Learning Guide

Network user management

When it comes to enterprise network security, managers and administrators across all verticals agree that their very own users are a perpetual and un-changing threat. While networking professionals can do the utmost to protect their perimeters, they must be careful with how they enforce network security policies and allocate user permissions. How can managers and admins control the users on their networks? Take a look at these problem user profiles to guide you in network user management by either navigating the table of contents below or scrolling down.



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Managing Internet novice network problem user
  Managing downloading disaster network problem users
  Managing network problem user CEOs
  Can you trust your users?
  Further network user management reading


Having un-savvy Internet users on your network is often worse than having a hacker on your hands. Though Internet novices mean well, they can slow down the whole network by downloading spyware and other Internet dregs onto their computers, even exposing sensitive enterprise data to the outside world.

View the security risks, overall threat level and threat resolution for the Internet novice in the first article of this managing problem network user series: Protecting against Internet novices.


Blocking porn with firewalls
To learn how to block porn and instant messengers from your network, view this advice from security expert Puneet Mehta: Block porn with ISA firewalls.
Restricting users from types of traffic
Do bandwidth hogs like video and streaming radio cause your network to crawl? There are ways to ban such usage if you've calculated the business case for preventing this type of traffic. Learn how to enforce network security policies to restrict users from streaming radio on your network in this expert answer.

Internet activity user permissions
There are some instances where Web research is not part of business functions. In those cases, you may need to heavily block users Internet access. To block users from most websites view this expert response.

Secure authorized user wireless access
How can you secure a wireless network connection but also make it easy for authorized users to have access? View wireless networking expert Lisa Phifer's answer in configuring wireless user access.


Enterprise networking professionals have been contending with intensive downloaders since the dawn of the Internet, but there's still no quick fix for dealing with the "downloading disaster." That's because blocking all downloads or file sharing sites isn't the answer, as many of these users are hogging bandwidth in order to download business- essential data. There are specific countermeasures you can enforce to deter users from downloading non-work related material.

To find out how, learn the security risks, threat level and threat resolution for downloading disaster problem users.


USB storage device threats
One of the biggest internal threats to network security is the use of USB storage devices. In these tips, learn two USB storage device use prevention methods. Then learn how to use Windows Vista group policy to prevent unauthorized USB device use.
Which users download the most?
According to site expert Chris Partsenidis, you can determine which user downloads the most through any of the applications recommended on Tucows.com or CNET's download.com.

Bandwidth allocation for each user
To manage network bandwidth, our administration expert, Lindi Horton, explains how to give a download limit for each user in this expert answer.

Limiting MBs each user downloads
Are users downloading during peak hours causing your Internet speed to slow? Our network administration guru explains how to give a MB downloading limit to users, in this Ask the Expert response.


With great power comes great responsibility. Unfortunately, that means CEOs with a god complex can cause great problems. These "make-it-so" CEOs want their networks not only to work but to work for them without hassle, without passwords and without understanding how and why -- even if those demands imperil network security. Quite often, hapless network admins have to leave the rest of the organization on hold while patiently explaining how to turn on a home router or why using the term "password" is not a secure password.

Learn how to deal with a toxic boss in managing network problem user CEOs.


Find users with weak passwords
Security expert Puneet Mehta recommends using L0phtCrack to identify users with weak passwords.

Explaining user access permissions to your boss
Does your boss not understand that your users shouldn't have admin access to their machines? Here are some resources you can cite as argument to turn the tide in favor of your network's security. Read these steps to persuade your boss from user admin access.

Believe it or not, trusting your users has its benefits. If you develop a dialogue with the users on your network, you will be able to create a policy that works for them and keeps them from wanting to compromise network security with hacks and workarounds.

Learn more about how trusting users prevents data leaks in this article.

Browse SearchNetworking.com's network administration section.
Search for specific network management topics.
See SearchSecurity.com's information security policies topic page.

This was first published in October 2009

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