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  1. #1
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    company laptops and customer networks

    I am hoping this will bring lots of comments and discussion, I am curious what others are doing. We got a directive from mgmt that under no circumstance we are to plug our work laptops into customer networks. Just this week I had to do so as customer said our copier would no longer connect to network and I proved to them that my laptop would not connect either into their network. Proved my point that copier was not at fault, no connect lights on laptop either. Very simple case only a minute to prove that their network port was dead.

    I realize we open ourselves to liability by plugging in, but there are some things you just have to with. I know I could have brought in a router, setup a small network between my computer, router, and copier. Or roll the huge copier to another location with an active ethernet port. But this was all of 1 minute and done.

    I guess I am interested in how others treat this. Personally I am going to let common sense guide my future choices, while trying to avoid plugging in unless necessary.

    Let the discussion begin.
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  2. #2
    IT Manager 10,000+ Posts bsm2's Avatar
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    Re: company laptops and customer networks

    Most of the times 99.99% I always try to use the customers PC as the problem is print driver web into copier at enterprise accounts sometimes YOU can't get an IPADDRESS as there network is locked down.

    Same with flash drives. Had a defence company and had to use there flash drives to download any thing.

    At Xerox PC we would have to update antivirus atleast every two weeks or PC would have popup messages on PC.

    Some where your company got into a problem with taking the blame for a virus or malware.


    Most companies that supply techs with laptop already have a good paid for antivirus.
    Last edited by bsm2; 12-19-2020 at 04:52 PM.

  3. #3
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    company laptops and customer networks

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    Re: company laptops and customer networks

    look at it from your employer's perspective...
    its a liability... say you have a virus or some malware or ransomware... you could infect the entire companies network and then your employer would be liable for it...
    you could use your laptop and a switch to verify operations... but you would have to explain that you are setting up a test network to your boss for it to go over well...
    best of both worlds is to fix the issue on the customer's pc like suggested above and if that does not work then have a talk with your mgr or supervisor... via email... this way if something goes wrong... you have your superiors nuts in a vise for anything legal that might ensue... from a bad day in black rock...
    Sad To Say I Don't Have a Life
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  4. #4
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    Re: company laptops and customer networks

    Laptop <---Crossover Cable--->MFP!!! DERP!company laptops and customer networks
    REACH FOR THE STARS!!!
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  5. #5
    Retired 10,000+ Posts slimslob's Avatar
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    Re: company laptops and customer networks

    Quote Originally Posted by tonerhead View Post
    I am hoping this will bring lots of comments and discussion, I am curious what others are doing. We got a directive from mgmt that under no circumstance we are to plug our work laptops into customer networks. Just this week I had to do so as customer said our copier would no longer connect to network and I proved to them that my laptop would not connect either into their network. Proved my point that copier was not at fault, no connect lights on laptop either. Very simple case only a minute to prove that their network port was dead.

    I realize we open ourselves to liability by plugging in, but there are some things you just have to with. I know I could have brought in a router, setup a small network between my computer, router, and copier. Or roll the huge copier to another location with an active ethernet port. But this was all of 1 minute and done.

    I guess I am interested in how others treat this. Personally I am going to let common sense guide my future choices, while trying to avoid plugging in unless necessary.

    Let the discussion begin.
    No need for the expense of a router. Just an inexpensive 5 port switch will do the job. Unplug the network cable from the printer and plug in into the switch. Link light - cable and port are good. No link light - could be a bad cable, try a known good cable. Still no link light - their network port bad.

    Your company could also go the expense of a network analyzer.

    Quote Originally Posted by n25an View Post
    look at it from your employer's perspective...
    its a liability... say you have a virus or some malware or ransomware... you could infect the entire companies network and then your employer would be liable for it...
    you could use your laptop and a switch to verify operations... but you would have to explain that you are setting up a test network to your boss for it to go over well...
    best of both worlds is to fix the issue on the customer's pc like suggested above and if that does not work then have a talk with your mgr or supervisor... via email... this way if something goes wrong... you have your superiors nuts in a vise for anything legal that might ensue... from a bad day in black rock...
    I have seen it happen, not my laptop. Years ago there was a worm that exploited a Microsoft vulnerability to identify and infect every computer it could connect to that had not yet be patched. The IT at a hospital thought that their main firewall would protect them put off patching all their computers until they were not as busy. Worked fine until a doctor connected his laptop to the network.

    There is also the possibility that a device on the customer network could infect your laptop.

  6. #6
    Service Manager 2,500+ Posts
    company laptops and customer networks

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    Re: company laptops and customer networks

    Quote Originally Posted by qbert69 View Post
    Laptop <---Crossover Cable--->MFP!!! DERP!company laptops and customer networks
    The first sign to look for is the link activity link on the NIC card on the copier. If it is not blinking, this indicates a connectivity problem. You might want to put your copier temporarily into Dynamic mode to see what it might find, then check the link activity lights.

    I am not sure you need a crossover cable anymore. I use a regular network cable if I want to view/ configure the copier's web browser.

    If I can see the copier's web browser from my laptop plugged directly into the copier, thereby eliminating the customer's network, it is not the NIC card on the copier at fault.

    A copier programmed with the correct IP address but the wrong Subnet or Gateway is a common technician fault.

    There could be some new antivirus/ malware/ransomware software installed on the network that blocks any IP port it does not recognize.



    I certainly understand your employer not wanting you to touch the customers network with your device. You may have the best intentions in the world but unknown to you there could be something nasty on your laptop just waiting to find a new home to wreck.

    Should such a demon be unleashed, the $ damages to correct could be a King's ransom.

    Some manufacturers use Android as the kernel upon which copier code is written, some vendors use ?. Toshiba uses Linux with very few known hacks of any kind. Most hacks are aimed at Windows operating systems.

    I know on Toshiba copiers, if you want to install a new app on a copier, a digital certificate signed by Toshiba Tec Corp, must be present in the code. This is another security measure to prevent hackers from accessing the network through the copier.

  7. #7
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    Re: company laptops and customer networks

    The sad thing about this is I did use a patch cable and a crossover cable and printed to the copier with connect lights and everything. They still wouldn't believe it was their network. Then I finally plugged the laptop into their network port and no connect lights. Then they started accepting my word about copier being ok.

    Final solution was to drop speed to 10mhz half duplex and we got our connect light and printing. Stupid huh? My guess previous copier also had same issue and same was done to that. Told them they needed to have network fixed.

    Many non techies do not understand that a patch cable or crossover cable is essentially same as plugging into a wall jack. I have several old routers just laying around. They seem to accept that outcome better as now you created a "true (in their eyes) network" Used to carry one to prove things, think I will go back to carrying one.

    BTW as I understand, ghz you can use patch cable. Mhz depends, you may need crossover. Nics may not autoconfigure on patch cable in 100mhz.
    The difference between Democrats and Republicans is.......

    One party tells lies

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    the other party doesn't tell the truth.

  8. #8
    Retired 10,000+ Posts slimslob's Avatar
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    Re: company laptops and customer networks

    Quote Originally Posted by tonerhead View Post
    The sad thing about this is I did use a patch cable and a crossover cable and printed to the copier with connect lights and everything. They still wouldn't believe it was their network. Then I finally plugged the laptop into their network port and no connect lights. Then they started accepting my word about copier being ok.

    Final solution was to drop speed to 10mhz half duplex and we got our connect light and printing. Stupid huh? My guess previous copier also had same issue and same was done to that. Told them they needed to have network fixed.

    Many non techies do not understand that a patch cable or crossover cable is essentially same as plugging into a wall jack. I have several old routers just laying around. They seem to accept that outcome better as now you created a "true (in their eyes) network" Used to carry one to prove things, think I will go back to carrying one.

    BTW as I understand, ghz you can use patch cable. Mhz depends, you may need crossover. Nics may not autoconfigure on patch cable in 100mhz.
    I had a problem one time where the customer immediately after turning their MP C2551 on in the morning they could print with no problem. If they then did not send any additional job for 10 or 15 minutes they got a 'device off line' message when they tried to print. C2551 showed online on the panel and had link and activity LED on the controller. Cycle power on the C2551 and everything that had been queued printed. After we tried every setting and replaced everything that could be the cause the customer agreed to move their other C2551 to the location. When the problem stayed with the location not the machine they replaced a five year old 32 port switch. No more problem. Interesting thing about it was that there were at least 3 other users who had been complaining about problems connecting to the internet for a couple of weeks no longer had a problem. Final diagnosis, the switch had gone bad.

  9. #9
    Service Manager 5,000+ Posts
    company laptops and customer networks

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    Re: company laptops and customer networks

    Quote Originally Posted by slimslob View Post
    I had a problem one time where the customer immediately after turning their MP C2551 on in the morning they could print with no problem. If they then did not send any additional job for 10 or 15 minutes they got a 'device off line' message when they tried to print. C2551 showed online on the panel and had link and activity LED on the controller. Cycle power on the C2551 and everything that had been queued printed. After we tried every setting and replaced everything that could be the cause the customer agreed to move their other C2551 to the location. When the problem stayed with the location not the machine they replaced a five year old 32 port switch. No more problem. Interesting thing about it was that there were at least 3 other users who had been complaining about problems connecting to the internet for a couple of weeks no longer had a problem. Final diagnosis, the switch had gone bad.
    Interesting. Was there no way to identify that the switch was the problem before the other measures that you took? Just curious.

  10. #10
    Retired 10,000+ Posts slimslob's Avatar
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    Re: company laptops and customer networks

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyCarpenter View Post
    Interesting. Was there no way to identify that the switch was the problem before the other measures that you took? Just curious.
    Not that would satisfy the the customer's IT person.

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