CompTIA A+, Security+, Network+ Tutorial – Ethernet Card Troubleshooting

When a computer fails to communicate, the network interface adapter can be at fault, but it is far more likely that some other component is causing the problem. Before you see to the network interface adapter, check for the following problems first:

o Make sure the network cable is firmly seated into the connector on the network interface adapter. If using a hub, check the cable connection.

o Try using a different cable that you know works. If using a permanently installed cable, plug another computer that you know works into it and use different patch cables.

o Make sure that you have the proper driver installed on the computer.

o Check to see that all of the other software components required for network communications, such as clients and protocols, are properly installed on the computer. If no problem is found with the driver, the cable, or the network configuration parameters, then it is time to start checking NIC. Before you open the computer case, check to see if the NIC manufacturer has provided its own diagnostic software. If you are using a Plug and Play, you might not have even looked at the disk included with the NIC, but this is a time when it can be worth your while to do so. If the card is functioning properly, and assuming that the software providing the upper layer protocols is correctly installed and configured, the problem is probably caused by the hardware resource configuration.

There is a resource conflict between the network interface adapter and another device in the computer, or the network interface adapter is not configured to use the same resources as the network interface adapter driver.

Use the configuration utility supplied with the adapter to see what resources the network interface adapter is physically configured to use. You may have to adjust the settings of the card or the driver, or even those of another device in the computer, to accommodate the card. If the NIC is malfunctioning, due to a static discharge or a manufacturer’s defect there is not much you can do except replace it. Before you do this, you should check to see that the NIC is fully seated in the slot, as this is a prime cause of communication problems. If the card is not secured with a screw, press it down firmly into the slot at both ends and secure it. If the problem prolongs, try removing the card from the slot, cleaning out the slot with a can of compressed air, and installing the card again. If not, you can try using another slot. After exhausting all of these avenues, trying installing a different card in the computer, either a new one or one from another computer that you know is working properly.

Secure, Network Compliant BYOD Solutions Are NOT a Myth

In a recent article featured on Forbes.com, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is described as an inevitable component of the evolving office ecosystem. In the same article, a statistic borrowed from an IBM study & reveals that 81% of organizations reported their employees are using their personal mobile devices to connect to “company resources”. If you are an AV integrator or the head of IT, this statistic probably conjures fears of rampant network security risks.

But BYOD doesn’t necessarily equate to network security problems. Based on the current trend of using mobile devices in the workplace – secure, network compliant BYOD solutions are almost certain to arrive in the very near future. It is up to technology innovators to meet the market demand by developing, testing, vetting, and integrating the products to keep up with the trends we see around us. In short, embracing the changing workplace dynamics – and the products that support them – is likely the only way forward.

Like any other disruptive trend in technology, there are growing pains in the adoption phase. One of the biggest growing pains for BYOD in the workplace is security. So what does a secure BYOD solution look like?

We have identified 3 key criteria for secure, network compliant BYOD solutions.

1. Routable TCP/IP Traffic with Adjustable Base Ports

The complexity of many corporate and campus networks is often matched only by their uniqueness. After all, the many subnets and VLANs included on the enterprise network were set up to serve the unique requirements of the specific organization. Therefore the likelihood of any other enterprise having the same network setup is infinitesimally small. This is why it’s so important that BYOD solutions that hit the network feature routable TCP/IP traffic with adjustable base ports – so the solution can be configured flexibly to fit the network without creating additional, unnecessary work for the IT department. This is also important in order to avoid violating IT policy, which could prohibit the deployment altogether.

2. Controlling Access from all those Devices

Another security risk associated with BYOD revolves around the regulation of access in the workplace once these devices are supported on the network. To use a common use case as an example, if a wireless BYOD presentation is taking place in the conference room, how do you prevent uninvited users from sharing content to from their device and disrupting the meeting?

For this reason, access control is our second criteria for BYOD solutions. A solution to this challenge would be to offer multiple access modes that can be set in-room or remotely. Access could then also be locked by an admin or left up to users in the room to determine when beginning a session. Additionally, access control options could be dynamic, which means they could be changed during a meeting without interrupting the flow of information posted to the shared display.

In addition to these modes, it would be ideal if any session could be closed once all in attendance have joined. This combination of access control options creates secure access for nearly every type of meeting and use case.

3. Remote/Centralized Management

It’s a hard truth that nearly all technology crashes at some point or another, and those crashes can lead to big issues for the IT department and the network. That’s why remote/centralized control is such an important factor for BYOD solutions, especially large deployments.

Not having the ability to monitor, configure, and update BYOD solutions on your network from a remote/centralized work station makes larger, more complex deployments difficult to manage. Ideally, there would be a way to support remote/centralized management of every instance across the network. Network administrators could then monitor, configure, and update settings for any/all instances from their workstation anywhere on the network.

With BYOD becoming a standard in work spaces, security is and will remain a paramount concern and consideration for evaluating new solutions. The best solutions with work with your existing network and make it (relatively) easy for your IT department to securely deploy, monitor, and manage the system. BYOD presents many inherent risks, but many of these risks can and should be addressed by solutions that work within secure network environments.

Secure Networks With Network Antivirus Software

For businesses large and small, so much of the information used is contain on computers, and these computers are often connected through a network to allow all your employees to access the files, documents and information needed to complete their tasks. With the amount of computers connected to one another, and also to the internet, problems can arise. Programs and applications such as viruses, malware, spyware, adware etc can end up on your network. The problems that may arise from having these infected programs and files on your system can result in poorer computer performance, hard drives being wiped, or even an inability to access certain folders. This can cost your company a few hundred dollars to fix, as well as losing you money through lack of productivity.

Just as your home computer should have anti-virus software installed, your business should have that protection and security in place. Network anti-virus software is designed different than that for home computer systems. Home use anti-virus software isn’t good or broad enough to be effective on a network, and is usually only made for use with one computer. Network anti-virus software is especially designed to protect many different computers from attack.

When looking into security your network using the software, there are a few things to consider, such as what your needs as. Looking at the specs of your network before you make a purchase, know how many computers and printers are networked together, the bandwidth speed of your system, the servers you are using and also what operating system you have installed. Your budget will also be a determining factor as well. With this in mind, search through online websites to see what products different companies offer and which are the closest to your requirements.

There is some freeware network anti-virus software available, but these aren’t recommended. Much like the home versions, they don’t do as much as the freeware versions and in the end doesn’t offer the same kind of security features. The paid for software will have a more updated database to work with, as well as offering more options for customizability and functionality. The cost will be yearly, but you will be well protected from any infections that may occur. This security is important due to the amount of important information held within your hard drives, and may pay for itself by preventing any problems.

Take into account the company you are dealing with, and choose one that has a proven track record over the years. Research online to see what users and experts think, as some anti-virus software may slow down your system if it doesn’t have the technical specifications needed (Such as RAM, processor speed etc.). Most anti-virus programs will be available for a free or inexpensive trial. Taking advantage of this offer can help you to make a decision through being able to use the program and finding out for yourself if it is what you require. If you are unhappy with the software, uninstall it and download a different trial version.