Network Cabling Voice and Data Systems

Setting Up the Backbone

Whether the project involves establishing a voice and data structure for a single location or a series of interconnected locations, it is important to begin with the basics. The process will begin with the wiring at each of the locations involved in the network. If your company is building the facility from the ground up, then you will want to prewire the office. When doing so, make sure that the structured cabling wiring will support typical voice communications like basic telephony. You also want to ensure that the low-voltage wiring can support advanced data communications that is capable of supplying bandwidth for everything from a robust Internet connection of some type to high speed transfer into, out of and within your network. Most structured cabling systems use category 5 cable for the entire system. These systems are often installed by the interconnect who provides the telephony system or a contractors who specialize only in structured cabling systems.

Providers who specialize in the development of structured cabling solutions can evaluate the scope of your office environment and come up with a wiring plan that will easily serve your needs today. Make sure to obtain suggestions from a couple of different sub-contractors before choosing one to manage the wiring process. This strategy provides the benefit of getting more than one perspective and possibly identifying a very helpful function that you had not considered in the past. Additionally, you will want to get at least three cabling quotes or RFP's from three different structured cabling sub-contractors. This goes for the telephony or VOIP system as well. You will want to get at least three quotes or bids from each interconnect that you interview.

Addressing the Voice Component

Options for voice communications are considerably more varied than in decades past. Once upon a time, the company would purchase a private branch exchange or PBX to manage inbound and outbound calls. The PBX would physically reside at the office location and allow for both manual intervention and automated options for routing calls to open extensions, voice mail boxes and other options. A single line would connect the PBX with a public switched telephone network and allow inbound calls to be routed to different trunks or trunk groups found in the internal voice system.

Today, there is also the option of going with a virtual PBX. This solution offers all the same benefits but allows them to be managed in a virtual environment as long as you have an appropriately designed and installed structured cable wiring netwokr. Using a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) connection, the functions are managed remotely. One benefit of this option is that if your office is damaged due to a natural disaster, you can make a few changes to the virtual PBX and have your employees work remotely.

You can also go with a hybrid system that involves a combination of the traditional and virtual PBX structure. This gives you the best of both worlds and also helps to create an element of redundancy with your voice communications. Should one component be inoperable for a period of time, the remaining component can easily take on the call traffic. That translates to no downtime for your daily office functions.

With any type of PBX, you want to make sure the configuration includes several basics. The system must support enough trunks to allow extensions for each workstation in the office. You also want additional trunks that can be called upon for conducting audio conferences that include locations outside your network. Don't forget to allow for functions such as call waiting, call parking, voice mail, internal paging and other features that will make life around the office a lot easier.

Considering the Data Component

Designing the data system for the office calls for identifying the right type of hardware and software to drive the needs of your individual business. Keep in mind that while a doctor's office will function somewhat differently from an attorney's office, both will require a few basic elements as part of the design. Ideally, you want the data system to support all clerical, administrative and accounting processes with ease.

The selection of hardware is extremely important for any data system. The data must be housed in a server that is protected with adequate security measures. The software used to drive that server should allow a master user to assign specific credentials to each user of the network. The idea is to make sure employees can add to, correct and access the data they need to do their jobs, but are still unable to reach proprietary data that is not associated with their standard and usual job tasks. The server should be able to house large amounts of data without experiencing any type of slow response during peak working hours.

Depending on your business model, there may be a need to allow remote access to the server. For example, salespeople may want to be able to link with the main sales database while on the road. This allows them the option of updating customer profiles or placing orders for clients in a real time manner. The software used to configure the server will make it possible for remote access to occur while still protecting the integrity of your data.

Keep in mind that network redundancy is also important with the voice component. To this end, consider either installing a backup server or possibly using a virtual server. In the event a problem occurs with the primary server, the network should automatically switch to the backup source. Don't forget to configure the connection between the servers so that new data added to the primary server also updates on the secondary server on a regular basis. That update may occur every hour if your office processes a lot of information. Many smaller offices will find that updates occurring nightly will be sufficient. By creating an adequate schedule of updates, the loss of data due to a hardware failure is kept to a minimum.

Planning for the Future

Many company owners make the mistake of thinking about the here and now when putting together a voice and data system. While immediate needs must be met, also plan for what you will need a year, two years and possibly even five years from now. Ideally, you want hardware that can be modified and expanded when and as necessary. You also want software solutions that will aid in keeping up with the demands of a growing business. As part of the support with the structured cabling plan, a competent provider can make suggestions of how to ensure your network has this type of built in flexibility. Including at least some of those ideas will save a significant amount of money and time in the years to come.

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News From the World of Social Media, Computer and Technology

Due to the latest innovations, the world has changed into a global village and has brought many changes. In this respect the internet has paid much contribution, not to mention social media like twitter and Facebook which has really altered and affected our lives.

Twitter being one of the best resources for finding breaking news and information, with more than 200 million accounts, has flourished in recent years. In December 2011, a new version of Twitter was launched, available for mobile phones, iPhone and Android. Anyone who has access to it can click any tweet in his/her timeline to expand it to see photos, videos, favorites etc. and can 'discover' and plunge into a stream of useful and entertaining information which are based on his/her current location, what he/she follows and what is happening in the world.

Another social-media, Facebook also enables users to share stories on their profile pages and update their status. In accordance with the latest updates, Facebook has now rolled out a way for its users to edit and re-write their comments, simply by a click on "edit or delete".

Moreover, Facebook has issued a new email for its users, replacing their primary email accounts, like Yahoo or Gmail with a account.

Computers have taken over every aspect of human culture. We use computers to work, play, do research, shop, stay in contact with friends, and more. The name which has ruled the whole computer world since its first launch in November 1985 is WINDOWS. It is the most used operating system in the world. But another technology of operating systems is coming ahead which will fully replace windows, named as MIDORI. The main idea behind it is to develop a lightweight portable OS which can be easily joined to various applications.

New computer technologies keep coming out continuously and nearly everyone wants to keep up with the latest computer technology that comes along. For example, laser printers have taken the place of ink-jet printers; auto makers are appealing to car buyers with new in-vehicle technology like LTE, digital review mirrors and advanced telematics systems.

There have been more inventions such as Robots with human expressions, 4 G Technology, 3-D Processor chips and latest phones. It is said that in the near future we will see holographic cell phones replacing the simple cell phones, enabling the user to walk next to a hologram of a friend or colleague.

According to a current research, Robots of future will develop the ability of generalization and will learn to manipulate objects. This will help them to adapt according to new environments. Making robots like these is a giant leap in robotics.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of United States has developed an unnamed aircraft which can stay in air for a period of 5 years at a time. It is one of the most recent inventions in technology of the world.

No doubt, artificial intelligence has surpassed human intelligence in many aspects and is expected to outsmart human intelligence completely.

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Turning Negative Advertising to Positive on Social Media

When one does not have anything nice to say about their own selves, Then speaking about another's lesser qualities serves the purpose and sometimes, produces better results. That is how negative advertising works. However, it is not as easy. It requires tact and civility. One cannot hurl insults as do teenaged street fighters. While bestowing praise is as easy as criticism, it is constructive criticism that is highly appreciated. If delivered tactfully and accepted gracefully, it not only improves products and services, but also C2B relationships.

When the sole focus of an advertisement is entirely on the weaker aspects of their competitor, it refers to negative advertisement or attack ads. This is common in politics, especially in the recent presidential campaign practices, where candidates are talking less about what they "can do for their country" and more about what their opponents cannot do for their country.

The core element targeted in this line of attack is as precious to the target as it is to the attacker, which is reputation. The heightened sensitivity is contributed by social media, which can quickly turn the popularity of a brand into a nightmarish infamy.

Brand advertisements use a similar approach in their marketing campaigns. Some use the very direct and frontal attack, such as a recently released YouTube video by a famous hamburger company, who boldly portrayed their equally famous competitors in a negative light. The humorous touch seemed to lighten what otherwise would have seemed vicious. That is how careful one has to be when using this approach, especially on social media, where counter attacks by competitors are equally quick to respond.

There are various other approaches that may be used, some obvious and some not obvious. As social media continues to evolve, so do advertising campaigns. Some negative advertisements do not even fall under the traditional categories. One such instance is a Facebook initiative that recently caught the attention of media. According to news reports, Facebook employees are to use a renowned smartphone device and offer suggestions at improving its faulty features. Apparently, Facebook's intention is not to portray the brand in a negative light. The aim is to show off their skills by improving the feature services. In doing so, if one reads between the lines, the social network is not only pinpointing the faults, they are implying how the original company is unable to do what they can. Some reviewers believe this is Facebook's way of building their mobile reputation, which is not faring well. Then again, one may also view the same by changing their perspective and seeing the negative from a positive angle, in which both companies could benefit from the venture, if implemented.

Advertising has more complexities not immediately understood. It requires in-depth research to ensure correct facts before using them against one's competitors. Exercised with care, professional marketers, including Facebook application developers who market their apps, can take full advantage of negative advertising, without crossing the line. It is also wise to use the strategy infrequently, because what may initially be seen as a clever use of advertising will begin to sound like incessant complaining. Consequently, people will tune off rather than pay attention to the advertisement.

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What Can You Do With PHP?

PHP is a scripting language in a server site which normally is used for generation of html content. With time, PHP has grown to perform many web tasks. Because of this, there has been improvement of PHP versions with the existence of many versions in the market. Generally though what you can do with PHP is guided by the features in which it comes with.

One of the features that make PHP great is the fact that they can be run on any web server which makes it almost universally applicable. As you know there are different web browsers which are used to access online information. PHP can be applicable in almost these web browsers which means that the type of the browser you should not be a stumbling block. Another feature that makes PHP great is the fact that it is easy to study, implement and even its usage is easy. In addition, PHP is free thus making it pocket friendly.

Perhaps the feature that makes what you can do with PHP grow everyday is the ability of the application to expand and accommodate the new modules. Since technology is very dynamic, this feature makes the application sustainable even to the future. This is because as technology changes, it brings with it other demands that may make earlier technologies null and void. But PHP is different since it is accommodating to new technologies' demands.

What can you do with PHP is centered on what tasks it can do. The first thing that PHP can do for you is related to file access. PHP is used to write and read different file formats. PHP can also do some file directory and maintenance of the same. This means that you can easily edit your files remotely without having to access them manually. Furthermore, PHP will transform content into different file formats thus increasing accessibility.

What can you do with PHP is also centered on database access. PHP can be used to read and write data from different database modules which open up the gate for data access. In the long run, PHP is a very important tool for e-commerce. This is the case more so where internet business applications require data storage on the web server.

Another usage of PHP is additional of graphics. There is no doubt that graphics are increasingly becoming important in online services. PHP therefore helps you to create charts and graphs on the web. It is ideal when you want to show statistics in a clearer manner. Furthermore it is useful when you want to pass information in a simple but yet understandable way. In addition, graphics of PHP extends to quick additional of images to texts. You can have for instance one button add images to templates before sending to the receiver.

What you can do with PHP extends to application control. Although at first PHP was created to allow users who log through HTTP protocol, the application has extended and today it can be used for many other applications including Microsoft excel and word as well.

There is a wide scope of what you can do with PHP. Perhaps one of the most important one is generation of the html format content over different web browsers. This is the primary objective under which the application was created but it has grown to accommodate much more. For instance nowadays the format can be used to generate XML format and other formats.

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Importance of Testing In Web Applications

The quality assurance staffs, the chief information security officer (CISO), information security managers and developers all face the tremendous pressure in regards to the responsibility to protect web applications and to keep them safe from the menacing hackers and other internal threats. With the advent of the Internet, new threats surfaces every day, overwhelming the existing security teams. The evolving landscape of the web applications makes searching for vulnerabilities a tedious process that is also costly and time consuming. The overlying question is how the security personnel will safeguard sensitive data and ultimately the reputation of the company. Imposing on them is the added responsibility is of not exploiting the internal resources, budget or being forced to use an outsourced company for manual evaluation.

The security teams often levy testing solutions that are ineffective. However, as the market matures, solutions like the white box testing are also seen. It is acute observation that not all security susceptibilities are tracked in the white box technique. The Web Application Design and Development lifecycle composes of the inception, design, development, build, and deployment. During the Software Development Lifecycle Process, it is important to map the security needs keeping in mind some of the factors as stated below:

Security Requirements: From the conception of the software development, the white board phase, the security requirements need to be built in the application design. Specific functional characteristics need to be denoted.

Security controls integrated within the design: The best practices in regards of the security controls should be integrated within the functional plan, design, and architecture phase. Utilizing the security application checklist will ensure the required security mechanisms are provided and provide a security awareness tool for the developers.

Build: During the construction of the software, the security requirements will govern the development process.

Integration Testing or the "I&T": Coding practices, design requirements, and security requirements define the characteristics that demonstrate the test cases. The security testing comprises of specific vulnerability tests. This ensures that the application is resistant to common attacks.

Deployment: Carrying forward from the Integration Testing, the tests are carried forward from the development and maintenance phase.

Maintenance: Even if the application has been launched, it is frequently accessed for the susceptibilities.

The two methods of testing are as follows:

White Box Testing

It is the method of testing software, the internal structure, or the workings of an application as opposed to the functionality are tested. In this method, an internal perspective and the programming skills are utilized to design the test cases. Similar to the testing nodes in a circuit, the tester will choose inputs to exercise paths through the code. This will ascertain appropriate outputs. Applied at the unit, integration, and system levels of the software, white box testing is usually done on the unit level.

Black Box Testing

Testing the functionalities of the application as opposed to the internal structure or the workings of a web application, the black box testing can be applied to all levels of software testing.

Application of only the white box testing can project the web application to future vulnerabilities especially in the application portfolio. It is important for the company to implement

In any Web Application Design Development, testing is an integral part that ensures the working and functioning of the web application. Aditi Biswas, working with Web Application Design and Development understands the importance of implementing both the white box and black box testing.

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Hire a Talented Web Designer for Creating an Attractive and Interactive Website

Web designing is not about designing a visually interesting website, it is all about creating a functional website that not only has a terrific visual appeal but also has the capabilities for enticing the user to explore its pages. Just as small drops of water create an ocean, similarly multiple aspects are involved in the culmination of a spectacular website such as Old Loft and Nine Lion. These websites are not just about design but about smart functionalities and technology convergence. Well, if you want to give an entirely new look to your website and make it more business focused, you need to hire a web designer who comes with knowledge of all the finer nuances of web designing. Some of these are:

• Addition of call to action button- 'Call to Action' button in website design implies the creation of graphic elements to incite action out of the users. Every website has different call to actions depending on their marketing strategy. For e-commerce companies, mostly it is 'Buy Now'. On clicking this button the user is directed to the shopping cart. Every business is governed by a certain goal and a 'Call to action's a very concrete way of directing the target audience to the desired behavior.

• Providing caption for images- Image caption adds a style element to the website and also renders an SEO advantage. Image caption comes in two different varieties. One is a simple business type and the next is the heavy graphic one. Image captions can go a long way in adding a personality to a website.

• Improving the breadcrumb navigation- 'Breadcrumbs 'refers to the secondary navigation scheme that clearly etches a user's position in a website. Breadcrumb navigation functions to minimize the number of 'clicks' or 'actions' a user has to take to reach a particular page. Better breadcrumb navigation creates a better user experience. It's a very minute aspect but goes a long way in maintaining repeat customers.

• Intelligent designing of the search box- In the modern web world, 'search 'function forms the backbone of any website. As per the usability perspective, a user mostly uses this option available in a particular website when he or she is unable find a particular object or information. Therefore, this feature can either satisfy a potential customer or create an element of disgust.

• Smart designing of 'Read more 'and 'Continue Reading'- These two features go a long way in creating an element of interest in the reader. The effectiveness of these features mostly rest with content person. An effective piece of content with a 'Read More 'or 'Continue Reading' link prompts the reads to click and get directed to a page that has the complete piece of information. These two links might also prompt a user to go and make transactions. So a lot of small small things can lend greater impacts than just design.

Apart from this, providing a gallery for images, adding progress trackers, building a 'Coming Soon 'page can greatly impact the ROI. Therefore, you should always hire a web designer keeping in mind the kind of projects he or she has worked on.

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File Integrity Monitoring and SIEM - Why Layered Security Is Essential to Combat the APT

Every time the headlines are full of the latest Cyber Crime or malware Scare story such as the Flame virus, the need to review the security standards employed by your organization takes on a new level of urgency.

The 2012 APT (Advanced Persistent Threat)

The Advanced Persistent threat differs from a regular hack or Trojan attack in that it is as the name suggests, advanced in technology and technique, and persistent, in that it is typically a sustained theft of data over many months.

So far the APT has largely been viewed as Government sponsored cyber-espionage in terms of the resources needed to orchestrate such an attack, such as the recent Flame malware which appears to have been a US or Israeli backed espionage initiative against Iran. However you always see the leading edge of technology become the norm a year later, so expect to see APT attacks reach the more mainstream, competitor-backed industrial espionage, and 'hacktivist' groups like Lulzsec and Anonymous adopting similar approaches.

The common vector for these attacks is a targeted spear phishing infiltration of the organization. Using Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media makes identification of targets much easier today, and also what kind of phishing 'bait' is going to be most effective in duping the target into providing the all-important welcoming click on the tasty links or downloads offered.

Phishing is already a well-established tool for Organized Crime gangs who will utilize these same profiled spear phishing techniques to steal data. As an interesting aside regarding organized crimes' usage of 'cybermuscle', it is reported that prices for botnets are plummeting at the moment due to oversupply of available robot networks. If you want to coerce an organization with a threat of disabling their web presence, arm yourself with a global botnet and point it at their site - DDOS attacks are easier than ever to orchestrate.

Something Must Be Done...

To be clear on what we are saying here, it isn't that AV or firewalls are no use, far from it. But the APT style of threat will evade both by design and this is the first fact to acknowledge - like the first step for a recovering alcoholic the first step is to admit you have a problem!

By definition, this kind of attack is the most dangerous because any attack that is smart enough to skip past standard defense measures is definitely going to be one that is backed by a serious intent to damage your organization (note: don't think that APT technology is therefore only an issue for blue chip organizations - that may have been the case but now that the concepts and architecture of the APT is in the mainstream, the wider hacker and hacktivist communities will already have engineered their own interpretations of the APT)

So the second fact to take on board is that there is an 'art' to delivering effective security and that requires a continuous effort to follow process and cross-check that security measures are working effectively.

The good news is that it is possible to automate the cross-checks and vigilance we have identified a need for, and in fact there are already two key technologies designed to detect abnormal occurrences within systems and to verify that security best practices are being operated.

FIM and SIEM - Security Measures Underwritten

File Integrity Monitoring or FIM serves to record any changes to the file system i.e. core operating system files or program components, and the systems' configuration settings i.e. user accounts, password policy, services, installed software, management and monitoring functions, registry keys and registry values, running processes and security policy settings for audit policy settings, user rights assignment and security options. FIM is designed to both verify that a device remains hardened and free of vulnerabilities at all time, and that the filesystem remains free of any malware.
Therefore even if some form of APT malware manages to infiltrate a critical server, well implemented FIM will detect file system changes before any rootkit protective measures that may be employed by the malware can kick in.

Likewise SIEM, or Security Information and Event Management, systems are designed to gather and analyze all system audit trails/event logs and correlate these with other security information to present a true picture of whether anything unusual and potentially security threatening is happening.

It is telling that widely adopted and practiced security standards such as the PCI DSS place these elements at their core as a means of maintaining system security and verifying that key processes like Change Management are being observed.

At the core of any comprehensive security standard is the concept of layered security - firewalling, IPS, AV, patching, hardening, DLP, tokenization, secure application development and data encryption, all governed by documented change control procedures and underpinned by audit trail analysis and file integrity monitoring. Even then with standards like the PCI DSS there is a mandated requirement for Pen Testing and Vulnerability Scanning as further checks and balances that security is being maintained.


In summary, your security policy should be built around the philosophy that technology helps secure your organizations' data, but that nothing can be taken for granted. Only by practicing continuous surveillance of system activity can you truly maintain data security, very much the essence of the Art of Layered Security.

NNT is a leading provider of general Security and PCI DSS Compliance solutions. As both a PCI DSS Compliance Software Manufacturer and Security Services Provider, we are firmly focused on helping organisations protect their sensitive data against security threats and network breaches in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

NNT solutions are straightforward to use and offer exceptional value for money, making it easy and affordable for organisations of any size to achieve and retain compliance at all times. Each product has the guidelines of the PCI DSS at its core, which can then be tailored to suit any internal best practice or external compliance initiative.

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