Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 65

Thread: Questions about basic networking school

  1. #1
    Junior Member MisterCrash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    27

    Default Questions about basic networking school

    I'm starting a "Computer Networking Science" associates degree program at my local tec. school. It seems to be a basic networking degree but it's the best thing I could find in my area. I just wanted to ask Xploitz and anyone else who is/has attended similar programs that involve the general study of networking etc. What do you want to do after school? Pen-testing specifically or simply a network administrator? I think a job as a pen-tester would indeed be cool, but I believe I would enjoy even being a network admin as well. I've always shown an interest in making computers "talk", and feel any job in this field would be fun. Also, just wondering how much such a basic class prepares you for a pen-testing specific job. I'm asking this stuff here because the counselors there were not at all familiar at all with the word "pen-test", and couldn't offer any insight to these questions. Thanks everyone.

  2. #2
    Senior Member streaker69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Virginville, BlueBall, Bird In Hand, Intercourse, Paradise, PA
    Posts
    3,535

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterCrash View Post
    I'm starting a "Computer Networking Science" associates degree program at my local tec. school. It seems to be a basic networking degree but it's the best thing I could find in my area. I just wanted to ask Xploitz and anyone else who is/has attended similar programs that involve the general study of networking etc. What do you want to do after school? Pen-testing specifically or simply a network administrator? I think a job as a pen-tester would indeed be cool, but I believe I would enjoy even being a network admin as well. I've always shown an interest in making computers "talk", and feel any job in this field would be fun. Also, just wondering how much such a basic class prepares you for a pen-testing specific job. I'm asking this stuff here because the counselors there were not at all familiar at all with the word "pen-test", and couldn't offer any insight to these questions. Thanks everyone.
    My opinion, Pen-testing jobs are few and far between, and it's the latest thing that everyone wants to be when they grow up.

    And there ain't nothing simple about being a Network Admin. Especially if you're in a mid-size company where you are the 'IT department'.

    Pen-Testing may be the cool sexy thing to be, but I bet you'll have a harder time finding a job as such, especially with no actual field experience to draw on. If you want to know more about what being a competent Network Admin feel free to ask.
    A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

  3. #3
    My life is this forum Barry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    3,817

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by streaker69 View Post
    If you want to know more about what being a competent Network Admin feel free to ask.
    You know one??


    I wanted to be rich when I grow up, but my wife won't let me marry a rich super model.... Finding a pen-test job will be next to impossible. Finding a decent net admin job is a bit harder without any real experience. Pretty much anything in the computer fixin' world is a good start though. Once you're settled into your job show the local net admins you have an interest in testing. They might, let you sit in on a few of their jobs. I'm just a computer tech, but I've shown our net admin that I have a pretty decent knowledge in wireless networking. They bounce some ideas off me and I'm one of the first guys they grab to go find rogue access points at the schools.


    In case you didn't notice, I was joking with Streaker, he really knows his stuff.
    Of course, if you really wanted to have some fun, go to Wal-Mart late at night and ask the greeter if they could help you find trashbags, roll of carpet, rope, quicklime, clorox and a shovel. See if they give you any strange looks. --Streaker69

  4. #4
    Junior Member imported_Delta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    34

    Default

    yea .. money... we all want it

    I did some research, the silicon valley in CAL has the most jobs open for networking and stuff like that... and hey - NORCAL pays well right?
    "Bart, with $10,000, we'd be millionaires! We could buy all kinds of useful things like...LOVE!"
    by, Homer J Simpson:cool:

  5. #5
    Junior Member MisterCrash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    27

    Default

    Yes I would be very interested in hearing what it takes in being a Network Admin. This is supossed to be the job I'll be prepared for after school. I have some basic experience setting up WiFi networks for a few of the companies I have worked for in the past. Later on I have the option of transferring on to a four year college to obtain a BA. But I would like to get an entry level job after these two years and get some hands on experience first.

  6. #6
    My life is this forum thorin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,629

    Default

    Later on I have the option of transferring on to a four year college to obtain a BA. But I would like to get an entry level job after these two years and get some hands on experience first.
    A large percentage of people who try this never go back. I don't have a source to quote but my guess is that it's well over 75%. If you want your BA and the higher pay etc that can come with it then just commit to doing it.
    I'm a compulsive post editor, you might wanna wait until my post has been online for 5-10 mins before quoting it as it will likely change.

    I know I seem harsh in some of my replies. SORRY! But if you're doing something illegal or posting something that seems to be obvious BS I'm going to call you on it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member streaker69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Virginville, BlueBall, Bird In Hand, Intercourse, Paradise, PA
    Posts
    3,535

    Default

    Network Admins are generally disliked among the general populace of employees as we're looked upon as being Nazi's because we won't let people do stupid things. The average computer user in business seems to think that the computer sitting on their desk is theirs to do with as they please, and it's the job of the NA to make sure that they cannot do that. Thus the animosity.

    It's always better if you can prohibit the things they can do with their machines without ever visiting their desk, so GPO's become a big role in NA's work. Study them, learn them, love them, they'll make your life so much easier.

    When you're dealing with your users, you need to be friendly and courteous, even though most of the time the users are not to you. Just remember, chances are, you have a better job than they do, you can go anywhere(If you're good enough) and get a better job, but the people really won't change. In my case, my users are a fairly friendly group, with only a bit of animosity from a certain couple.

    It is your job to teach the users about why they cannot and should not do certain things. Like opening attachments in email, or falling for phishing scams. What I do here, is when something new comes out that they haven't been exposed to, I throw together a PPT of whatever it is and then a hold a training session for everyone and show them what to look out for. I combine that with humor and not a bunch of technical jargon and they're generally very responsive and learn it well. We've only had 1 case where someone fell for a phishing scam and that was before I presented my PPT on phishing. Since then, not a single instance of someone falling for one. Users, believe it or not can be trained, as long as they understand what they're being taught.

    As a NA, it's also your job to know EVERYTHING that occurs on your network. I'm not saying you need to know it the instant that it happens (although doing that will give you a godlike status), but you should always be able to go through the logs and determine what happened when and where. In my case, I have a Network Monitor System, which is Cacti. It's a OSS system that works great for monitoring just about anything you can possible imagine. All of the event logs of all the windows machines report to it, I can graph just about anything from any device. I can even tell you the current temp/humidity in my server room with it. This is all part of knowing what's going on. My firewall reports all inbound and outbound connections to it, and with that, I was able to track down someone that was coming in after work and looking a pr0n (large breasted british women to be exact). I was able to pin it down to which machine was doing it, and then using the networked video surveillance device, I was able to pin it on the correct employee by reviewing who came through the gate shortly before the traffic started.

    Also with Cacti, I've been able to determine who is streaming music/video from the Interweb thus clogging our pipes with non-work related traffic. I can tell you every single MAC address that is allowed on our network, which Port that MAC is allowed to connect to on any given Switch, and if I take the time, I could set it up to be alerted if a foreign MAC were to be plugged in.

    Traffic control is also key, in maintaining a healthy network, and I don't mean the types of websites people can visit. I mean actually configuring a managed network properly for optimum speed. Most small/medium size businesses their networks were built from a hodgepodge of off the shelf consumer grade devices with no thought to efficiency. In today's market, there's no reason why small/medium size businesses cannot have a fully managed network without breaking the budget. 3Com makes a really nice line of inexpensive managed switches that will do most things that a small/medium size business needs.

    Putting in a managed switch is not just a matter of buying it and plugging it in. In my case, every single port on my switches is configured for the device that's connected to them. All workstations are configured manually to be running at 100MbFDX and their connected switch port is configured the same. If you can manually set the speed on all your devices and not have any devices auto-negotiate, your network will be much happier. If devices do not support 100MbFDX then manually set them to a speed that they do support, but do not leave them in Auto-negotiate unless that's your only option.

    When you're dealing with management to get the money for something that you need to buy, it's important to explain to them in terms they understand why you need it. It's better to justify they cost to them in ways that it's either going to save money in the long run, or increase efficiency of the average worker, or save the company from a potential downtime. That's also where Cacti or any other NMS can come into play. You can show them graphs of drives filling up, temperatures increasing, processors overworked. Management likes graphs with pretty colors on them. The guy that was my boss that just left a couple months ago, always complained that management wouldn't give him money for things that he needed. I think his problem was that he wouldn't/couldn't justify those items to the corner office. Whereas everything that I've asked for I've gotten with very few questions asked.

    When you're spec'ing new hardware, triple check that it is going to do what you want it to do. Nothing worse than getting something in that you just convinced management you needed and then having to go back to them and say you need more money for something else. Leave that kind of thing up to contractors to screw up. You as the NA, should never make such rookie mistakes. Develop a good relationship with your sales rep's at your suppliers. If you do, they'll be happy to do much of your research for you on items you're looking at. My main sales rep, if he doesn't hear from me for a week, he calls just to make sure that everything is ok and if there's anything I need right away. Also don't be afraid to shop around for pricing, even if you do have a good sales rep. Sometimes, depending upon what you're looking for, it's better to go for the less expensive.

    For example, yesterday I was looking for 64 ST-ST fiber connectors so that I can make my own Fiber patchpanels to install in my PLC's. I'm making my own because space is at a premium in the cabinets and all the panels that found were just too damn big and expensive. My normal supplier had them $5.89 each, which is $376.96 for all that I needed. So I started to look around, I found a webvendor that has them for $2.14 each and they included the dustcaps, which my vendor did not. So I placed my entire order with webvendor and saved the difference.

    As a NA, you should always be looking for projects to do. Things that will improve efficiency, prevent failures, teach the users or anything else to keep you from reading Slashdot all day. Myself, I currently have 4 major projects and a couple of minor ones that I'm working on. One project that we'll probably not have completed until late next year is installing a new Firealarm system at our plant, integrating the system into our SCADA control network and configuring control screens on our HMI.

    If someone asks you something that you don't know, don't be afraid to admit that you don't know it, but tell them that you will find an answer for them. Just don't make something up because that will most times come back and bite you in the ass. I keep a folder in my files full of KB and 'help' documents from various sources. So if I run across something unique, I print it out and save it for future reference. Try not to make your users feel stupid, and do not have an aloof attitude with them. All that does is have them complain to management that you're making them feel stupid, even though they might be stupid, you don't need them complaining about it.

    Always have a Plan B in whatever you're doing. Plan B should never be 'run', it needs to be a solution to the problem that was caused by Plan A. Don't be adverse to working well past your normal quitting time during the day. I can't tell you the number of times that I've been working hours into the evening because of something unexpected happened. Just the other day, I ended up having to shutdown the entire main network because of a UPS failure right at 4:30. Fortunately, I had known that UPS was on it's last legs and I had an APC 3300 sitting in my office ready to install. So when it failed, I just installed it right then, and I was out by 5:30 (we close at 4:30), and I only disrupted a couple of people by doing it that way.

    If your company rolls out new machines every couple years, take some of the old machines that are being replaced and use them for things that you want to test out and play with. That's why my Cacti box got started, I told an old workstation and built it into that and it's been running that way ever since. Now when it comes time to replace it with a newer faster machine, I can go to management and tell them why I'd need to spend the money on it. I did the same thing with my SnortBox (IDS System).

    I guess that's enough for now. Feel free to ask questions. I've been doing this for alot of years, and my actual duties where I am, actually are quite extensive, more so than what most NetAdmins would be responsible for.
    A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

  8. #8
    Senior Member streaker69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Virginville, BlueBall, Bird In Hand, Intercourse, Paradise, PA
    Posts
    3,535

    Default

    Oh, one thing I forgot, as a NetAdmin, it's important that you always have Pink Floyd playing in the background when someone enters your office.
    A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

  9. #9
    Member Primey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    126

    Default

    im failing to see the Pink Floyd playing on the background when someone enters your office

    i usually go for Slipknot and scare them off

  10. #10
    Senior Member imported_spankdidly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,031

    Default

    Nice writeup Streaker! Pretty darn informative.
    I felt like bending the bars back, and ripping out the window frames and eating them. yes, eating them! Leaping, leaping, leaping! Colonics for everyone! All right! You dumb*sses. I'm a mental patient. I'm *supposed* to act out!

Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •