Limiting network browsing

Limiting network browsing
Adesh Rampat

Users perform network browsing for many reasons. They may want to locate a shared printer resource, a shared hard-drive storage resource on the network server, or they may wish to transfer files from one workstation or server to another. Network browsing can also be a security concern in that an authorized user or disgruntled employee can locate shared resources on the network and perform malicious acts after gaining access. This is true whether the browsing is local, or accomplished over the Internet. Network browsing creates unwanted traffic, especially for large networks by causing master browsers and backup browsers to repeatedly build resource lists. If the network browsing is over the Internet, it can cause a slowdown due to limited bandwidth of the access links.

Limiting network browsing altogether can be done in a number of ways:

  • When sharing folders on the server or workstation, hide them by using the $ symbol to limit the amount of available resources that will be displayed on the network. Map shared resources to only those who require access. This can be done in the form of a logon script.

  • If there are few workstations connected to the network, then the Network Administrator can set up individual user policy that can hide the network neighborhood icon.

  • If the Network Administrator is familiar with registry editing hiding the neighborhood icon can be performed through the following:
         Open the Registry Editor
         Navigate to     
               HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindows
               CurrentVersionPoliciesExplorer and add a DWORD value named
               NoEntireNetwork. Set the value to 1.
              
    

  • If you have a large number of workstations connected, either locally or remotely, then a logon script for all users can be created that can implement a system policy preventing network browsing. The network administrator must remember, though, that this policy script should not apply to the Administrator's account.

Adesh Rampat has 10 years of experience with network and IT administration. He is a member of the Association of Internet Professionals, the Institute for Network Professionals, and the International Webmasters Association. He has also lectured extensively on a variety of topics.

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Related Book

Network and System Integration For Dummies®
Author : Michael Bellomo and James Marchetti
Publisher : Hungry Minds
ISBN/CODE : 0764507745
Cover Type : Soft Cover
Pages : 384
Published : Dec 2000
Summary :
With a variety of systems to choose from, networking no longer only applies to a single system. Both individuals and companies need to know how to connect machines running on hybrid systems. Network and System Integration For Dummies teaches you how to connect hybrid machines and operating systems so that they communicate, print, and share files.


This was first published in March 2001

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