CALL US: 216-397-4080  | CLIENT HELP DESK: 216-539-3686

Water Striders, Scuba Divers, and Submersibles

Water Striders, Scuba Divers, and Submersibles

Riverbank Ruminations; Observations from The Banks of The Technology River

Tom Evans ~  Ashton Engineer Emeritus


Water Striders, Scuba Divers, and Submersibles

My wife and I enjoy scuba diving. One of the main differences between scuba diving and swimming is that scuba divers go well below the surface and stay there as long as their air supply permits. Swimmers are limited to lung capacity and they typically  don’t use fins to assist with propulsion. Snorkelers add fins, masks, and snorkels to allow them to see clearly below the surface and swim farther and faster than unequipped swimmers. Scuba divers have more time to examine things below the surface. If you really want to spend time underwater and have the resources, there are submersibles that probe the depths of even the deepest trenches in the ocean.

Whether you do any of those activities depends much on what you enjoy and what you want to see. Many people enjoy snorkeling since it allows them to see the colorful reef fish, but they are not interested in the deeper adventures offered by scuba. Cost and scarcity is certainly a factor when it comes to submersibles since they are mostly involved in research. There are tourist submarines that don’t go very deep and allow a comfortable experience without getting wet. Again, you have to want to see things below the surface to spend the time and money to partake.

When it comes to your network, are you a swimmer, a snorkeler, a scuba diver, or a water strider?  The water strider is that interesting insect that takes advantage of the surface tension of water to move over the surface without sinking. During its normal activities, it darts here and there across the surface without getting wet. It conducts all its business on the surface.

Viewing From The Surface

Are you like a water strider when it comes to your network? If you never look below the surface you will never know what is good or bad about your network security configuration. The days of installing a network and never having to look at it again have long passed. Attacks are constantly evolving and the dependence of each business on a local network safely connected to the internet has increased exponentially over the last few years. Now, many businesses are moving to a cloud-based infrastructure that has a new set of issues with which to deal.

A Little Deeper Dive

If you’re a snorkeler, you are looking down from the surface and maybe taking that short trip into the depths of IT to see what it looks like. You may or may not like what you see. You might not even understand what you see, but you’ll definitely see more than the water strider or the person floating on the surface. Were there any predators there when you looked? Do you even know what a predator looks like? In the IT ecosystem, many predators are adept at disguising themselves to look harmless. Think of phishing emails, attachments, phone calls about an Amazon charge, and the myriad of other things that you encounter daily.

All The Details

If you are like a scuba diver, you can do a deeper dive and stay longer to inspect things. Most scuba divers will take the time to learn about the environment they are exploring. They will learn what not to touch (most things, but fire coral is a real no-no), what predators look like,  and what things are somewhat friendly.

Think of your business as an oil rig in the ocean. Most of it is not seen. What needs to be inspected is the part no one can see – the part below the surface. To inspect that structure requires divers in special suits or even in submersibles. This is not something that is required every day, and these inspectors can hired as needed. On your network, you will want to have a regular inspection done at the deepest levels. It is not unusual to find customers who don’t really know what is on their network. Things have been added to solve a problem and not properly documented, or more importantly, the security aspects of the addition were not considered.

Network security is a challenging task. Just ask the folks at SolarWinds. I see articles daily about data breaches involving the exposure of millions of records containing user data. Something was wrong with the security in every case. In some cases, the problem could have been spotted with a look from the surface. (One SolarWinds server had the password ‘solarwinds123!’). Other incidents would have taken the deep dive to discover.

Don’t let your review of your network be the water strider view. Get a good look, deep down, even if you have to hire someone to do it for you. The network may look good on the surface but keep in mind this quote from Dorthy Parker: “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.”  To get a better picture of your network and security, call Ashton Solutions at216 397-4080.





Related Posts