Q: Cisco Site to Site VPN

New week a new question, in this case the question is a bit more generic and I believe raises a few dilemmas, feel free to take a shot at it:

Hi Experts,

Is it secure to just configure Cisco IPSEC/GRE site to site tunnel without firewall/IPS/IDS. The argument here is although it is internet facing, there is only a host to host routing between the routers and the default route goes to the tunnel. Am I right to say that it is technically secure since the router only route traffic between the designated routers?

Thanks in advance.

J. O.

Q: Socket Security

A new question for you guys – you have been great answering the previous one:
Hi I’m a bit new to java and socket programming.
Anyway I just wrote a client server socket program and I have an open port listening on my unix box.

I was told that this is vulnerable because now anyone could write a client side program to my open port and send in whatever command line they want.

I am not sure where to go about researching what security measures I need to put in place for socket programming.


Q: Network Monitoring

Dear Expert,

I am a Network Engineer at the University of Anonymous. I’m not sure if this is an irrelevant question, but here it is any way..

I want to have a Network Monitoring Software with the following characteristics

1 – I want to be able to monitor all the active workstations in each of the Labs.
2 – I want to have a list of trusted MAC addresses. I need this because I want to block any non-trusted device from accessing network resources. Exceptions might be given when the device is verified to be secure..
3 – I want to be able to detect any suspicious activities (pining, high traffic) and Block the associated IP address.

So please, tell me if there is any software of combination of software that enable me to do what I want..

I hope I will hear from you soon



Our readers have been very helpful to person who wrote the previous post, I believe our readers have the answer in this case as well, and as in the previous case, further, the combined answer was way better than anything we could have provided.

So I am going to let our readers answer this interesting question. Readers – what do you say?

Q: Restricted user rights and vulnerabilities

Dear Expert,

I know that a restricted user is less vulnerable to most exploits but is knowing that your users have restricted access enough of a reason NOT to patch? I am advocating that my IT support team update/ patch the following software for our end users; QuickTime, Java, Adobe Reader and Acrobat. Currently all of our installed versions have multiple known vulnerabilities. I am being told patching is unnecessary because 95% of our users have restricted user rights and therefore cannot be exploited.

Will you please clarify? I understand how restricted user rights increases security, but is that enough of a layer to justify not patching. When I inquired about scanning thumb drives, this same answer is given, “It is not necessary because the users have restricted rights.” Many of our users have access to confidential and sensitive data and I remain concerned. I really appreciate any assistance that you can provide on this issue. Thank you for your help.

Anonymous University

A: I am going to let our readers answer this interesting question. Readers – what do you say?