Job Scheduling Agents at a Reasonable Cost: Feed Your Piggy Bank

3 06 2010

Are expensive scheduling agents preventing you from meeting you Job Scheduling requirements?

Replacing or even acquiring additional legacy scheduling agents is a costly, daunting and resource-draining task. Vendor-independent technology enables you to avoid these risks while streamlining, optimizing and modernizing your Job Scheduling environment without replacing a single agent. Not to mention you can add agents to meet your growing requirements at the fraction of the cost of purchasing additional agents from existing scheduling vendor. All of which significantly reduces cost and increases your return on investment.

Are you throwing money away with legacy scheduler agents?

Vendor-independent technology works alongside your existing schedulers and provides you with one single point of management and control for your entire environment. No matter what the scheduling tool, every agent can be controlled and monitored from one central location, providing visibility across your entire workflow. Vendor-independent technology allows you to execute programs outside of Job Scheduling, making it more than just a scheduling agent; it’s an automation tool.

Costs can increase because your scheduling vendor bases agent cost on multiple CPUs. With technology-independent technology, whether it’s one CPU or 20, the cost remains the same. You are not locked down by a particular vendor, platform or scheduling system. You gain value and additional functionality at a reasonable price that is not offered by Job Scheduling vendors.





Platform-Specific Vs. Technology Independent: A Scheduler or a Agent?

1 06 2010

The key to solving both IT and business issues is to simplify and complement your existing job schedulers by deploying vendor-independent technology across the enterprise. This technology enables you to integrate with your existing schedulers and provides a more comprehensive view of your IT infrastructure.  Vendor-independent technology enables people to work across platforms without specialization, standardizing processes and consolidating tools, improving IT maturity while significantly reducing hard and soft costs.

A simplified job scheduling environment using vendor-independent technology.

For example, suppose Scheduler A needs to communicate with three different backend applications. The cost of purchasing agents for those backend applications from Vendor A is cost prohibitive. Consequently, IT decides to use vendor-independent technology to complement the existing scheduler, enabling Scheduler A to communicate with all three backend applications at a much lower cost.

A key benefit to this approach is that you can leverage your existing investment in Scheduler A at reduced risk, cost and effort. Additionally, vendor-independent technology increases your business’s ability to support emerging technologies such as service-oriented architecture and other Web-based technologies.





Protecting Your Data and Your Partnerships

24 05 2010

In an Information Week Analytics report, “Inside Out: Protecting Your Partnerships and Your Data,” Curtis Franklin, Jr. of Dark Reading writes, “Partners are a critical element (to enterprise security) – in fact, their importance is matched only by the potential threat they pose to the security of corporate data and the network infrastructure. For IT professionals, the vital question is how to balance trust versus risk in enabling communication between the organization and partners.”

Secure all points of contact with partners.

The report adds, “there have been instances in which partner connections were used to steal data or sabotage computer systems. These breaches show us that enterprises must stay vigilant about security, even in dealing with their closest and most trusted suppliers.” Other findings? “The difference between employee and partner risk varies by industry – in food service, partners accounted for as many as 70 percent of breaches; in the technology arena, partners accounted for only 18 percent.”

Organizations must be wary of:

  • the introduction of malware
  • confidential software theft
  • the data at risk – proprietary, intellectual property to private customer information

While concrete corporate security policies, firewalls and other security measures, help alleviate the threat, how do you ensure B2B partner and trading partner security is achieved while still optimizing those partnerships, making it easier for your partners to do business with you?

B2B Managed File Transfer – From secure ad-hoc file transfer to EDI to enterprise-wide Managed File Transfer a complete B2B communications solution can prevent these breaches from happening to you. Because whether the breach is accidental or intentional, the damage has still been done.





When Do You Consolidate Apps?

20 05 2010

In the InformationWeek article, “The Sprawl Stops Here!,” Michael Biddick makes important points in the benefits of application consolidation. The article starts out with the statement, “Application consolidation should never go out of style.” The debate between growth and trimming maintenance and support costs seems to be an argument that will continue to polarize IT executives.  Moreover, the article states, “in terms of business justification, the case for consolidating apps is one of the easiest to make but the hardest to implement.”

Why? Most people don’t like change. Many people, may in fact, have a vested interest in an application, whether homegrown, customized or proprietary. The article states, “custom products cost more to maintain than commercial alternatives, if they exist.” To successfully consolidate application across the enterprise, all affected departments need to be on board. This often becomes challenging, especially in time of mergers & acquisitions, when tensions are high and most staff members are thinking about redundant positions or departments.  Also, preferred applications or custom-built applications will be met with much opposition due to the resources and time put into developing the app. The question becomes: “Is there business value in the app?”

Consolidation drivers are clear: reduce cost and complexity. Biddick writes, “The more complex the software and systems involved, the greater the return for consolidation.”

Applications that are interoperable can bring further consolidation. What if you were able to consolidate your file transfer along with your job scheduling processes? The result would be increased visibility enterprise-wide, better communications between departments, less complexity, and ultimately affecting the bottom line.





P2P Networks Vs. Managed File Transfer

18 05 2010

In a recent ComputerWorld’s, “P2P networks a treasure trove of leaked health care data, study finds,” the article states, “that nearly eight months after new rules were enacted requiring stronger protection of healthcare information, organizations are still leaking such data on file-sharing networks. In a research paper to be presented today at the IEEE Security Symposium, the findings include thousands of documents containing sensitive patient information on popular P2P networks such as Limewire, eDonkey and BearShare.  Further research by Eric Johnson, a Dartmouth college professor, finds that “one of more than 3,000 files discovered by researchers was a spreadsheet containing insurance details, personally identifying information, physician names and diagnosis codes on more than 28,000 individuals.” At a time when a person’s private healthcare information (PHI) is coming under closer scrutiny due to the Health Information for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, it seems surprising that these P2P networks are still in use.

The problem with P2P software is that it is usually improperly installed on a computer that contains sensitive data.  While the use of the P2P software might be as benign as sharing music and video files, if installed improperly, the P2P software makes all data on the computer visible. Healthcare is not the only industry that has been burned by this issue – businesses and government alike face the same problem. So how do you securely share movies, music, photos and other files without jeopardizing the security of sensitive information? Ad-hoc Managed File Transfer. Similar to P2P networks ad-hoc managed file transfer solution enables you to send large files up to 2GB without disrupting sensitive data that may be on your machine.

Moreover, due to the secure nature of Managed File Transfer, you can send proprietary, confidential or sensitive information and not just large files. The ability to send messages and files securely with the ability to track when the recipient has received the message or file, gives the end user more control over how they send information and gives businesses, healthcare organizations and the government a secure person-to-person file sharing tool that prevents the leak of private information.





Is Data Security a Priority for Hotels?

17 05 2010

In a recent Hotel News Now article Hotel data breaches the result of basic failures within the industry,” the editor discusses the many headlines that have recently focused on the hospitality industry. Whether, it’s Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Radison Hotel & Resorts or the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles, hotels have been hit hard by data breaches. The article goes on to state that the hotel industry is lacking in very basic security measures that could have otherwise prevented these occurrences, including password resets and remote access. The first article in a five-part series, the editor points to a study conducted by The Center for Hospitality Research in association with the Cornell Hospitality Report dated September 2008. The report, “Hotel Network Security: A Study of Computer Networks in U.S. Hotels,” states, “many hotels have flaws in their network topology that allow for exploitation by malicious users, thereby resulting in the loss of privacy for guests.”

The results of the survey found that about one out of five hotels still uses an antiquated hub-based network, an arrangement that is inherently flawed in terms of security. Also, hotels are providing unsecured wi-fi connections that are not encrypted and are subject to hacking. In fact, just six of the 39 wireless properties were using encryption. So, how can hotels secure their customers’ private information and communications? While the article suggests a series of steps (all good measures), additional security measures should be taken. Between hotel suppliers, customers and employees, secure communication should be established both internally within the hotel and external to other business partners. A complete solution from encrypted ad hoc information and file transfer to an enterprise-wide solution that goes beyond the four walls of the hotel is necessary to provide the most secure infrastructure possible.

Have you experienced a security breach while staying at a hotel?





What Would a $140 Million Loss Mean for Your Business?

14 05 2010

A recent Computerworld article, “Heartland breach expenses begged at $140M — so far,” discusses the devastating effects of the Heartland Payments Systems Inc. data breach, costing the company $139.4 to date. In Heartland’s case, credit card data was compromised from the company’s network last year. The 139.4m includes settlement money from class action law suits, data breach fines and ongoing litigation fees. Moreover, no price can be placed on the damage done to its reputation. Consider it a precautionary tale.

How can you prevent this from happening to your organization?

Security measures such as firewalls are not enough to prevent a data breach and while FTP might be a “free” file transfer solution, it’s not secure. The key to ensure a data breach doesn’t happen to your business is B2B Managed File Transfer and Communications.

  • Ensure security throughout the entire file transfer process
  • Verify that only authorized customers and partners can send data into your network
  • Protect your mission-critical data in and out of the DMZ
  • Verify authorization before data is passed through your internal firewall
  • Secure ad hoc communications including large files and attachments

How protected is your network?