I’d been speaking with a colleague that happened to be boxed in to the realm of proprietary solutions, as far as the products and services that he sold. His experience had been with installations of small business servers with the latest patches installed. We were talking about all of the really cool and useful things that you can do with Microsoft products. What we really wanted to know was the answer to these questions: “What can you do with Open Source
that you can’t do with proprietary solutions?” and “What can you do with proprietary solutions that can’t be done with open source?”
Gartner Technology fully supports the latest and greatest Microsoft Products. In fact, as a registered MS partner, we have access to a large volume of software including Servers (Small Business Server 2008, MSSQL Server, Web Servers, etc.) and workstations (Windows 7, Vista, XP Professional, etc.). We use Microsoft in house for 30% of our day to day operations with around $500.00 - $600.00 in operating system and office suite applications for marketing, email management, etc. per desktop. Continue reading
I recently performed a security audit for a local retailer that provided wireless internet access as a convenience to its customers. This wireless access point (WAP) was set up by a relative of the proprietor who “knows a lot about computers”. Like many of these wireless hot-spots, customers didn’t need a password, or any special configuration to get on the internet. I often see wireless routers configured like this even in businesses that have no intention of providing public access. I turned on my laptop and was easily connected. I had no problems getting on the internet - very easy and convenient -great when your sitting in a coffee shop. I also had no problems getting on their internal network. In less than a minute, I was looking at the files on the company’s point of sale and inventory management computer - files which I could have deleted, or altered, or copied. I didn’t even use any special tools or secret scanning software to do it. In fact, a person with the very basic knowledge of how to read Windows network configuration information could have done the same thing. Fortunately, my intent was to find problems like these and get them fixed.