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Check the settings on your NAS filer

Incorrect settings on your NAS filer can compromise security; make sure you've got them set right.

Check the settings on your NAS filer
Rick Cook

Watch your NAS filer settings. Don't compromise security when you install a filer.

Although NAS filers can be installed in a matter of minutes, you still need to take a few minutes more to make sure security permissions are set appropriately. Many NAS filers arrive set so that all clients have full access to all files -- minimum security, in other words. This may not be what you want, especially if your system is connected to the Internet. Best practice is to allow clients access to only the files they need and to further restrict access and read/write privileges based on groups of individual users.

Since a NAS filer appears to the system as a single large storage device you can use the file access features built into the client operating system to control access. Many NAS servers are designed to take advantage of established security settings. For Windows systems, this means using the NT Domain Controller to get a user and group list for authenticating users and using pass through authentication for global users and groups from the domain controller, for example. Netware and Unix or Linux users can use the file access features built into their respective operating systems as well.

Snap Appliances has a summary on security settings for NAS filers (especially the company's products) at

Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last twenty years he has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.

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Develop and design successful storage systems using this in-depth resource, now in a completely revised second edition. Covering everything from basic fundamentals--such as I/O components and file systems to emerging topics such as i-SCSI and DAFS--this complete book delivers the background information and technical know-how to implement large-capacity, high-availability storage networks throughout your enterprise. Filled with diagrams and easy-to-understand explanations, you will be able to identify and apply network storage technology to best meet the needs of your organization.

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