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Volume 27, Issue 4

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Jon Seals

Criminals love credit cards. As a new white paper from Symantec pointed out, credit card-related theft is one of the earliest types of cybercrime, and as we’ve seen by the recent retail breaches, credit and debit cards remain a prime target. The white paper added that Point of Sale (POS), the point at which the retailer first gathers credit card data, has become a favorite way for the bad guys to steal the data. The reason they like it so much is simple: Security hasn’t kept up with technology. These gaps make it easier than ever for thieves to take aim at retail credit card data by using POS malware.

In a Symantec blog post, Orla Cox explained:

POS malware exploits a gap in the security of how card data is handled. While card data is encrypted as it’s sent for payment authorization, it’s not encrypted while the payment is actually being processed, i.e. the moment when you swipe the card at the POS to pay for your goods. . . . Most POS systems are Windows-based, making it relatively easy to create malware to run on them.<

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/data-security/time-to-rethink-how-we-secure-credit-card-technology.html

CIO — When a company gets a bad customer review on Yelp, Facebook, Twitter or any other social network, emotions can run high, because real damage to its reputation and sales can result.

The business owner usually has a knee-jerk reaction and responds in kind by attacking the offending customer with an emotionally charged online response.

Some businesses might take the opposite approach and choose the other extreme -- no response at all. By simply ignoring the bad review, a company hopes it will dissipate into the Internet ether, whereas a response might ignite a social media storm and cripple the company publicly.

...

http://www.cio.com/article/747641/4_Mistakes_to_Avoid_When_Your_Business_Gets_Bashed_Online

How weird will the enterprise become in the cloud? Pretty weird, by the sound of some of the discussions taking place today.

We all know that the cloud will be extremely disruptive for existing data infrastructure. Concepts like the all-virtual, all-cloud data center were considered distant possibilities just a few short years ago, but now seem to be looming on the horizon as organizations seek to cut costs and increase data agility.

But even these notions of an ethereal data environment floating around the cybersphere are starting to look quaint compared to the ideas that some forward thinkers are coming up with now.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/it-in-the-cloud-weird-and-getting-weirder.html

London-based Aon Risk Solutions, the global risk management business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), just released its annual Terrorism and Political Violence Map. to help organizations assess terrorism and political violence risk levels across the globe. The map is produced in collaboration with global risk management consultancy, the Risk Advisory Group plc,.

The good news:

  • 80 countries with terrorism perils indicated in 2014, 12% fewer than 2013
  • Europe sees notable improvement with 11 countries having civil commotion perils removed

NOTE: Canada, Mexico, and the United States were not mentioned in the report, and the map

...

http://johnglennmbci.blogspot.com/2014/02/erm-bc-coop-good-bad-news-about.html

InfoWorld — In today's threatscape, antivirus software provides little piece of mind. In fact, antimalware scanners on the whole are horrifically inaccurate, especially with exploits less than 24 hours old. After all, malicious hackers and malware can change their tactics at will. Swap a few bytes around, and a previously recognized malware program becomes unrecognizable.

To combat this, many antimalware programs monitor program behaviors, often called heuristics, to catch previously unrecognized malware. Other programs use virtualized environments, system monitoring, network traffic detection, and all of the above at once in order to be more accurate. And still they fail us on a regular basis.

Here are 11 sure signs you've been hacked and what to do in the event of compromise. Note that in all cases, the No. 1 recommendation is to completely restore your system to a known good state before proceeding. In the early days, this meant formatting the computer and restoring all programs and data. Today, depending on your operating system, it might simply mean clicking on a Restore button. Either way, a compromised computer can never be fully trusted again. The recovery steps listed in each category below are the recommendations to follow if you don't want to do a full restore -- but again, a full restore is always a better option, risk-wise.

...

http://www.cio.com/article/747669/11_Sure_Signs_You_ve_Been_Hacked

NEWARK, Calif. – Tegile Systems, the leading provider of flash-driven storage arrays for virtualized server and virtual desktop environments, today announced the addition of FlashVols to its Metadata Accelerated Storage System (MASS) architecture to optimize SQL performance and integration.

FlashVols are volumes that are pinned in SSD so applications run at maximum performance without the potential delay due to caching algorithms or tiering policies.  Combined with Tegile’s de-duplication and compression technologies, this enhancement allows large and medium enterprises that need high-performance and high-availability storage to benefit from flash-grade performance without incurring the costs traditionally associated with high RPM disk drives.

“DBAs spend a lot of time looking at storage latency.  During our Microsoft FastTrack Data Warehouse testing, we saw latencies in the 1-10 millisecond range which is in line with what one would expect from an all-flash array,” said Larry Chestnut, Senior Architect with Scalability Experts in an interview with Microsoft SQL Server MVP Rick Heigis.  “Tegile’s eMLC NAND flash implementation is very durable as well.  Each SSD drive in the system can withstand 3.5 petabytes of write data before you may start to see signs of write wear.”  The system in the Microsoft FastTrack tests was configured with 10 SSD drives, yielding an aggregate write duty cycle of 35 petabytes.

Tegile Zebi hybrid storage arrays simplify the deployment, configuration and management of SQL Server databases by delivering consistently low latencies while providing the right amount of IOPs for appropriate workloads.  Featuring a pool of DRAM, flash and optimized disks, Tegile’s Zebi arrays deliver significant acceleration for most Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence workloads when compared to traditional disk arrays or tiered solutions.  Pinned volumes remain in DRAM or flash close to the SQL Server without any involvement from the DBA administrator for ultimate ease of use.

In conjunction with Tegile’s VSS provider, organizations can use the Zebi array to present multiple copies of the same data from a single source.  When copies are updated, only deltas are saved.  Using this feature can result in dramatic savings when dealing with testing and development environments that utilize multiple instances of the same database.  Inline deduplication and compression reduce overhead for highly repetitive SQL Server workloads.

“We’ve engaged with Microsoft to optimize performance and reduce the cost of SQL Server storage by eliminating the need to create multiple copies of the same data necessary to deliver the required IOPs, saving time and capacity requirements in test and development and database environments,” said Rob Commins, Tegile vice president of marketing.  “These savings, in conjunction with deduplication and compression, help organizations ensure that flash resources are better utilized and more efficient.  Additionally, SQL workloads are automatically optimized by the MASS architecture, ensuring that administrators can focus on their database environments rather than their storage infrastructure.”

About Tegile Systems
Tegile Systems is pioneering a new generation of flash-driven enterprise storage arrays that balance performance, capacity, features and price for virtualization, file services and database applications. With Tegile’s Zebi line of hybrid storage arrays, the company is redefining the traditional approach to storage by providing a family of arrays that is significantly faster than all hard disk-based arrays and significantly less expensive than all solid-state disk-based arrays.

Tegile’s patented MASS technology accelerates the Zebi’s performance and enables on-the-fly de-duplication and compression of data so each Zebi has a usable capacity far greater than its raw capacity. Tegile’s award-winning technology solutions enable customers to better address the requirements of server virtualization, virtual desktop integration and database integration than other offerings. Featuring both NAS and SAN connectivity, Tegile arrays are easy-to-use, fully redundant, and highly scalable. They come complete with built-in auto-snapshot, auto-replication, near-instant recovery, onsite or offsite failover, and virtualization management features. Additional information is available at www.tegile.com. Follow Tegile on Twitter @tegile.
SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Maxta™ announced today that the town of Venray in the Netherlands has chosen its Maxta Storage Platform (MxSP™), a software-only hypervisor-agnostic implementation of enterprise-class storage, to provide the performance and capacity needed to implement a VDI environment for hundreds of government employees.

Venray houses a diverse range of shops, historical and cultural treasures, and industrial enterprises.  Its local government is responsible for administering the established policies and regulations for its 43,000 residents.  Looking to implement a virtualized desktop environment for its 450 full- and part-time employees, Venray needed to find a solution that would complement its existing SAN storage array while eliminating single points of failure and ensuring that user experience in the View desktop wasn’t compromised.

With its SAN not properly sized to carry the VDI load and without enough IOPS to allow the placement of full desktops on the system, Venray IT management sought out a software-defined solution that would satisfy the requirements necessary to implement a virtualized environment.  After considering several possible options, it was determined that Maxta’s highly resilient, scalable distributed VM Storage platform was the best fit.

“The budget was very limited and another solution was not available so we began a search for software-defined storage offerings,” said Edwin Griesheimer, IT advisor for the city government of Venray.  “Maxta looked interesting.  The features Maxta offered fit perfectly compared to other software-based storage.  Its storage redundancy over multiple nodes was a very compelling feature.  And unlike complex disk solutions, Maxta was easy to use.  There’s no need for expensive storage courses; Maxta can be learned within an hour!”

Maxta Storage delivers flash performance and hard disk capacity for VDI environments. Maxta leverages flash for both read and write-back caching delivering the performance required during boot storms or login storms. By converging applications, server virtualization, and storage on standard servers, Maxta Storage eliminates the need for storage arrays and storage management minimizing the cost of VDI deployments. Additionally, capacity optimization features such as thin provisioning, in-line compression and de-duplication delivers capacity efficiency further reducing the cost per desktop. Unlimited number of capacity, time and performance efficient snapshots and zero-copy clones provide the ability to create thousands of virtual desktops. The snapshots and clones are VM-centric eliminating the need for managing storage constructs such as LUNs and volumes thus dramatically simplifying management. Maxta Storage delivers the performance and enterprise-class capabilities without sacrificing end-user experience.
“We are pleased that Venray selected Maxta MxSP to avoid a costly expansion of its SAN storage array that was necessitated by the implementation of a virtualized desktop environment,” said Yoram Novick, Maxta founder, president and CEO. “We were able to provide Venray with the redundancy they needed, enterprise-class functionality they could not find in other software-defined storage offerings, and improved cost and management simplicity over existing enterprise storage solutions.”
About Maxta

Maxta is redefining enterprise storage by delivering a storage platform that is simple, agile and cost efficient for virtualized environments as well as supporting a wide spectrum of enterprise-class data services and capacity optimization capabilities.

Insurer Commits to Two-Year, $4M Grant for Neighborhood Improvement Projects

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- Karen knows first-hand about the struggles to build a better life for her family, especially when employment opportunities are scarce and financial pressures are mounting.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/56921-lisc-state-farm-employment-assistance-financial-opportunity-centers

State Farm and LISC Announce $4M Grants to Grow Strong Neighborhoods

She also knows how to grow beyond her challenges and become a success story - thanks in part to support she received from programs funded by State Farm and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)

"Helping someone in a time of need is what being a good neighbor is all about," said Kellie Clapper, assistant vice president, Philanthropy/Human Resources with State Farm, which recently announced a two-year, $4 million grant to LISC for community revitalization work.  "Our mission is to help people realize their dreams by supporting innovative efforts that help make communities safe and stronger."

The State Farm grant will support a range of LISC programs critical to the recovery of distressed neighborhoods in 11 cities: Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York City, Peoria (Ill.), Philadelphia, Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Area and Tacoma (Wash).  In particular, the grant will focus on efforts to build financial opportunities for families, improve community safety, revive vibrant commercial corridors and spur better educational outcomes.

Turning Fears into Hope

Karen is a single parent in North Philadelphia, where the poverty rate tops 60 percent.  She was laid off from her bank job of 15 years when her branch closed back in 2011, and she could not find work. Nearing the end of her unemployment payments, she feared the worst for her family.

That's when she turned to a nearby LISC Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) for help, one of more than 70 sites around the country that provides financial counseling and employment services specifically tailored to the needs of low- and moderate-income families. State Farm funds the Philadelphia FOC in addition to other Centers around the country.

Karen took advantage of the FOC's employment and financial coaching which positioned her to be hired for not one but two jobs—the first, a part-time position helping support a neighborhood improvement initiative and, a few months later, a full-time position as an account executive at a credit union. Now, she is holding down both jobs and her family is thriving.

"State Farm is supporting the heart of our work in neighborhoods that have really been suffering—places where economic mobility has ground to a halt thanks to job loss, shuttered businesses, besieged schools and dangerous streets," said Michael Rubinger, LISC president and CEO.  "When we deal with all of those together rather than as unrelated problems, we give families the chance to reach for the next rung on the economic ladder and help their communities flourish."

State Farm and LISC have a long history of collaboration. Over the past 14 years, State Farm has invested nearly $114 million in grants, loans and equity in LISC's work to make distressed neighborhoods better places to live.  Through LISC, State Farm has supported more than 22,300 homes that are affordable to low-income families and 11 million square feet of commercial, retail and community space in underserved areas.

"This work doesn't happen by accident," Rubinger noted.  "This is a partnership that changes lives and over time is helping shift the outlook for whole neighborhoods.  We are grateful to State Farm for its tremendous commitment to these efforts as well as its ongoing financial support.  It is invaluable."

About State Farm®:
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 18,000 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts – more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 44 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit www.statefarm.com or in Canada www.statefarm.ca.

About LISC
LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has invested $12.9 billion to build or rehab 298,300 affordable homes and apartments and develop 49 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. For more, visit www.lisc.org.

State Farm and Milwaukee LISC work together to support the growth of local businesses, such as the Asian International Market in Milwaukee.
As a way to build civic pride and showcase all the Excelsior neighborhood in San Francisco, CA has to offer, Bay Area LISC and State Farm provide support for the Excelsior Art and Music Festival.
Strong relationships between clients and financial coaches are central to the success of LISC's Financial Opportunity Center model.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/56921-lisc-state-farm-employment-assistance-financial-opportunity-centers

Industry Veteran Chris Parsons Leads ViaWest into New Market

Denver, CO – February 4, 2014 – ViaWest , the leading colocation, managed services, and cloud provider in North America, proudly announces the opening of its latest data center in Phoenix, Arizona.  Designed to meet the most stringent requirements, ViaWest’s Phoenix data center offers more than 40,000 square feet of raised floor and has been engineered with the latest in UPS power equipment and energy efficient cooling systems to support both production and disaster recovery. 

ViaWest’s Phoenix data center will offer a comprehensive suite of premium colocation, managed and cloud services, along with hybrid offerings to meet growing demand for flexible and scalable IT solutions.  Offering a fully compliant environment to meet PCI, SOC, SSAE and HIPAA regulations, the Phoenix data center is ViaWest’s first in Arizona. 

ViaWest’s Arizona market expansion will be led by industry veteran Chris Parsons. “Chris has 20 years of leadership experience in technology sales, 10 of them in the Phoenix market. His knowledge of the local business community and experience opening data centers position him to build the ViaWest brand in Phoenix and beyond,” states Christopher Rajiah, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ViaWest.

“ViaWest’s broad portfolio of infrastructure solutions will be a welcome addition in the Phoenix market,” comments Chris Parsons. “We are the first local provider to offer a robust portfolio of IT infrastructure solutions, which scale to meet customers’ growth and compliance requirements. I am excited to join the ViaWest team capitalize on this opportunity.”

Before joining ViaWest, Chris served as a Regional Vice President for Internap Network Services, where he was responsible for sales and revenue growth in the Western U.S. Prior to Internap, he spent two years with Qwest and 13 years with Cable and Wireless USA, where he held various leadership roles in both direct and indirect sales channels.

Positioned in a low-risk natural disaster region, ViaWest’s Phoenix data center offers:

  • Multiple medium voltage (12.47kV class) utility power feeds
  • 10 MW redundant, fault tolerant diesel power generation capacity
  • 2(N+1) 5.4 MW redundant, fault tolerant UPS capacity
  • 250+Watts/square footage high density capability
  • 500,000 gallon on-site chilled water storage for continuous cooling
  • Industry leading customer service and support

Delivering industry-leading 100-percent availability Service Level Agreements (SLAs), ViaWest continues its customer-centric approach in providing flexible, personalized services.  For more information about its robust infrastructure-as-as-service solutions, please visit www.viawest.com.

 

About ViaWest

ViaWest is the leading colocation services provider in North America, with a comprehensive suite of fully compliant environments, including premium wholesale and retail colocation, private and public clouds and managed services. Enabling businesses to leverage both their existing IT infrastructure and emerging cloud resources, ViaWest delivers the right balance of cost, scalability and security. With a team-based account management approach and 100% uptime guarantee, ViaWest offers tailored solutions designed for maximum reliability and flexibility.

For additional information on ViaWest, please visit www.viawest.com or call 1-877-448-9378. Follow ViaWest on LinkedIn and Twitter.

ARMONK, N.Y. and Waltham, MA – IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a new data virtualization service for its portfolio of cloud-based enterprise offerings.  The new service – IBM SmartCloud Data Virtualization (SCDV) – will enable customers to decouple their application data from their physical infrastructure, improving business resiliency, agility, andthe ability to move more seamlessly into the cloud.

As organizations move toward cloud-based systems, many struggle with the complexity and cost associated with application data bound to physical infrastructure. Independent silos of hardware and software built to support backup, business continuity, development and test, analytics, and compliance make it difficult to move data where it needs to be, to both safely protect and quickly develop the applications on which a business often depends.    

By virtualizing data management, IBM SmartCloud Data Virtualization breaks down the walls of these silos. A single, physical copy – stored wherever it makes the most sense for a given customer – can be used to create multiple virtual copies, in support of any business application. Infrastructure is collapsed as data protection and availability SLA’s are improved, resulting in compelling economic and strategic value created for the customer.
IBM SmartCloud® Data Virtualization leverages Actifio’s Virtual Data Pipeline™ technology to provide a unique model for managing critical data, without the expense of managing excess copies.  Clients can reclaim production storage capacity, improve data center utilization, and quickly recover critical servers, resulting in a dramatically lower total cost of ownership than can be achieved through traditional means. 

Cloud-based recovery services are expected to provide higher degrees of resiliency, faster response, and ease of use through self-service, automation, and economies of scale greater than traditional disaster recovery services. This new offering delivers on these objectives with application recovery in minutes versus hours, point-in-time data snapshots to help eliminate traditional back-up windows, and drastically improves production storage. The recoverability of an application can be tested – in real-time – without any disruption to the production system.  Test failovers can be performed more frequently and, in the event of an actual failover, changes are logged and are automatically re-synched with the primary production system when failback is initiated. 

“IBM’s SmartCloud Data Virtualization combines the power of Actifio’s data virtualization platform with IBM’s Resiliency technology and operational reliability,” said Laurence Guihard-Joly, General Manager for IBM’sBusiness Continuity and Resiliency Services. “As part of our growing portfolio of cloud software, services and expertise that help clients tackle any IT or business challenge with confidence, security and trust, SCDV will not only offer many customers faster recovery times at better price points, it will enable them to leverage their protected data as a business asset rather than simply an insurance policy."  

“We’re excited IBM has chosen our platform for this strategic cloud initiative, and to be working closely with them to bring more customers the power of our combined offering as they move to take advantage of the transformative economics of the cloud,” said Actifio Founder and CEO Ash Ashutosh.  “The bottom line here is thousands of IBM customers are now able to achieve better SLA’s for more mission critical applications, accelerating their business and their path into the cloud.”

About Actifio

Actifio is radically simple copy data management. Our Copy Data Virtualization platform enables customers to identify data from any production application; capture it according to an SLA they can define in just a few clicks; and manage it over it’s entire lifecycle in a dramatically more bandwidth, labor, and storage footprint efficient way than is possible with traditional, siloed systems. Virtual copies of data protected by Actifio are available to production systems – instantly – for a host of enterprise use cases including Data Protection, Business Continuity, Dev/Test, Data Insights, and Active Archive. Actifio is headquartered just outside Boston, Massachusetts, with customers in over 22 countries and offices around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.actifio.com or email info@actifio.com.

 

About IBM 

For more information about IBM SmartCloud Data Virtualization, visit: http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/en/it-services/business-continuity/smartcloud-data-virtualization/