take place when computer software is not correctly coded to take care of uncommon or unusual traffic. Often out-of– specification traffic can cause computer software to behave unexpectedly and crash. Attackers can utilize crafted packet DoS attacks in order to bring down IDSs, even Snort.A specifically crafted tiny ICMP packet using a size of 1 was discovered to cause Snort v. 1.8.3 to core dump. This particular version of Snort did not actually properly define the minimum ICMP header size, which made it possible for the DoS to happen.

These attacks will commonly use hijacked computers to launch from, it’s relatively easy to build up a large network of compromised computers and there are also networks available for hire. These computers can obviously be traced but the owners are usually unaware of the role their servers or PC have undertaken. Additionally skilled attackers will use a network of proxies and VPNs hidden behind residential IP address providers or VPNs such as described in this post.

Along with out of spec traffic, malicious packets can contain payloads which cause a system to crash. A packet’s payload is actually taken as input right into a service. If the input is not actually appropriately assessed, the application can be DoSed. The Microsoft FTP DoS attack demonstrates the wide variety of DoS attacks easily available to black hats in the wild.The initial step in the attack is actually to trigger a genuine FTP connection.The attacker would most likely then issue a command together with a wildcard sequence (such as * or?). Within the FTP Server, a feature that handles wildcard routines in FTP commands does not assign sufficient memory when executing pattern matching. It is actually possible for the attackers command incorporating a wildcard pattern to cause the FTP service to crash.This DoS, as well as the Snort ICMP DoS, are two illustrations of the many thousands of conceivable DoS attacks easily available.

The additional method to deny service is via resource depletion.A resource depletion DOS attack functions by saturating a service with a great deal of normal traffic that legitimate individuals can not actually access the service. An attacker flooding a service with regular traffic can easily expend finite resources such as bandwidth, memory, and processer cycles.A classic memory resource exhaustion DoS is a SYN flood.A SYN flood takes advantage of the TCP three-way handshake.The handshake starts with the client sending a TCP SYN packet. The host then sends out a SYN ACK in response.The handshake is completed when the client responds with an ACK. If the host does not obtain the returned ACK, the host sits idle and waits with the session open. Each open session consumes a certain amount of memory. In the event that enough three– way handshakes are started, the host consumes all available memory waiting for ACKs.The traffic generated from a SYN flood is normal in appearance. The majority servers are configured today to leave just a certain number of TCP connections open. A different classic resource exhaustion attack is the Smurf attack.

A Smurf attack Works by making the most of open network broadcast addresses.A broadcast address forwards all packets on to every host on the destination subnet. Every host on the destination subnet responds to the source address specified in the traffic to the broadcast address. An attacker transmits a stream of ICMP echo requests or pings to a broadcast address.This has the effect of amplifying a single ICMP echo request up to 250 times. In addition. the attacker spoofs the source address in order that the target receives all the ICMP echo reply traffic. An attacker with a 128 Kb/s DSL Net connection can certainly produce a 32 Mb/s Smurf flood. DoS attacks commonly take advantage of spoofed IP addresses because the attack succeeds even if the answer is misdirected.The attacker requires no reply, and in cases like the Smurf attack, wants at any costs to stay away from a response.This can certainly help make DoS attacks difficult to defend from, and even tougher to trace.

Further Reference: http://bbciplayerabroad.co.uk/how-do-i-get-bbc-iplayer-in-france/

Packet Sniffing for Beginners

Sometimes there are errors and problems on a network that need in depth analysis. Troubleshooting some issues can be almost impossible without using a tool to investigate deeper such as a packet sniffer. Often you won’t be able to find that issue with a non-responsive share or the reason that your RAS server is so slow is because all your travelling sales people are using it to watch BBC TV abroad when they’re travelling!

If a certain error condition occurs only when the request is coming from an actual client, but not when using telnet, packet sniffing is in order.
Sometimes, using telnet may be complex, because the proxy and origin servers may require authentication credentials to be sent. In those
cases, it is more convenient to use a real Web client that can easily construct those headers. Also, if a problem exhibits itself with a certain client,
but not with others, it is worthwhile to find out exactly what is being sent by the client.

There are a number of packet sniffers. Depending on the operating
system, you may find some of these useful.
° wireshark
° ethereal
° etherfind
° tcpdump
° nettl

Many books and instructions will pick a specific packet sniffer to use so if you’re following a guide use this. One of the most popular is Wireshark which is a fully functional and free packet sniffer often used by professionals instead of more costly commercial options.
Many of the most comprehensive are actually distributed as part of Unix and Linux distributions and you’ll have to refer to the UNIX man pages for instructions for the others.
Example. Let’s say you want to snoop the traffic between the hosts fred’s PC (client) and socrates (server). You can use something like Wireshark to track the traffic between the two endpoints and analyse what’s happening between them.

Of course, this only is useful if you can initially identify which sources to monitor. If you suspect that Fred is using the company proxy for Netflix then you can prove the point easily using a packet sniffer. If you’re not sure then you may have to look first to the network hardware for clues, checking switches and hubs for span ports and plugging into them is a useful tactic. These ports typically mirror all the traffic being carried over the active ports meaning you can use the span port to track all the data on that device.

The ability to specify a port is essential and all decent packet sniffers will allow this. Also you should be able to use switch options to control how the traffic should be dumped. That is to specify exactly what format the traffic should be returned in, this is useful as it helps in the analysis stage. Any packet sniffer which doesn’t do this will make the next stages much harder as the amount of data produced will often be very large.

Proxy – Access Control Methods

When you think initially about access control to a standard proxy one of the most obvious options is tradtional user name and password. Indeed access control by user authentication is one of the most popular methods if only because it’s generally one of the simplest to implement. Not only does it use readily available information for authentication it will also fit neatly in with most corporate networks which generally run on a Windows or Linux platforms. All common OS’s support user authentication as standard and normally using a variety of protocols.

Access control based on the username and group is a commonly deployed feature of proxies. It requires users to authenticate themselves to the proxy server before allowing the request to pass. This way, the proxy can associ- ate a user identity with the request and apply different restrictions based on the user. The proxy will also log the username in its access log, allowing logs to be analyzed for user-specific statistics, such as how much bandwidth was consumed by each user. This can be vital in the world of high traffic multimedia applications and a few users using your Remote access server as a handy BBC VPN service can bring a network to it’s knees.

Authentication There are several methods of authentication. With HTTP, We/9 servers support the Basic authentication, and sometimes also the Digest authentication (see HTTP Authentication on page 54). With HTTPS—— or rather, with any SSL-enhanced protocol—certificate-based authentication is also possible. However, current proxy servers and clients do not yet support HTTPS communication to proxies and are therefore unable to perform certificate-based authentication.

This shortcoming will surely be resolved soon. Groups Most proxy servers provide a feature for grouping a set of users under a single group name. This allows easy administration of large numbers of users by allowing logical groups such as admin, engineering, marketing, sales, and so on. It will also be useful in multinational organisations where individuals may need to authenticate in different countries and using global user accounts and groups. So if a UK based salesman was travelling in continental Europe he could use his UK account to access a French proxy and use local resources.

ACCESS CONTROL BY CLIENT HOST ADDRESS An almost always used access control feature is limiting requests based on the source host address. This restriction may be applied by the IP address of the incoming request, or the name of the requesting host. IP address restrictions can often be specified with wildcards as entire network sub- nets, such as 112.113.123 . * Similarly, wildcards can be used to specify entire domains: * . yoruwebsite.com

Access control based on the requesting host address should always be performed to limit the source of requests to the intended user base.

Using Round Robin DNS

A common method of name resolution is to use a method called round-robin. This method maps a single host name to multiple different physical server machines, giving out different IP addresses to different clients. Load balancing is treated in more detail later in this blog (see name resolution methods). With round-robin DNS, the user is unaware of the existence of multiple servers.

The pool of servers appears to be a single logical server as it has only a single name used to access it. Redirections

Another mechanism available for Web servers is to return a redirection to a parallel server to perform load balancing.

 

For example,

  • upon accessing the URL http: //WWW.mywebsite.com/
  • the main server WWW. mywebsite.com will send an HTTP redirection to URL http: //WWW2. mywebsite.com
  • Another user may be redirected to a different server: http://WWW4. mywebsite.com/

This way, the load can be redirected by the main server WWW to several separate machines Wwwl, WWW2, …, Wwwn. The main server might be set up so that the only thing it does is perform redirections to other servers. There is often a misconception regarding this scheme where it is thought that every request would still have to go through the main server to get redirected to another server.

On the contrary, for any given client, there is only a single initial redirection. After that, all requests go automatically to the new target server, since the links within the HTML text are usually relative to the server where the HTML file actually resides.  It can cause some difficulties in certain situations where there are cached cookies for example, perhaps if you access one of the many BBC servers to watch Match of the Day online like this site.

With this method, the user is aware of the fact that there are several servers, since the URL location field in the client software will display a different server name than originally accessed. This is usually not an issue, though. The entry point to the site is still centralized, through the main server, and that’s the only address they ever have to remember.

However, bear in mind that users may place a bookmark in the client software pointing to one of the several servers sharing the load-—not the main server. This means that once a server name is introduced, say WWW4, there may forever be references to that machine on users’ bookmark files.   Remember that these destinations may be slightly different if the web page is accessed through a bookmark so don’t expect the exact same result.

Although using this round robin method for name resolution is extremely common, don’t assume it’s always deployed.  There are many other methods using variations of this method including different types of redirection or mirroring.

John Hughes

Website

No Comments Networking, Protocols

Planning your Security Assessment

Starting a full security risk assessment in any size of organisation can be extremely daunting if it’s something you’ve never tried before. However before you get too involved in complicated charts, diagrams and long drawn out forms and flowcharts it’s best to take a step back. There’s a simple goal here and that’s to try and assess and address any security risks in your organisation. It’s presumably a subject you will have some opinion and knowledge about so try and focus and don’t turn the exercise into something too complicated with little practical use.

Many people, when questioned as part of a risk assessment will prepare an answer, they will start to look at the nuts and bolts of the system. They’ll give opinions on just how this and that widget is weak, and how someone can get access to them and people documents, and so forth and so on. That’s just a technical evaluation of the system, which might or might not be useful. Whether or not it’s useful will be based on the answer to an essential question. The experienced safety professional will have asked this question before answering the enquirer.  If the system is not being used for it’s intended purpose that’s a completely different issue but it obviously would impact security in certain instance.

For example if company PCs are being used to stream video or route to inappropriate sites to watch ITV Stream abroad whilst at work, this introduces additional risks.  Not only could the integrity of the internal network be affected, the connection will also effect the speed while streaming large amounts of video across the network.  There is no doubt that this behaviour should be flagged if encountered within the assessment although it’s not a primary function of the investigation.

The important question is: What do you mean by secure?  Security is a comparative term. There’s not any absolute scale of unhappiness or level of security. Both conditions, secure and security only make sense when translated as attributes of something you consider precious. Something that’s somehow the risk needs to be secured. How much security does this need? . Well that depends on the value and upon the operational threat. How do you measure the operational threat? . Today you’re getting into the real questions which will lead you to an understanding of what you actually mean by the term secure. Measuring and prioritizing business risk security is utilized to defend things of value.

At a business environment things which have value are usually called assets. If assets are somehow damaged or destroyed, then you may suffer a business impact. The prospective event by which you are able to suffer the harm or destruction is a danger. To prevent threats from crystallising into loss events that have a business impact, you use a coating ol protection to maintain the threats from your assets. When the assets are badly protected then you’ve a vulnerability to the danger. To enhance the security and reduce the vulnerability that you present security controls, which may be either technical or procedural.

The process of identifying commercial assets, recognizing the threats, assessing the degree of business impact that could be suffered if the threats were to crystallize, and analysing the vulnerabilities is known as operational hazard assessment. Implementing suitable controls to put on a balance between usability, security, cost along with other business needs is called operational hazard mitigation Operational hazard assessment and operational hazard mitigation collectively comprise what can be call til operational risk management. Later chapters in this book examine operational risk management and will help you deal with actual incidents such as people trying to watch the BBC abroad on your internal VPN server!  The main thing you will need to comprehend this stage is that hazard management. All about identifying and prioritizing the dangers throughout the hazard assessment l procedure and degrees of control in line with these priorities.