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Research your research

Updated on January 21, 2018

If you think you found the answer, think again.

Once upon a time….during my very first worm removal from a system, and being non the wiser, I came across an issue with MSC firewall snap in: Error code 0x6D9, that I had never before seen and could not understand in depth, the result of lacking relevant experience at the time. So I reached out to my fellow and “seasoned” InfoSec pros on the net. My quest returned copious articles and an overflow of contrasting opinions on the subject: anything from “the blue screen of death (will soon arrive)” to “your system is going to self destruct” (not in those precise words, but I’m sure you get the gist).

Along with these “definitive” hypothesis, came a plethora of suggestions on how to deal with this type of conundrum. Restore system back to “OOBE”, reinstall OS, make use of the terminal to delete or restore certain hypothetical, but plausible, past actions and/or software, take existing machine to recycle yard and purchase another….and many more recommendations. Most of these solutions felt very drastic to me, but I am certain the authors were likely speaking from personal experience, and aimed to be nothing but helpful by dispersing this advice to the public, just as I try to be.

All relevant posts that I studied, resulted in trying to figure it out on my own (because I’m just stubborn that way). It was after all a firewall…anything at all could have been conflicting. The solution to the problem was discovered in about two days…the only action I had to restore on that system, was to switch the network adapter back to the “ON” position, a process that takes at best, three seconds to complete. Don’t wish to sound completely morose, so I will justify the timeframe this took: two days includes my daily routine (work, exercise, personal time, etc), plus the time it took to analyze directives on the net as well as backtrack my own actions.

This experience is not to say “when in question, do not research”. It is to say “investigate further”. I am myself a researcher, and absolutely love gaining information and further analyzing it for accuracy. What I am trying to convey is “exhaust the sources of information as much as possible”. Double, triple, quadruple check the data, instructions, tips, advice, whichever category the material you are evaluating falls under, just…scrutinize it. And don’t forget to trust your logic and intuition. Does the extracted information make sense? Have other people attempted the proposed solution and succeeded? Are reviews, advice or statistics about a product or service, accurate and from valid sources?

Often, during our interactions with any device linked to the IoT, we will come across a problem or two to deal with. Although every system in the world will one day fail, the multitude of obstacles are simple to solve, given fitting insight exists and accurate steps are taken. But there are also many times where you will find the answer right under your fingertips.

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