Beth Cohen is president of Luth Computer Specialists, Inc., a consulting practice specializing in IT infrastructure for smaller companies. She has been in the trenches supporting company IT infrastructure for over 20 years in a number of different fields including architecture, construction, engineering, software, telecommunications, and research. She is currently consulting, teaching college IT courses, and writing a book on Wireless Network security and another about IT for the small enterprise.
LDAP Searches From Darn Near Anywhere
The search continues! In Part 3 of our four-part series, we look at performing LDAP search queries from e-mail clients, Web browsers and a command-line interface. (3/8/04)
Unmasking the LDAP Search Filter
Need to locate critical information in your corporate LDAP directory but have shied away from learning how? Relax. In part 2 of our series, we explore the core of the LDAP search function — the search filter syntax itself.
LDAP Searches Provide a Gateway to Company Data
Did you know that LDAP packs a powerful search and query engine? Savvy admins are finding that these are great tools for analyzing company data, networks, and security capabilities from your LDAP directories. In part 1 of our series, we show you how to prepare searches properly.
Is Your ISP Working for You? Renegotiating Your Connectivity Contracts
The telecom and datacom industries have changed enormously over the past few years, opening up opportunities for significantly reducing your company costs and improving service on all of your connectivity needs. Learn how careful planning coupled with some sharp negotiations can lead to substantial savings and better service.
Practically Painless NT to Windows Server 2003 Migration: Implementation and Beyond (with Hallett German)
Windows NT to 2003 migrations are serious business, but they are not impossible. Beth Cohen and Hallett German continue a new series of articles designed to help you plan and administer a successful, and practically pain-free, NT/2003 migration.
Practically Painless NT to Windows Server 2003 Migration: Preparation and Planning (with Hallett German)
For Windows NT-based network admins, the decision to migrate your NT servers to Windows Server 2003 is not a matter of if, but rather a matter of when. To this end, Beth Cohen and Hallett German kick off a new series of articles designed to help you plan and administer a successful, and practically pain-free, NT/2003 migration.
802.16 Part 2: A Look Under the Hood (with Debbie Deutsch)
802.16 promises to deliver true broadband speed wirelessly, but when will products be available and how important a role should the so-called WiMAX standard play in your future network plans? Join Beth Cohen and Debbie Deutsch as they continue their in-depth look at the wonderful world of WiMAX.
802.16 Part 1: The Future in Last Mile Wireless Connectivity (with Debbie Deutsch)
802.16 promises to deliver true broadband speed wirelessly, but when will products be available and how important a role should the so-called WiMAX standard play in your future network plans? Join Beth Cohen and Debbie Deutsch as they take an in-depth look at the wonderful world of WiMAX.
RADIUS: Secure Authentication Services at Your Service (with Debbie Deutsch)
RADIUS ensures that remote users are who they say they are, keeps track of their network usage, and secures your network infrastructure from intrusion. Learn how deploying RADIUS in-house or as a managed service can benefit you and your company’s network.
Searching for Wi-Fi Security Solutions (with Debbie Deutsch)
Security has long been the Achilles heel of the wireless industry. Set aside the security issues, though, and the case for wireless networking is overwhelmingly compelling — it’s cheap, easy, and portable. Now that the industry is addressing the problem head-on with new solutions for manageable and acceptable network security, Wi-Fi may well be a choice that enterprises should be considering (or reconsidering).
NT Domains to Active Directory – Time to Upgrade? (with Hallett German)
Microsoft has launched an initiative to ‘encourage’ the many companies that still have Windows NT 4 servers running to upgrade to one of its newer server releases, but the challenge of migrating from NT Domains to Active Directory remains one of the critical inhibitors to upgrading, especially for smaller and mid-sized companies. Beth Cohen and Hallett German delve into the murky details of converting to Active Directory with the goal of helping you pull off a NT/Windows Server 2003 migration project with aplomb.
Public Key Infrastructure: Invisibly Protecting your Digital Assets (with Debbie Deutsch)
Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) offers the opportunity to streamline your procedures for protecting and sharing sensitive and valuable information. As Beth Cohen and Debbie Deutsch report, when it comes to protecting your company’s valuable digital assets, you owe it to yourself to investigate what doors PKI can open for you and your organization.
A Primer to Active Directory: Microsoft’s System Information Repository (with Hallett German)
Active Directory is a potent tool for managing large networks of systems across WANs and LANs, but it can be complex to understand and administer. Beth Cohen and Hallett German’s primer is designed to help you get acquainted with the tool that can help you create a robust and flexible architecture for addressing your company’s needs, now and in the future.
Is RFID in Your Future?
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology has the potential to revolutionize business much as ERP and supply chain integration did in the late 1990s, but it can also have some serious security risks if you are not careful when deploying it. Beth Cohen reveals the power and the pitfalls of this exciting new technology so you can determine for yourself whether your company is ready to ride the next technology wave.
‘Good Enough’ Security: Computer Security on a Shoestring Budget
In an environment where most of us are continually squeezed for time, resources, and funds, how can we possibly hope to fix and prevent all of our network’s security problems? Beth Cohen presents principles of “good enough” computer security that might not prevent a massive targeted attack, but that will prevent 90% of your problems while keeping your finance department happy and your job secure.
Power over Ethernet — Ready to Power On? (with Debbie Deutsch)
Imagine what you could do if your existing Ethernet network cabling could be combined with electrical power to fully support wireless access points, VoIP phone systems, security cameras, and a variety of other appliances. With an official IEEE standard for Power over Ethernet (PoE) expected to debut next month, now is a good time to evaluate the advantages that PoE can bring to your organization.
DNSSEC: Security for Essential Network Services
DNS has been a major security hole since it was first deployed, but until recently, not much had been done to patch the network service’s security vulnerabilities. Beth Cohen reveals the largest DNS security holes, explores how you can protect your network from them, and introduces the IETF’s new DNSSEC standard designed to prevent potential future catastrophic attack.
Corralling those Wild IT Assets!
IT asset tracking does not need to be a major IT project or an enormous undertaking. By implementing it as part of your regular IT support processes and by taking advantage of new automated tracking tools, you can get a handle on your IT assets and start working more effectively and efficiently in short order. Beth Cohen offers a few simple tips to help get you started.
Not Just a User, a Customer!
Customer service is nothing new, so why do so many IT people ignore it at their peril? Beth Cohen explores the reasons why being technically competent is simply not enough these days, and why top-notch communication skills are the new IT differentiator in today’s highly competitive IT job market.
VoIP: Killer Technology or Yet Another Victim of Hype?
Voice over IP (VoIP) technology enables telephone calls to be transmitted over IP data networks or the Internet instead of over public switched networks, giving it the potential to revolutionize our use of telecom and IT infrastructures. Beth Cohen addresses the pros and cons of VoIP technology and discusses whether or not you should be seriously considering the technology as part of your IT infrastructure mix.
Network Services: To Outsource or Not To Outsource?
Does outsourcing the monitoring and management of your network actually benefit your business and save you money? If you lack the in-house expertise, there’s no question that taking advantage of the economies of scale and the special expertise of an outside company can be a real benefit, but a positive ROI is less clear if you already have good services and support in place.
AMP: Novell Pumps up the Volume on Open Source (with Hallett German)
Linux developers have long enjoyed powerful Open Source web development tools. With the release of its AMP Developer Suite, Novell will finally deliver full support for Apache, MySQL, and PHP (or Perl) and show the Open Source community it is serious about its commitment to open source.
Dirty Dancing with AppDancer
AppDancer is a sniffer and network analyzer rolled into one, but it is much more. Beth Cohen explains why this product should be part of your network-analysis arsenal.
Back to CrossNodes
The Message is the Medium: Selecting a Mail System
How can you select the right messaging system for your business? In 10 easy steps, Hallett German and Beth Cohen outline the criteria needed to evaluate messaging systems.
Networked Server Support: What Are Your Options?
Panic time! Your company’s senior (OK, only) UNIX systems administrator has just given notice. Do you have any alternative options for supporting all those critical servers and applications?
Just What Are Those Packets Doing? Network Tools To Tell You
Don’t know the difference between monitoring and analysis? Don’t know why everything on your network is moving at a crawl? Long before you consider upgrading hardware, you should invest in some decent tools. Beth Cohen covers your choices.
Go In-Depth With LDAP and Novell’s eDirectory
It’s 9 a.m. on Monday. Do you know where your users’ computers are? With Novell’s LDAP-based eDirectory, you stand a better chance of managing thousands of users and machines.
LDAP 101: Glue Your Network’s Pieces Together
‘The protocol nobody ever heard of’ is gluing networks together with fast, flexible directory services and single sign-on for hassled users. Beth Cohen covers the basics of bringing LDAP to networks large and small.
Single Network Identity: Holy Grail or Nightmare?
Network managers are familiar with the chaos multiple passwords and identities can cause with harried user communities. When is a single identity across the network more menace than refuge?
Network Security Basics: Tightening Down Your Wireless LAN
By now we’re all familiar with the benefits of wireless networks, and we’ve probably heard most of the horror stories. Ten recommendations to bring security on your WLAN to ‘good enough.’
Network Security: Covering the Basics, Part 2
Good security doesn’t have to be a blackbox process. Here are five practices you can employ to take control of network security, lower your risk of an attack, and recover more quickly when one happens.
Everyone loves a good security horror story when it’s someone else’s security that’s horrifying. Sticking to some basics can ease your fears about your own network while others swap war stories.
Service Appliances as Disruptive Technology?
Will network appliances unhorse the traditional admin? In more and more organizations, single-purpose boxes are making inroads, thanks to simplicity and low cost.
When’s the Time to Bring DNS and DHCP In-House?
What could be causing the problems? Your network is slow; users’ complaints are mounting. If DNS and DHCP services are configured correctly, you can eliminate at least one headache from your list of network problems.