Category Archives: connect

It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your metadata is?

As our industry pushes toward “the cloud”, I question whether or not people know where their metadata is.

The example that I give is wireless local area network (WLAN) metadata.  Back in the day, when we were selling Bluesocket to the likes of VCU, all WLAN metadata was housed at the customer site.

As “cloud” wireless solutions have become fast, easy, and cheap, we see them being deployed more and more frequently.  But, when people deploy “cloud” wireless, I often wonder if they consider that all of the WLAN metadata is housed in the cloud.

To illustrate my point, I requested permission to use a screenshot of a colleague’s “cloud” wireless dashboard; it is below.  At a glance, the trained eye can tell that a macOS device is being used for BitTorrent.  (I am not accusing said colleague of anything, I am just pointing out that only 0.3% of files on BitTorrent are confirmed to be legal.)  I am sure that the DMCA folks would love to have a list of the MAC Addresses being used for BitTorrent.

So that this doesn’t sound too much like conspiracy theory, I am not accusing “cloud” wireless vendors of cooperating with ex-wives and divorce lawyers.  But, I would not put it beyond the realm of possibility for this data to be easily accessible by some of Edward Snowden‘s former coworkers.

My call to action to you is to consider privacy when purchasing services in the cloud.  Know where your data is.  And, know where your metadata is.

Whether you have no idea what this article is about or have a highly technical question, we are always here to help:  (804) 798-4444 Option 2 or sales@computer-business.com.

Until next time…

SIP over the Internet is “risky”?!?

Recently, we were in the process of moving a customer from T1 to SIP Trunking (over the Internet) when a certain “FORTUNE 500” provider of voice and data network communications stepped in and tried to convince the customer that “SIP over the Internet is “risky”.”

So, the customer decided to test things out for themselves.

They ordered SIP Trunks from our preferred provider, nexVortex. They routed these over their Cox fiber Internet connection.

They also ordered SIP Trunking and 10 Mbps of connectivity from said “FORTUNE 500” provider of voice and data network communications. (Remember, this is supposed to be 10 Mbps of connectivity that is better than anything else, because it is manged by a “FORTUNE 500” carrier.)

So, they let the testing begin. I think the pictures below speak for themselves.

VoIP_v1

nexVortex SIP Trunking on customer’s Internet router (10 Mb fiber) = 13ms
“FORTUNE 500” carrier with their own router (10Mb fiber) = 46ms

Would you like to guess which is providing the customer with better quality? You guessed it: SIP over the Internet.
Would you like to guess which the customer is paying a lot less for? You guessed it: SIP over the Internet.

If you are interested in learning more about how we are providing people with thousands in monthly cost savings by moving them to SIP over the Internet, please call (804) 798-4444 Option 2 or email sales@computer-business.com.

disconnecting networks from the “bad parts” of the Internet

For years, CBSi has been connecting enterprise networks to the Internet.  As you likely realize, Internet connectivity is a requirement for almost every business to function today.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of “bad guys” on the Internet trying to do a lot of bad things to enterprise networks.  Just read up on botnetshackers, keyloggers, spyware, Trojansviruses, zombies, etc.

A long time ago, we decided that it was best to start disconnecting enterprise networks from the “bad parts” of the Internet.  Our original approach was to block the most problematic countries.  Our internal list was known as the “dirty dozen” country list.  Maintaining this list became a full-time job.  Often times, we had to call in a geopolitical specialist to determine if a country should be considered hostile.  This approach was not scalable so we started looking for new solutions.

After much research, CBSi decided that partnering with ThreatSTOP was the best approach.  This partnership provides a number of benefits to our joint customers:

  1. We can block “bad” countries with a single mouse click.  For example, if your business doesn’t need to do business with China, we can simply drop all packets from and to China.
  2. We can keep track of the geopolitical posture of all countries.  For example, we can drop all packets from and to all ITAR countries with a single mouse click.  Of course, we can also do this for all OFAC countries, etc.
  3. We maintain a reputation database down to the IP level.  So, our customers can block all traffic from and to hostile sources, such as botnet command-and-control (C&C) servers, as well.
  4. We maintain application-specific reputation databases.  Our customers can block all IP addresses that are seen initiating SIP attacks, etc.
  5. Because our customers are dropping these packets, they can get more performance from their other security devices (firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, etc.) as the devices are not busy processing known hostile traffic.

If you are interested in disconnecting your enterprise networks from the “bad parts” of the Internet, please call (804) 798-4444 Option 2 or email sales@computer-business.com.