“The Secret” in Action

April 6, 2007

I mentioned in my last post how busy I’ve been recently, and put it down to having watched The Secret on DVD. If you haven’t come across this you should check it out, google Oprah and The Secret and I’m sure you’ll find out all about it.

Well I’ve been putting some of the suggestions into practice for a while now and the results are incredible. I’ve spend the past week having an absolute ball, doing work I’ve really enjoyed, getting new clients at every turn, fixing problems left right and centre. But the best day was Wednesday.

 I got two unexpected calls from companies looking for maintenance contracts. (Bear in mind that I’ve actually given up trying to sell maintenance contracts after spending the best part of 3 years having doors slammed in my face). I had a couple of other calls from clients with problems that looked very serious but that were sorted out really quickly. It just felt as though I had a magic wand and I could fix any problem instantly.

So, it was all going so well that I decided to buy a lottery ticket. I bought it with complete conviction that I was going to win something on it. I was practising the attitude of gratitude thing well before the draw was made. And when I checked the numbers I found I had won  €62. I think in future I’ll only do the lotto when I’m feeling that positive. No point in wasting money.

Thank you James Ray, Jack Canfield, Joe Vitale and everyone else involved.

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Harrisson Ford – Security Guru

February 19, 2007

I watched the movie Firewall, starring Harrisson Ford the other night, and one of the things it really highlighted for me was the fact that computer security is not just a technical issue.

Without spoiling the film completely, Ford plays the VP of Network Security in a bank and is forced by the baddies to steal from his own bank or else his family will be killed. Various things go wrong and with MacGyver style ingenuity he manages to…well, watch the movie yourself and see.

 The point is, that no matter how tight your technology is, there will be a way of out-smarting it. So what do you do? You put processes in place to make sure the technology is not your only form of protection. You don’t allow any one person the authority to make critical changes or access critical data without supervision. You seperate the security process from the normal chain of command etc etc.

Actually I once worked in a bank where a security guard refused to allow the CEO on to the presmises out of hours because the correct procedures had not been followed. Big call for the man on the gate to make in the face of an irate executive. The following morning he was called in to the office and commended on having stuck to his guns, (metaphorically speaking).

Anyway, if you get the chance check out Firewall. If nothing else you’ll find out what to you can achieve with a fax machine, an iPod and a couple of pieces of chewing gum.


Stormy Weather

January 22, 2007

Here in Ireland and across most of Northen Europe in the past week we’ve had some serious storms. 3 fishing boats sank off the south-east coast of Ireland in the space of a  few days, with a number of fatalaties.

Sadly ,(but fairly predictably), some virus writers saw this as an opportunity, sending out a mail which apparently informed people about the storms but which actually contained a trojan which gives the author control of the computer. They can subsequently steal information from the infected computer, or use it to send spam.

According to F-Secure, hundreds of thousands of people received the virus on Thursday, though damage is expected to be minimal because the anti-virus companies responded quickly. Of course, if your AV software is not configured properly to get updates promptly, then you could be exposed.

BTW.. here in Ireland the wind and rain have passed now, and the country is grinding to a halt because of 1 inch of snow. We don’t get much snow here, but it always amazes me that when we do, it creates absolute mayhem. Schools closed, longer traffic jams, people start buying food like there’s a nuclear winter on the way. And the next day it’s turned to slush and things start getting back to normal again.


Welcome Aboard!

January 15, 2007

What I’m hoping to do with this blog is to write about computer security and related issues, hopefully in an interesting and informative way, (that will be decided by the number of hits and repeat hits I guess). As the title suggests, I’m not planning to get down and dirty with the really technical side of it. The plan is to stick to the basics, give some hints and tips that can be implemented really easily, and maybe explain the logic behind some of these approaches.

The thing about computer security is that it has tended to be an area that most computer users know little, (and care less?), about. OK so we all know viruses are bad, and there are loads of other threats and buzz words but it’s all too much to take in so lets just ignore it instead and hope it will go away. Problem is of course it won’t. But the good thing is that it doesn’t have to be so scary, or so boring.

Understanding the threats and implementing simple steps will make things much more secure. The two biggest threats to the security of computers in homes and offices around the world are apathy and ignorance. 

So this blog aims to address the ignorance bit by explaining things without the endless jargon. The apathy bit? We’ll have to think about that as we go.  I’d love to get feedback, comments, questions, answers etc.

Onwards and Upwards!!!