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Winter Journal

Volume 29, Issue 1

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Jon Seals

Recently, I wrote about cloud security and research by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) that found that IT professionals are becoming more comfortable with cloud security, but that the one concern that still looms over cloud security – and all security, for that matter – is the lack of qualified security professionals on hand.

That this lack of security professionals remains a problem hints that the real threat to better cybersecurity is people, and this is especially true when it comes to cloud security.

A new survey from Alien Vault finds that not only will it take time to close the skills gap, companies are having a tough time retaining the security professionals on their staff. The research found:

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/data-security/when-it-comes-to-cloud-security-its-all-about-the-people.html

Physical security a growing threat to organizations

Physical security is seen as growing concern for business continuity professionals, according to the fifth annual Horizon Scan Report published by the Business Continuity Institute, in association with BSI. Among the ranks of potential threats that organizations face, acts of terrorism gained six places from 10th in 2015 to 4th this year, while security incidents moved from 6th place to 5th place.

55% of respondents to the global survey expressed concern about the possibility of both an act of terrorism or a security incident such as vandalism, theft or fraud disrupting their organization, compared to 42% and 48% respectively the previous year. Whether these concerns are justified is another matter, but the incidents in Paris are still fresh in the mind, not to mention the many other events from across the world that constantly fill our news channels.

While security incidents of a physical nature make up the 4th and 5th greatest threats, it is incidents belonging to the virtual world that once again make up the top three. For the second year running, cyber attack comes in at number one with 85% of respondents expressing concern (2015: 82%). The attack on BBC over the new year period is a reminder of the danger this kind of threat poses when it suffered what was reputed to be the largest DDoS attack in history at 600 GBps, enough to bring down its website and most of its online services for some considerable time.

Data breach has climbed from 3rd place in 2015 to 2nd place this year with 80% of respondents expressing concern about the prospect of this type of threat materialising (2015: 74%). Not only are data breaches damaging reputationally, they can be expensive in terms of any fines imposed as result.

Unplanned telecoms and IT outage may have dropped from 1st place in 2014 to 2nd place in 2015 and now 3rd place in 2016, but it is still a very real threat with 77% of respondents expressing concern (2015:81%). Offices, shops, factories and warehouses are all heavily reliant on IT infrastructures and when those infrastructures fail it can cause severe disruption.

This year’s global top ten threats to organizations are:

  1. Cyber-attack – static
  2. Data breach – up 1
  3. Unplanned IT and telecoms outages – down 1
  4. Acts of terrorism – up 6
  5. Security incidents – up 1
  6. Interruption to utility supply – down 2
  7. Supply chain disruption – down 2
  8. Adverse weather – up1
  9. Availability of talents/key skills – up 5
  10. Health and safety incident – up 1

David James-Brown FBCI, Chairman of the Business Continuity Institute, commented: “The need perceived by organizations to identify and build resilience to this range of threats reveals the importance of this survey for business continuity professionals, the Horizon Scan’s reputation and reliability make it one of the most popular reports in the industry on a global scale. It is indeed crucial for practitioners to advise organizations on what to prepare for and adjust their recovery plans accordingly.

"The industry landscape is rapidly changing, and so should our discipline in order to keep up with both traditional and modern challenges. At the top of the list this year we continue to see threats such as cyber-attack, data breach and unplanned IT outages. More traditional threats such as terrorism continue to be ’front-of-mind’ for organizations. Given the rise of new challenges and the fact that old ones remain, horizon scanning techniques are even more valuable in assisting organizations to be prepared to the best of their potential.

Howard Kerr, Chief Executive at BSI, commented: “2015 saw a number of high profile businesses across the world hit by cyber attacks, so it’s reassuring to see that so many are aware of the threat it poses. Our research finds it to be the top concern in six out of the eight regions surveyed.

However, we remain concerned to see that businesses are still not fully utilizing the information available to them to identify and remedy weaknesses in their organizational resilience.

The report concludes that horizon scanning impacts on overall resilience as it provides an objective basis for assessing near-term threats that lead to disruption. The Horizon Scan Report, as a global study aggregating practitioner input across industry sectors and regions, complements in-house analysis and provides useful input for strategic decisions.

Download your free copy of the Horizon Scan Report here. If you have any questions, or would like to find out more, join us for our webinar on the 25th February when we will be discussing some of the findings and answering any of your questions.

Low-quality big data assets can lead to incredibly costly marketing mistakes. Research by Experian indicates that low data quality has a direct impact on revenue for 88% of modern organizations. Average losses are approximately 12% of revenue. For organizations who are shifting towards data-driven marketing and customer experiences, low-quality data can lead to costly mistakes.

How Bad is the Average Marketing Big Data?
Per eConsultancy, 22% of information on contacts, leads, and customers contains inaccuracies. Perhaps most concerning, the average organization’s quality index is headed in the wrong direction. Twelve months ago, the average inaccuracy rate was just 17%. Incorrect data can have a real impact on your team’s ability to build segments, understand behavioral triggers and preferences.

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https://channels.theinnovationenterprise.com/articles/9634-5-incredibly-costly-big-data-marketing-mistakes

Ted Koppel’s book – ‘Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath‘ – published in October, 2015 – spells out what may be our nation’s greatest risk – a catastrophic shutdown of one or more U.S. power grids.

In his New York Times bestselling investigation, Koppel reveals that a major cyberattack on America’s power grid is not only possible but likely, that it would be devastating, and that the United States is shockingly unprepared.

U.S. investigators recently found proof that a cyber attack can take down a power grid. A destructive malware app known as ‘BlackEnergy’ caused a power outage on the Ukranian power grid this past December, resulting in a blackout for hundreds of thousands of people. Ukranian officials have blamed Russia for the cyber attack. A CNN article states that U.S. systems aren’t any more protected than those breached in Ukraine.

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http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevemorgan/2016/02/07/campaign-2016-major-cyber-attack-on-u-s-power-grid-is-likely/

Monday, 08 February 2016 00:00

Future Still Bright for Hardware

A lot of people are keenly interested in the future of data hardware markets, for good reason. The lifeblood of the IT industry has long been the deployment of sophisticated hardware platforms packed with advanced software, but that cozy little business model is under increasing pressure and everyone from top vendors to channel providers to independent consultants and integrators are scrambling to fit into the new world of software-defined infrastructure.

So it is probably comforting – small comfort, perhaps, but comforting nonetheless – that, so far at least, the precipitous decline in enterprise hardware spending has not materialized, even though the form and function of that hardware is changing.

According to the latest report from 451 Research, 2016 is shaping up to be a banner year for hardware, as both converged infrastructure (CI) solutions and traditional storage and server deployments contribute to a major overhaul of the data center. The company reports that 60 percent of the enterprise industry is planning to increase spending on servers in the coming year, with nearly a third aiming for a major refresh, while nearly 80 percent are looking to boost their reliance on CI and even more ambitious hyper-converged solutions. But the largesse from all this activity is not expected to benefit the vendor community equally. Cisco had the largest share of customers planning for an upgrade, while HP, IBM and Oracle customers were more muted in their expectations.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/future-still-bright-for-hardware.html

(TNS) - The potential of a Zika virus outbreak in United States has been a moving target, with federal health officials describing it initially as not likely, then maybe, then oops there are several cases, then issuing travel advisories and now, recommending condoms for some pregnant women during sex.

The increasing uncertainty stems not only because of the first case reported in Minnesota but also because a Texas case was attributed to sexual contact, amid previous assertions that only infected Aedes aegypti species of mosquitoes spread the disease, which presents the greatest risk to fetuses.

“There is a lot we don’t understand about the virus and exactly how it is transmitted,” said Dr. David McNamara, an infectious disease specialist at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/health/Zika-virus-cant-happen-here----probably--maybe--yet.html

Despite the fact that we are seeing more extreme weather across the United States and increases in the costs of natural disasters, our research shows that fewer than half of Americans have developed and discussed an emergency plan with their household.

One of the ways to protect your family and prepare for an emergency is to start with good communication. A family emergency communication plan is critical to making sure the entire family knows who to contact, how to reach each other, and where to meet up in an emergency.

America’s PrepareAthon is a campaign to get people better prepared for disasters through hazard-specific group discussions, drills, and exercises. As part of the campaign and National Preparedness Month this September, we are encouraging families to take a few minutes to talk through and practice their emergency plan.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Fewer-Than-Half-of-Americans-Have-an-Emergency-Plan-for-Their-Household.html

So, you’ve decided to ditch your old PBX phone system and enter the world of Unified Communications. Good for you. Now, here’s what you should know to keep your Skype data safe from cyber pirates and more … because it’s not just your fingerprints you leave on your tablet.

Whether you made your decision to go UC based on employee productivity gains, time savings or converging networks, you may still have questions on which UC solution is best for you. This may be an easier decision than you realize, as you likely already own the leading solution and not even know it.

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https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2016/02/05/skype-for-business-a-cyber-pirates-paradise/

Report Analyzes AppSense’s Innovative and Rapidly Growing Next Generation Endpoint Security Solution

 

SUNNYVALE, Calif.AppSense, the global leader of secure user environment management (UEM), today announced that its continued success in delivering next generation endpoint security solutions is the topic of a new 451 Research report, “Knocking Some (App)Sense into Endpoint Security.” The report, released on February 4, 2016, outlines AppSense’s unique approach and discusses how the company’s products fill the expanding gap in endpoint protection amidst a growing barrage of malware attacks.

 

“AppSense has an improved approach to preventing unauthorized app execution with its Application Manager product that it believes will give it an upper hand in the battle for returning peace and (mostly) freedom from malware to the endpoint,” said Adrian Sanabria, senior security analyst, 451 Research in the report.

“…AppSense has much more to offer than just an endpoint security offering. Its products are mature, widely deployed and proven.”

 

“Anti-virus technology alone cannot adequately defend against today’s malware and it’s clear additional defense-in-depth techniques are needed. The challenge with traditional and even some ‘next-generation’ endpoint security solutions is that they devastate the user’s experience and are extremely difficult to manage,” said Jed Ayres, Senior Vice President of marketing, AppSense. “The main driver behind our success in endpoint security is that we have the ability to help prevent, detect and respond to these potentially devastating threats before they cause significant and irreparable harm to organizations.”

 

AppSense provides a wide range of endpoint security functions including:

  • Application control through whitelisting and blacklisting with Trusted Ownership®
  • Granular Windows Privilege Management for a practical approach to least privilege practice
  • Network Access Control to contain risk exposure
  • Desktop software license compliance and enforcement
  • Granular visibility into security and privilege activities in a live environment

For a complete copy of the 451 Research report, “Knocking Some (App)Sense into Endpoint Security,” visit http://go.appsense.com/451Research-Endpoint-Security.html.

About AppSense

AppSense is the leading provider of UEM solutions for the secure endpoint. AppSense user virtualization technology allows IT to secure and simplify workspace control at scale across physical, virtual and cloud-delivered desktops. AppSense Solutions have been deployed by over 3,600 enterprises worldwide to 9 million endpoints. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA with offices around the world. For more information please visit www.appsense.com.

KEMP, Texas – Larson Electronics, a company that specializes in industrial lighting solutions, announced the release of a 25 foot telescoping light mast with 360° rotating capabilities equipped with four 500 watt high intensity LED light fixtures.

The LM-25-3S-4X500W-LED-TLR manufactured by Larson Electronics features a rotating boom that allows for 360° of rotation, a removable mast head affixed with four 500 watt LED light fixtures, and an easy fold over assembly, all mounted to a 14’ single axle trailer. This three stage trailer mounted light boom can be extended to a height of 25’ for effective coverage and collapsed to 12’ for transporting and storage. The mast is elevated from its folding position with a 2,500 pound hand winch that is fitted with 3/16” galvanized steel cable and a second 2,500 pound winch provides the 12’ to 25’ elevation of the mast. By loosening a single T-Handle, the mast can be rotated 360° in either direction and locked it into place once the desired position is found.

This light mast includes four wet area suitable LED light fixtures that produce a combined total of 508,000 lumens and drawing 2,000 watts. A 52” long mounting plate constructed of 2” by 2” by ¼” thick carbon steel is attached to the upper section of the mast which provides a strong and stable platform for the four light fixtures. Each floodlight is securely fastened to the mast head with an innovative trunnion style stainless steel bracket that allows the light to be adjusted through 180° of vertical movement. These LED lights offer increased durability, longer lamp life, and lower power consumption when compared to the 1,000 watt metal halide equivalent. This LED light tower is equipped with forty feet of 16/3 chemical and abrasion resistant SOOW cord that is fitted with an industrial grade cord cap for easy connection to common outlets.   

 “This new LED towable light tower provides operators with a durable, reliable bright source of illumination for large work areas that are exposed to an excessive amount of vibration, dust, and dirt,” said Rob Bresnahan, CEO of Larson Electronics. “This heavy duty unit is designed for use in demanding conditions and for overall longevity in difficult construction environments.”

Larson Electronics produces a full range of industrial and commercial lighting equipment, telescoping light towers, explosion proof lighting, and LED work lights. To view the entire Larson Electronics catalog, please visit their website at Larsonelectronics.com. You can also call 1-800-369-6671 to learn more about all of Larson Electronics’ lighting products or call 1-214-616-6180 for international inquiries.

LM-25-3S-4X500W-LED-TLR-PR01

LM-25-3S-4X500W-LED-TLR-PR02

LM-25-3S-4X500W-LED-TLR-PR03

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