I didn't used to be that paranoid. But lately, I am looking
over my shoulder and beyond my desktop more. Why? Several
My email inbox is filled with viruses, spam, worms, and other
effluvia, to the point of overflowing. I have written about
the products that I use to combat these annoyances, and
hopefully 2003 will bring continued improvements to these
My corporation now scans every inbound email, rejecting many
because of unfortunate combination of words or phrases that
are deemed verboten. The ultimate folly of this exercise was
brought home to me when I tried to send a colleague an email
from my personal account to his corporate account, only to
have it bounced back. Granted, there are better products than
what we use that have improved heuristics at catching porn
and letting through legit messages. Unfortunately, our IT
department doesn't use them. Maybe in 2003 that will change.
Given the number of times my cable modem is scanned by
outside parties, every home user should use a firewall on
their networks these days. Too bad my cable company still
continues to ignore the peril they place their users in. They
continue either ignore home networks or else ask their
customers to remove these firewalls when troubleshooting home
networking problems. Maybe 2003 will bring enlightenment to
the cable operators and they can finally begin to offer these
products as part of their standard installation.
Maybe 2003 will see the moment in time when a version of
Windows server product will actually be more secure and less
hackable than a version of Unix. I don't think so, but I can
dream, can't I?
I think 2002 was the year that VPNs became commodity
products, offered on sub-$150 routers. Maybe 2003 will be the
year that we all start using VPNs. Maybe it will also be the
year that VPNs actually can be configured by the average
This was the year that wireless networking became pervasive,
and also the year that stealing wireless bandwidth became
popular. Hopefully, there will be better protocols, tools,
and techniques to enable secure wireless networks in the
My government is spending more time figuring out ways to get
around individual liberties and freedoms in the name of
fighting terrorism. While I don't like terrorism and
terrorists as much as the next guy, I do believe our Bill of
Rights entitles us to certain things. Maybe our elected
officials will get more enlightened in 2003, but I don't
I hope you all had a restful and happy holiday weekend. Let
me know your own thoughts for the coming year.
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Entire contents copyright 2002 by David Strom, Inc.
David Strom, email@example.com, +1 (516) 562-7151
Port Washington NY 11050
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