Learn How to Secure a Synology NAS in 5 Steps

Learn How to Secure a Synology NAS in 5 Steps When I began following the computer security expert Bruce Schneier , in one of his talks he said that every device that is connected to the Internet is unsafe. When the host asked him to elaborate further on this topic he simply said that the safest computer in the world is the one that is not connected to the Internet. This is the equivalent of saying that the safest airplane is the one that is not flying at all. I agree with Bruce’s statements but my point is that, if we buy a device because we need it for work or leasure, we should do our best in making it more secure when it accesses the Internet. The network attached storage that I have been describing in a previous post is a device that can help home and small business users accomplish several things, such as backing up pcs and MACs, storing and retrieving files locally and in the cloud, and streaming video and music. However, the exposure that this server has to the local network and to the Internet makes it a vulnerable device that shares the same issues of the computers it stores the data from. In this article, I would like to give my best tips on how far I could go on securing the server. I personally like and recommend Synology NAS servers for their clean interface, robust hardware and minimal consumption. 1- DOWNLOAD AND KEEP TRACK OF THE LOG CENTER APP 2- USE A REPUTABLE DDNS PROVIDER FOR EXTERNAL ACCESS 3- USE MORE THAN ONE ADMIN ACCOUNT AND SET UP PERMISSIONS 4- IMPLEMENT ALL THE FEATURES OFFERED BY THE SECURITY APP IN THE CONTROL PANEL a) The browser logout time can kick users out after a preset time, which is good if user for example leaves temporarily his/her desk. b) The firewall section is very minimal but it should be checked by default, including the firewall notifications. c) The protection feature is one of the main security features of this server, in that it allows admins autoblock IP Addresses after a preset number of attempts within a preset number of minutes. The allow block list allows administrators to white or black list ip addresses as well. As we currently live in a world where Denial of Services DDOS attacks are booming every day, the Synology server has also a built-in DOS protection that you may just want to leave checked. 5- ENABLE MULTIFACTOR AUTHENTICATION FOR LOGINS By enabling access based only on permissions and by hardening the security features of the nas, the server can notify admin if there are unauthorized attempted logins and provide a secure environment for those who need to handle mission critical operations and for users who are usually unaware of the risks that Internet-based devices offer.

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NAS vs. External Hard Drive: Which One is Better for Backing Up Computers and Laptops?

NAS vs. External Hard Drive: Which One is Better for Backing Up Computers and Laptops? With all the hardware and software products out there, are there any differences or benefits in backing up computers to an external hard drive vs to a NAS? The clients whom I support with my IT Services in Westchester and in the tri state area all run small businesses and all run Network Attached Storages to backup their computers. Other customers who have very small computing power and are very basic users, use external hard drives instead. In this article, I will break down my advice regarding the context when external hard drives and network attached storage should be used. As you will discover in my article, there are pros and cons in both solutions and all depends on the size of your network and on what the business needs are in terms of storage solutions. In addition, the pandemic has made users’ needs very fluid not only here in Westchester county but in the rest of the world and none of the backup solutions can be really be labeled to a particular client.However, my aim is to clarify what is the standard or “normal” use of those devices that backup computers and laptops. 1) If you have only one desktop computer or a laptop with few files and pictures, you may want to use an external hard drive to backup those files. A client of mine in Harrison NY is a very basic user and he stores a few files on his laptop that can easily be backed up and stored to a usb external hard drive via the built in Windows 10 File History feature. 2) If you don’t use your computer every day, you may just want to use an external hard drive to save a copy of your data. 3) Another example why external hard drives are used is when some users do not trust the cloud. Some friends of mine decide to go this way after they expressed me their concern about data stored on third party servers. This argument is right but the downside of this approach is that these users do not know that the cloud has encryption features and encryption algorithms to safeguard the data. And the truth is always in the middle: business owners should use both types of backup, to the cloud and to servers located in the premises. 1) Let’s say that you are a very simple user such as the one described in point number 1 above, and all of a sudden you get hired by a video production company. You would definitely need to scale up your computing power; if your work flow has evolved over the years, you cannot keep buying external hard drives and you should really get a NAS. 2) If from a small home user you decide to open up your own business in Westchester or in New York, no matter if you work from home or in an office, you should buy a NAS. A NAS is always recommended when there are more than 2 computers to backup. 3) As the name implies, A NAS is connected to the network, whereas an external hard drive is directly connected to one computer at a time and you should not plug and unplug frequently the hard drive via the usb port, otherwise you will risk to damage both usb ports on the computer and on the usb drive too. On the other hand, if you always leave the external hard drive connected to the desktop and your machine is hit by a ransomware, you will lose the data in the external hard drive as well. 4) A Network Attached Storage is a small file server made of several hard drives (min. 2) that are configured in such a way that if one of the two hard drives fails, the other will keep running and will store the data until the broken hard drive is replaced. This type of redundancy is called “parity” and kicks in when the NAS is configured in RAID. Without entering into too many details, a RAID is what makes a NAS always running without chance of losing the data because hard drives can be replaced if they fail without compromising the data stored in the server box. 5) Think also bout this: if you have more than 2 or 3 computers, do you really have time to use those external hard drives to constantly backup your machines? It will take hours to do that . A NAS, on the other hand, has apps that can be configured to backup files and folders automatically at set intervals. 6) A NAS is your personal cloud. A specific configuration inside the NAS allows the administrator to set it up with DDNS so that the NAS can be accessed from the Internet, aka from any part of the world. If you are traveling and need to retrieve files that are not in your laptop, you can login into the NAS and retrieve the files you are looking for. Similarly, if you work on a machine that is not yours, you can upload files to the NAS and get them back at your office computer later on. 7) Network Attached Storage have apps that allow video and music streaming. Some products have apps for Iphone and Ipads that connect to the NAS to stream content through Car Play even when you are driving . These very cool features make the use of a NAS almost like an indispensable companion while traveling. Productivity and fun are both accomplished by a NAS that can retrieve files from the internet and stream them on an Iphone or Android located in any part of the world. 8) NAS are safer than external hard drives. The software that runs in them is Linux-based and less prone to get infected. However, to make a NAS a safer networking environment, network administrators should set up permissions

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