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A Real-World Example of IT Consulting

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A Real-World Example of IT Consulting


If you’re a business owner or manager, chances are you’ve encountered a computer problem at some point. Whether it was as little as experiencing problems with a certain software product or as serious as a hard drive crash, We are all exposed to technology every day in this day and age. It is only a matter of time before we confront an issue with it. While some of these issues are universal, you may come across one that is the result of an unskilled person putting something together. As a result, the network is unnecessarily exposed and vulnerable.


Consider Fran’s Frozen Yogurt (a pseudo company for the sake of this article). Fran’s has a POS system that is hardwired into their network. There is one primary computer and two mobile POS systems. The primary computer serves as a server to which the two peripheral systems can connect. A wifi network is also put up for consumers to utilise while eating their frozen yoghurt. Seems simple enough, doesn’t it? So…yes and no. Fran’s employer was not a highly competent Dallas IT consulting firm, and as a result, all of their internal sensitive information was severely exposed. So, what exactly happened?


To begin with, whenever you have a network installed, whether it’s a wireless network, VPN (Virtual Private Network), or LAN (Local Area Network), it’s critical to map out what will be connected to what and how data will be sent across the network. If you are going to handle credit cards and transfer that data over the network, you must take extra precautions. You want to keep any flaws in your system to a minimum, which isn’t an impossible undertaking. It is frequently as simple as relocating a cable or adding a router with a built-in firewall. The essential message is that you cannot expect your company network to just plug and play.


So, returning to Fran’s network dilemma, The Dallas IT consulting firm that deployed their network configured the networking equipment in a backwards arrangement. They had connected a wireless router (with all of their POS systems directly linked into it) to the local Internet Service Provider’s modem, which is fine if the network settings are proper. However, because they provided free WiFi access to their consumers, how they connected a second wireless router to the network constituted a security issue for them. Rather than connecting the customer wireless router to the ISP modem and then to the main business wireless network, they linked the customer wireless router to the main company wireless router. As a result, any users on the wireless network are already inside the built-in firewall of the wireless router. That is, any technically skilled individual with malicious intent may simply and rapidly get access to Fran’s internal network and all of the critical information with minimal security resistance.


Now for the solution. This was a typical example of an easily corrected scenario that took very little effort but made a huge difference in terms of security threats for the firm. It did not need any additional equipment or programming. It was just a matter of rewiring the customer’s wireless router so that it no longer linked directly to the corporate network but instead to the ISP modem. This basic operation of simply rearranging the sequence in which the devices were linked together made a huge difference in their network security. And now the owners of that company can rest easy knowing that their network is safe and that it did not cost them an arm and a leg. All it required was an experienced Dallas IT consulting business. So, the next time you hire an IT consulting firm to help you with your networking needs, make sure they have a game plan for mapping out your network requirements and ask them how they intend to keep things safe.


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