Situation: Inefficiency, Expense and Non-Compliance

29 06 2010

Job Scheduling: Heterogeneous Inefficiency

Most enterprises implement multiple job scheduling solutions depending on platform type, application, data center and business owner. Aside from standards like cron, at, SAP’s, CCMS, i5/OS Advanced Job Scheduler, Oracle’s DMBS_Scheduler, HP’s Netbatch for NonStop servers, and others, more than 30 vendors add job scheduling solutions to the enterprise mix. While a diverse mix of job scheduling software may address the needs of individual business owners, that same mix presents a barrier to consolidated job scheduling.

File Transfer: Exorbitant Pricing and Non-Compliant Adoption

Despite growing budget constraints, many organizations cling to expensive enterprise-class file transfer solutions – some requiring dedicated connections. Often, the file transfer software is so costly that an organization deploys it only sparingly, allowing internal users to initiate FTP – a serious issue of audit compliance. Although there are a great many solutions for B2B communications security, MFT satisfies basic needs with minimal complexity. Simply put, MFT solutions are frequently overpriced.

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Are Your Employees Following Security Policies?

22 06 2010

In the Ponemon Institute’s study, “Trends in Insider Compliance with Data Security Policies,” a majority of respondents admit to serious non-compliant workplace behaviors that place their companies at risk. Such behaviors include the insecure use of USB memory sticks, Web-based email, social media, mobile devices and more. What’s more, the problem seems to be getting worse. The report sites lost or missing USB memory sticks and other portable data-bearing devices that often not reported to the company or are reported when it is too late.

Two key findings?

  • Employee attitudes about their employees affect the level of compliant vs. non-compliant behavior.
  • Employees do not believe their organizations provide ample training or adequate policies to inform them about data protection and security practices.

So, how does your company stack up against the percentages? 61 percent of end users transfer confidential data onto a USB stick and 71 percent says that others do it. What if there was a way to easily transfer sensitive, proprietary and confidential company and client information without using the number 1 cause of lost data? A secure, ad hoc Managed File Transfer solution can let your employees send up to 2GB of confidential information of files without even leaving their email client. No training, no ramp-up time and the ability to track messages and files. Sound too good to be true? Learn more.





What Data Are Your Employees Sending Out?

10 06 2010

Business communications today is a complex issue for most organizations. With so many tools, whether its email, mobile apps or FTP, it is difficult for users to know the most effective solution for sending confidential or proprietary information. From an information security standpoint, these data exchange solutions are insecure, ineffective and can potentially cause data breaches within your organization.

As an IT manager, are you constantly concerned with how and what information your employees are exchanging  within and outside your organization? With a secure business communications solution, you gain visibility and control over your organization’s business communications with process status, exceptions and transactions and trends. Additionally, deploying via SaaS provides an affordable cost of ownership and quick return on investment due to ease of use and quick implementation.

Finally, providing your business users with a way to communicate securely and seamlessly without disrupting their daily activities enables you to relax knowing they aren’t circumventing IT by uses one-off, insecure communication methods to get their job done.

Do you know how your users send out confidential or sensitive information?





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?