Information technology advisors have a challenging job when it comes to avoiding the many problems and pitfalls that can occur in the IT sector. So what are their biggest challenges and what can they do to overcome them?Keeping the client happyInformation technology advisors are the same as most other businesses when it comes to the philosophy that a happy client is one of the keys to success. Keeping the client happy may come in a number of different forms and it is important to prioritize their happiness over most other aspects of the role.The old saying that ‘the customer is always right’ is not necessarily always the case, as there will be times where they will request something that is simply not feasible. In these situations it is important to communicate openly and honestly, and to advise at the earliest possible opportunity any problems that may occur, or have already arisen.Managing clients’ expectations is crucial to ensuring that when difficult situations develop, they are aware and somewhat prepared. Reacting to these bumps in the road and the ability to develop solutions to counter them can be one of the trickiest parts of the job and is something that will develop with experience and understanding of the role.TimeframeOne of the most common problems that information technology advisors are likely to face is the battle against time. Even with some of the top project management skills, it is difficult to foresee exactly what sort of issues will arise that could disrupt the completion timeline.Often the issues that come up are outside of the information technology advisors’ control, and although they are not responsible for the hitch, they will still be required to problem solve the issue, while making an effort to remain on schedule to complete the project.One tip for managing a project time frame is to be extremely careful when setting final dates of the various phases of the project. When deciding on these dates, a great deal of experience and expertise in project management is required, along with open and clear communication with the client. Completing a project on time will not only be better for your budget, but will ensure a good reputation.Understand costs and budgetInformation technology advisors not only need to design a working and efficient system, but there also needs to be a proficient understanding of costs and working within a budget. Budgets, like time frames, are extremely easy to exceed if the right project management skills are not applied, so care and diligence is required before providing any quotes.Document workLastly and occasionally overlooked by information technology advisors, is ensuring that all work is documented clearly and concisely. While this may seem tedious at the time, well documented work will make understanding the system far easier in the future, while also being a useful tool for providing justification for decisions, if any is ever required.
Drive up and down any neighborhood with a Laptop and wireless network card and chances are very good there is an unprotected wireless network waiting for anyone to connect. Imagine the hacker or your neighbor who has been using your connection and possibly capturing all data being transmitted over the Network. Your Email, Bank and Credit Card account information vulnerable and out in the open for anyone to steal.If this sounds like your home wireless network, it’s time you put security in place and lock out unwanted guest. Beyond the oblivious security measures, changing and disabling SSID broadcast, turning off your wireless router when not is use, these 5 tips will secure a home wireless network in layers, and give the boot to even the most seasoned professional.Tip #1 – Do not use DHCP – Using DHCP is very convenient, especially for intruders. DHCP automatically hands out IP addresses to any who successfully connects to your Network. When disabled, every computer or device must be manually assigned an IP address. All computers, printers and devices on your network will need to be manually configured with static IP addresses. The threat of just handing out access is eliminated and you gain more control over who can connect to the network.Also consider changing the router local IP address to something other than 192.168.1.1 that most wireless routers are configured by default. Use an address of 10.0.0.x for the router and for assigning IP addresses to devices on your network. Changes to the defaults set by the router manufacture will help keep intruders guessing and keep them off the network.Tip #2 – Change The Router Default Password – While this may seems like the most logical task when setting up a wireless router, many people ignore changing the password. You will be surprised how many people think just using encryption on their wireless network will prevent someone from gaining access to your router.With router vendors using well known default passwords such as admin for Linksys, Dlink and Netgear, encryption will not stop intruder access to the administration interface and gaining access to more than just your Network.
Best practice is to change your password using a complex password. If your name is Joseph, you can easily mix alpha, numeric, and special characters to make a password you will never forget such as J0s3ph!r0ut3r*Tip #3 – Implement The Strongest Form Of Encryption – This can potentially be the weak point of your Network, since wireless signals transmit over the airways. A hacker does not need to be connected to the Network to steal data. Use the highest encryption available. such as WPA-Personal or WPA2 with a long pass phrase mixed with alpha,
numeric and special characters. Ignore anyone who advises you to at least use WEP, which is a very weak form of encryption.WEP (wireless encryption protocol) is one of the earliest form of encryption and the easiest to break. You will be at risk by not upgrading to a better wireless router, that offers newer encryption technology. If you run a home business, or use online banking, there is no excuse to protect your self by making a small investment for security.Tip #4 Enable MAC Filtering: A MAC (Media Access Control) address is a unique identifier, similar to fingerprints for people. MAC’s are assigned during the manufacturing of a network device, such as a network card or Wireless adapter. Enabling MAC Filter allows you to control which wireless-equipped Computers may or may not communicate with the Router depending on their MAC addresses and not allow any Computers that have not been added to the list.Tip #5 – Secure your Computer – Gaining access to your home network from your router is not the only entry point that exists. The sites you visit and protocols used, if not trusted, can be an invitation to theft of identity.
What do I mean by protocol? An example of a protocol is HTTP, HTTPs, FTP, etc. When creating username and passwords on websites such as financial related sites should always use HTTPS. These sites may need to install Java applets or ActiveX controls which could contain malicious code that can create a backdoor into your network remotely.Make sure the site is authentic by verifying the certificate used and never respond to emails that claim account information is needed. Avoid being tricked into thinking it is your financial institute or site where you made a credit card purchases. Antivirus and Spyware software should always be up to date as well as making sure your Computer has the latest patches installed.Protecting your home today involves more than just deadbolts and alarms. With technology creeping into your house in the form of wires, cables and airways, securing your personal data today involves, information, knowledge and good common sense.