Five questions to ask before opening your network to BYOD

There’s a lot of excitement nowadays about the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, in which employees use their own smartphones, tablets, or laptop computers to access the corporate network via wireless. But before you set up those wireless access points, there are a number of questions to consider.

Who’s allowed into the network?
The first step to managing BYOD is to decide who gets on your network. Do you have an open BYOD policy that lets any device connect to your network through wireless? Do you let anyone in, but make him or her register? Do you authenticate users via password? Do you allow only known devices onto the network? Do you support all devices and operating systems?

How much access are BYOD devices allowed?
Do you allow employees’ personal devices full network access or restrict them to Internet access only? If you allow full network access, is there a security policy in place to prevent company confidential information from being loaded into devices that may be lost or stolen?

How safe are BYOD devices and what are you going to do about them?
There’s more malware out there all the time, and it’s affecting more devices than ever. This is a problem not limited to laptop computers—the popular Android™ operating system for phones has a large amount of known malware. How will you screen connecting devices to make sure they have updated patches and don’t contain malware?

Continue reading


Out-of-band management webinar May 1st

Out-of-band management webinar

If network uptime is crucial to your business operation, if your organization’s WAN spans multiple sites, if you’ve ever had to troubleshoot network problems in the middle of the night, then you’ll find important information about the benefits of out-of-band management in our upcoming webinar!

Join us at 2:00 P.M. E.T. on Tuesday, May 1, for our Out-of-Band Management webinar, which explains why out-of-band management is crucial to distributed networks. In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • Why network uptime is crucial to business continuity.
  • About ISO 27001 compliance.
  • How to enforce enterprise security policy.
  • About the out-of-band management interface.

Register now!

EDIT: Our webinar was a success! Thank you to all who attended. If you missed it, you can click here for a recording.

In the news: (more) security breaches

The ThreatStats section of the April 2012 issue of SC Magazine lists the top data breaches of the month. At the top of the list is Piedmont Behavioral Healthcare in Concord, NC with 50,000 records breached. The reason? An Alamance County employee mistakenly changed a lock on the facility that housed data servers with personal health information. Amazing how one simple mistake put the records of all those people at risk.

Next is the St. Joseph Health System in California with 31,800 records breached. It seems that protected patient informationSC Mag Logo from several hospitals may have been available on the Internet for one year. Again, unbelievable!

The last one is Central Connecticut State University with 18,763 records breached. The reason listed is a malware infestation exposed the information of current and former faculty, staff, and student workers.

Another staggering statistic is the total number of records containing sensitive personal information involved in security beaches in the U.S. since January 2005: 544,669,041!

SC Magazine lists the source of this information as the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (data from a service provided by hosted by the Open Security Foundation).

Don’t add yourself to this list. To learn how you can prevent network breaches from unauthorized network connections and out-of-compliance devices, take at look at Black Box’s Veri-NAC®.

For easy WAN encryption with no VPN tunnels, take a look at EncrypTight®.

Sizing a UPS

The power delivered by a UPS is usually expressed both in volt-amps (VA) and watts. There’s often confusion about what the difference is between these figures and how to use them to select a UPS.

VA is power voltage multiplied by amps. For instance, a device that draws 5 amps of 120-volt power has a VA of 600. Watts is a measure of the actual power used by the device. VA and Watts may be the same. The formula for watts is often expressed as:

Watts = Volts x Amps

This formula would lead you to believe that a measurement of VA is equal to watts, and it’s true for DC power. AC power, however, can get complicated. Some AC devices have a VA that’s higher than watts. VA is the power a device seems to be consuming, while watts is the power it actually uses.

This requires an adjustment called a power factor, which is the ratio of watts to VA.

AC Watts = Volts x Amps x Power Factor


Watts/VA = Power Factor

Continue reading

Learn how to identify counterfeit cable

Watch this informative video to learn how to identify counterfeit cable. In this short, 3-minute video, Andy Schmeltzer, the “Cable Guy” at Black Box, explains what to look for when you purchase cable. Some tip-offs that a cable may be non-compliant or counterfeit can include a price that seems too good to be true, specs or lack thereof, a lighter weight than expected, and more.

If you have questions about cable construction and specs, contact our FREE, 24-hour tech support at 724-746-5500.