LAN Systems 
July/August 2013 eNewsletter
Best of Gwinett 2013       
Please vote for us in the 2013 Best of Gwinnett. Use this link, enter your name and email, choose Business, Best I.T. Service, LAN Systems, submit. Or use the quick vote, choose Best I.T. Service and type in LAN Systems. Thanks a million!
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Wishing you the very best for your business,

Congratulations to Good Sam!


Good SAM BOTMGood Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett     

The Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett named Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Month. A well-deserved honor for the mission, outreach and good work of all those at Good Sam.

How Hot is Too Hot?  Safe Computer Temperatures

Overheating greatly reduces the life of electronics. To protect your computer from overheating the manufacturer will add safeguards that will shutdown the system if it reaches a critical temperature. Prevent unintended shutdowns by running at safe computer temperatures.


A maximum safe operating range is often 60-70 degrees Celsius (140-158 degrees Fahrenheit) depending upon the components. You can purchase higher-temperature tolerant devices which are often called hardened or military-grade, but they cost more.


To keep computers at safe temperatures, the case design will have cooling systems. These cooling systems usually consist of a series of fans strategically placed but may also include liquid circulation systems. Removing the cover or side panels can disrupt the desired airflow and actually increase the temperature of critical components. Dust build-up can also impede air-flow and cause overheating. It is important to minimize the amount of dust, dirt, lint and hair in your computer's environment. Ventilation and filtration systems are needed for computer health. If you have a computer in a dusty area, you have to keep a close eye on it and clean as needed.


Humidity is also a hazard for electronics. It worsens in dusty environments which is why carpet is not recommended for server rooms. The relative humidity should be between 40-60%. If the humidity is too low, static electricity can shock you and your computers. If humidity is too high, condensation can cause hardware corrosion.


The room or ambient temperature is a big factor of the temperature of the internal components. Server rooms can be uncomfortably cold for humans but toasty for electronics. For the average server room, temperatures from 16-24 degrees Celsius (60-75 degrees Fahrenheit) are common, but even lower temperatures may be necessary depending upon the number and location of servers.


With the summer coming be sure that you have adequate cooling to monitor and keep your computer at safe temperatures. Computers should be in a cool, dry, dust-free (or minimized) environment to maximize useful life. If your computer overheats, you have to cool it to prevent damage. If the fans are not working or if there is too much dust to get airflow the computer will shutdown - temporarily or permanently.

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LAN Systems

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What Kept Me Up Last Night: Is IEMI Science Fiction or Reality?

By Guest Author Jim Cavanagh,, +1.770.984.5800


EMIAm I a "security guy"? I have written or edited half a dozen or so books and hundreds of articles and white papers on security, I routinely speak at cybersecurity trade shows and conferences and I am a DHS-credentialed table top exercise writer and moderator. So people might assume I am a "security guy" but, no, I am actually a computer and network technologist who needs to secure stuff. It may boil down to pretty much the same thing but the perspective - the angle from which I attack a problem - is very different from that of a security guy.
I am often asked "what keeps me up at night?" The answers have changed a lot over the years and have often been resolved with additional study or new countermeasures or security techniques. What kept me awake in 1995, for instance, is much different than what causes loss of sleep now. A much better question would be "what kept me awake last night"? The answer is IEMI, is it science fiction or reality?


EMIIEMI stands for Intentional Electromagnetic Interference, which is very closely related to Electromagnetic Pulse, or EMP. Most Americans have heard of EMP and know the story: a man-made EMP weapon detonated about 300 miles over the Earth's surface causes widespread damage to electronic components. This includes everything from cell phones, PCs, notebooks, tablets and palm devices to SCADA electronics, refrigeration, weather sensors, train gates, car and truck electrical systems, even the power grid itself. And a million other electronic things. What differentiates EMP from IEMI is that EMP can originate from a rogue state but is just as likely to be caused by Mother Nature. IEMI is completely of human origin. 
So, why does IEMI keep me awake? First of all, IEMI is not science fiction. IEMI can be used by disgruntled employees, rogue states, cybercriminals, terrorists and even spurned lovers. In fact, the list is almost endless. One thing that all of the folks that use IEMI have in common is that some of them are extremely intelligent. But they don't have to be. The second thing is that IEMI weapons can be sophisticated truck-mounted Star Wars-like affairs made by experts at great expense but for the most part are constructed with a minimum of technical skill from readily available parts. A perfectly workable, and dangerous, IEMI weapon can fit in a soft drink can, or can even be smaller. The third thing that is always a part of my IEMI nightmares is that a destructive IEMI signal can go through walls and, in fact, can inflict extreme collateral damage on all nearby systems that are not correctly shielded. In many cases at a range of two-football fields or more.

There is a growing body of evidence that IEMI is being used on US soil by an ever-expanding cast of bad characters for the same reasons law enforcement and the military have been using it for years: it works from a distance with no real danger to the perpetrator. IEMI weapons can be constructed easily from parts readily at hand, such as components from discarded microwave ovens. IEMI defenses, such as shielding and detectors are not widely known or utilized but are available. And, most importantly, so little is known about IEMI by the IT and tech communities that IEMI attacks are often written off to static electricity or electrical spikes and are not researched further or even logged as problems.

What can you do so that IEMI doesn't keep you awake at night? Learn more, check and see if your cloud-based or corporate data center is properly shielded and, better yet, has IEMI detectors. It isn't the entire solution but it's a start.


About the Author 

James CavanaghJames P. Cavanagh is a technologist and network engineer who spends a lot of time and effort on assuring the security, hardening, resiliency and business continuity of systems, regardless of the cause. His organization, Cyber Exercises, along with Technology Association of Georgia pioneered the Cyber Attack & Business Continuity Simulation in February 2013. It was the first open table top simulation of its kind featuring over 40 on-stage role-players working to bring the fictional Global News Network back on the air after a paralyzing series of terrorist attacks on GNN's uplink satellite facilities. Two of the attacks were IEMI.

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