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Volume 29, Issue 4

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Jon Seals

Tuesday, 12 April 2016 00:00

We Hate Ransomware!

The internet is a dangerous place. It seems like every year there’s some new trend in cyber crime sweeping the web. This year, that new trend is ransomware. Ransomware is a fairly new type of malware that allows hackers to block users from accessing their computer systems unless they pay some form of ransom to the hackers.  What’s worse, even if you pay the hackers, there is no guarantee they will remove the restriction, and they will still have access to your data even if the restriction is removed.



(TNS) - When the salt bed trenches of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant were mined on the outskirts of Carlsbad in the mid-1980s, Congress dictated specific guidelines for what could be held within its chambers. Only low-level transuranic waste — rags, tools and even soil that had been contaminated with potent radiation through the creation and testing of nuclear weapons in the U.S. — could fill the 6.2 million-cubic-foot cavern more than 2,000 feet below ground.

Even within these limited parameters, finally approved by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1998, it took WIPP 20 years to open. When the first waste-bearing truck drove from Los Alamos to Carlsbad the following year, two women sat on the pavement and a man parked his car in the middle of the road, hoping to prevent its passage. Others waved American flags in support.

But in the 17 years since the facility opened, the nation’s nuclear landscape has changed. WIPP remains the world’s only underground geological repository for nuclear waste, and a confluence of budget constraints, geopolitical issues, the threat of terrorists obtaining nuclear materials and other concerns have led many to consider whether WIPP’s mission should be expanded to include not only higher levels of waste from the U.S. but also waste from around the world. Plans are already in motion to accept plutonium from Japan.



Tuesday, 12 April 2016 00:00

Data For Sustainability

Regardless of terrorist threats, financial meltdowns or data theft, the biggest single threat that the world currently faces is global warming and diminishing resources. If sea levels rise and force more people onto less land, potentially kill millions and wipe out entire species, the prospect of losing a few dollars as the stock market crashes seems mild.

In the same way that data has been used to help stabilize stock markets and improve business performance, it also has a profound impact on how we can create a more sustainable world. This use comes from the most basic local elements through to the most complex nationwide campaigns. 

A prime example of data being used to promote sustainability comes from smart thermostats that are becoming increasingly popular in regular households. Berg Insight recently released a report showing that the number of smart thermostats sold in 2014 grew by 105% in North America and Europe. This represents significant energy savings, with Nest's own test showing the their thermostats saved 10-12% on heating and 15% on cooling on average. With 2015 likely to have seen significant growth again, the savings that these connected devices represent will have a significant impact on overall sustainability targets. They work by collecting data on optimum temperatures, when people are in the house and the best ways in which energy can be saved, meaning that energy is saved in the smallest possible level.



At the hands of ransomware, critical business functions, such as email and payroll are unavailable. Patient-facing applications such as Electronic Medical Records (EMR), as well as the systems responsible for CT scans, documentation, lab work and pharmacy functions are no longer available either. A state of emergency is declared and manual processes are engaged while patients are turned away and transferred to other hospitals. Attackers are throwing health institutions in to the Dark Ages one by one and putting patient lives at risk – a literal life and death situation.

For those lucky enough to not be besieged, a brief background on ransomware is required. It’s the modern day take on kidnapping, but at a data and access level; it’s digital extortion.

It has seen extraordinary success through an effective payment channel (Bitcoin) and multiple attack vectors (phishing emails, infected files, and infected webpages). These are combined with a reduced risk to the attacker on monetization since data does not have to be exfiltrated and sold to various criminal organizations. Instead victims are extorted in order to regain access to their data and networks.



How cyber resilient is your organization?

The latest Horizon Scan Report published by the Business Continuity Institute showed just how big the cyber threat is, with cyber attacks ranking as the number one concern to business continuity professionals for the second successive year, and data breach moving up to the number two spot. Our news channels are often filled with stories of big organizations that have had their services severely disrupted, so it is clear to that the threat is very real, but of course it doesn’t just happen to large organizations.

The question is, how does your organization perceive the threat? Have you suffered from some form of cyber security incident during the last year, and what impact did it have on your organization? Do you feel you have adequate measures in place to deal with such an event, and perhaps just as importantly, do you have the backing of senior management to put measures in place to deal with them?

These are the questions the BCI is asking in as part of its latest research project – the cyber resilience survey – which will inform a new report to be published later this year in collaboration with Crises Control.

Please do take the time to complete the survey. It will only take a few minutes and each respondent will be in with a chance of winning £100 of Amazon vouchers.

Netwrix Auditor 8.0 enables security threat prevention and increases visibility into data stored both on-premises and in the cloud 


IRVINE, Calif. – Netwrix Corporation, a provider of IT auditing software that delivers complete visibility into IT infrastructure changes and data access, today announced the release of Netwrix Auditor 8.0. The new version of company’s leading IT auditing platform simplifies detection of security threats and enables organizations to gain rigorous control over critical data across all levels of IT environment, including hybrid cloud and storage appliances. 


According to the Netwrix 2015 Cloud Security Survey, hybrid cloud is the most widely used deployment model. However, the majority of companies feel that cloud is insecure because it lacks visibility into user activities, which increases the risk of unauthorized access (69% of organizations) and account hijacking (43%). Netwrix presents first ever hybrid cloud visibility solution for Office 365 to bring insight into access, security changes and actions and enable companies to detect threats and protect data regardless of its location. 


Netwrix Auditor is an IT auditing software that delivers visibility into IT infrastructure changes and data access. Netwrix Auditor provides actionable audit data about who has access to what, any changes made, and when and where each change was made. This helps organizations prevent security breaches caused by insider attacks, pass compliance audits with far less effort and expense and keep tabs on what privileged users are doing in the environment. 


The key features of Netwrix Auditor 8.0 include: 

  • New application for Office 365 to strengthen the security of data in the cloud by auditing all changes to security settings and non-owner mailbox access in Microsoft Exchange Online.  
  • File analysis to enable better information management decisions for unstructured data. New pre-defined reports allow users to detect excessive access rights, overexposed data, and suspiciously high numbers of reads, modifications and failed access attempts. 
  • New applications for EMC, NetApp and Windows File Servers to expand visibility into changes and data access in storage appliances to detect insider threats and prevent breaches of unstructured data. New Netwrix Auditor for EMC supports EMC Isilon, as well as VNX and VNXe, and new Netwrix Auditor for NetApp supports the latest versions of Data ONTAP, including 8.3.2. 
  • RESTful API to gain endless auditing and reporting capabilities, and integrate Netwrix Auditor with any existing on-premises or cloud-based application. 
  • Virtual and cloud deployment options in addition to traditional on-premises deployment to meet various organizations’ needs and speed up time-to-value by getting Netwrix Auditor up and running in just 15 minutes. 

“While the cloud does offer flexibility, cost and scalability benefits, issues related to privacy and security of sensitive data remain top concerns,” said Michael Fimin, CEO and co-founder of Netwrix. “In light of the growingthreats of data breaches, visibility into the cloud becomes a very important part of security guarantees and the best way to ensure data integrity. Awareness of who does what, when and where provides holistic data governance, empowers companies to mitigate risks of human factor and better controls critical data no matter where this data is stored.”


“Understanding user behavior has always been a challenge. In most cases there are separate solutions that are good for either traditional IT systems or cloud based, but what I really need is to see what is going on across my entire infrastructure from one place,” said Jair Gomez Arias, MVP and owner of the educational portal JGAITPro. “It’s great that Netwrix has released Netwrix Auditor 8.0 that supports hybrid environment and allows to exploit cloud technology without increasing security risks.” 


Learn more about Netwrix Auditor 8.0, please visit: http://www.netwrix.com/auditor8


About Netwrix Corporation

Netwrix Corporation provides IT auditing software that delivers complete visibility into IT infrastructure changes and data access, including who changed what, when and where each change was made, and who has access to what. Over 150,000 IT departments worldwide rely on Netwrix to audit IT infrastructure changes and data access, prepare reports required for passing compliance audits, and increase the efficiency of IT operations. Founded in 2006, Netwrix has earned more than 70 industry awards and was named to both the Inc. 5000 and Deloitte Technology Fast 500 lists of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. 

For more information, visit www.netwrix.com


FalconStor’s Software-Defined Storage Platform Adds End-to-End Predictive Analytics 

MELVILLE, N.Y. — FalconStor Software® Inc. (NASDAQ: FALC), a 16-year innovator of software-defined storage solutions, further strengthened its FreeStor® converged, hardware-agnostic, software-defined storage and data services platform with the introduction of intelligent predictive analytics that uniquely offers insight across heterogeneous storage environments. This enhancement empowers users with the ability to take action, both proactively and reactively, as needed to better manage and monitor business-critical data end to end. 

FreeStor is a software-defined storage platform that gives customers the power to seamlessly migrate, recover, protect and deduplicate data – on or off the cloud – without tying their business to specific hardware, networks or protocols.  FreeStor’s Intelligent Abstraction® Layer enables the free flow of data and common services between the front end and back end, regardless of environment or location. Intelligent Abstraction virtualizes both existing and future storage for a more efficient and consolidated storage infrastructure. Unlike array-based analytics, FreeStor’s new Intelligent Predictive Analytics provides real-time and historical analytics across heterogeneous storage systems to better manage capacity, performance, and availability.  By combining Intelligent Abstraction with Predictive Analytics, users are able to take intelligent action based on real-time information to optimize and maintain their storage environment from a single pane of glass regardless of storage vendor or location.

“FreeStor Analytics optimizes daily work in a way no other solution does. It is the answer to today’s challenges of our service provider business: Time to market, scalability, and state-of-the-art centralized management, resource prediction and API for external cloud tools or self-developed scripts,” said Thomas Blank, Cloud and Data Center Services at Fujitsu TDS. “Together with its scalable and robust storage virtualization engine, FreeStor provides the flexibility our customers need to successfully drive their business.”

“FreeStor solves a problem that SRM and application performance monitoring tools do not – it reveals actionable information end-to-end across the storage infrastructure,” said Marc Staimer, President/CDS at Dragon Slayer Consulting.  “Its intuitive analytics exposes performance bottlenecks quickly, providing faster root cause resolution and happier users.”

Capturing and monitoring what is happening across the infrastructure, FreeStor’s heterogeneous software-defined approach ensures that users get holistic, accurate views across the entire storage environment for real-time insight and action.  FreeStor provides unified analysis at global and granular levels with user-definable views, reports and smart rules that allow IT organizations to see exactly what they need to see, tailored to their business and environment.  REST APIs ensure that information is delivered when and where it is needed.

“Some vendors offer reporting tools with their solutions, but either the information they provide is exclusive to that particular solution or it leaves it up to the user to figure out what the reports mean before real action can be taken,” said Sandor Orban, Technical Lead Infrastructure Services at Sunrise Communications.  “FreeStor’s analytics not only cover our entire storage infrastructure, regardless of whose equipment we are using, but it helps us to see where we are at and where we are going so that we can take the appropriate action before trouble hits.  This is invaluable since downtime is unacceptable.  Having predictive analytics in addition to the optimization, protection, availability, and migration functionality of FreeStor makes it a fundamental element as far as implementing it in our data centers.”

The latest version of FreeStor includes the following new features:
•        Centralized monitoring, analytics, reporting and provisioning across multiple storage servers
•        New management GUI which simplifies storage management and improves usability
•        Historical and real-time trends and reports for performance, health and inventory
•        Advanced analytics for real-time insights and informed decisions 
•        Real-time performance, health and inventory monitoring end to end; from connected hosts, to virtual LUNs, to the storage pool to physical disks
•        Service-level monitoring through both proactive and reactive smart rules and alerts 
•        Personalized, customizable dashboards for complete flexibility for storage administrators 
•        Native iPhone/Android applications for anytime and anywhere monitoring
•        OpenStack Cinder Driver
•        SAP HANA Certification

“Now is the time for a new, comprehensive approach to overcoming the real-world infrastructure and data management challenges facing enterprises, MSPs and CSPs today,” said Gary Quinn, FalconStor President and CEO. “FreeStor’s Intelligent Abstraction makes current and future storage more efficient and available, allowing users to better manage capacity, performance, and availability across the entire infrastructure.  Combined with FreeStor’s protection, deduplication, recovery and migration capabilities, users can take intelligent action to optimize and maintain their storage environments from a single dashboard, regardless of storage vendor or location.  We believe these abilities make FreeStor the best business option for IT departments looking to regain control of their data and the costs associated with managing and storing it.”

What Customers are saying about FreeStor:

“The FreeStor platform provides our customers with an intelligent and flexible technology layer that enables common, efficient, and cost-effective storage services and centralized management of storage resources across an organization.” 

“When you have something complex, it will be frustrating to use when you need it. What might take days to restore a couple of terabytes of data from our old storage would only take a couple of minutes to restore with FreeStor. I think FreeStor is the right way to go.” 

“FreeStor is the first real entry, in my opinion, into the service provider realm…FreeStor is an integral part of the Xterity brand, and it’s the only DR solution we offer. We feel that it’s a unique fit and allows us to address a unique market need.” 

“With FreeStor, we are able to offer a converged storage ecosystem with a full suite of services. This is how Telefonica can help companies become intelligent enterprises, with collaborative tools that boost the creativity of employees through talent empowerment.” 

About FalconStor
FalconStor Software® Inc. (NASDAQ: FALC) is a leading software-defined storage company offering a converged data services software platform that is hardware agnostic.  Our open, integrated flagship solution, FreeStor®, reduces vendor lock-in and gives enterprises the freedom to choose the applications and hardware components that make the best sense for their business.  We empower organizations to modernize their data center with the right performance, in the right location, all while protecting existing investments.  FalconStor’s mission is to maximize data availability and system uptime to ensure nonstop business productivity while simplifying data management to reduce operational costs.  Our award-winning solutions are available and supported worldwide by OEMs as well as leading service providers, system integrators, resellers and FalconStor.  The Company is headquartered in Melville, N.Y. with offices throughout Europe and the Asia Pacific region. For more information, visit www.falconstor.com or call 1-866-NOW-FALC (866-669-3252).

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FalconStor, FalconStor Software, FreeStor, and Intelligent Abstraction are trademarks or registered trademarks of FalconStor Software, Inc., in the U.S. and other countries. All other company and product names contained herein may be trademarks of their respective holders.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016 00:00

ioFABRIC Vicinity Software Goes GA

Platform that optimizes diverse workloads and unifies storage environments

TORONTO – ioFABRIC Inc. today announced general availability of ioFABRIC Vicinity, a ground-breaking software-defined storage platform that transforms the storage infrastructure, unifying existing systems with new media to reach new levels of service. Vicinity’s QoS-driven storage automation increases business agility and frees IT time to focus on true business innovation, providing the storage transformation necessary to handle the next decade's storage demands.

Vicinity’s industry-unique solution breaks down storage silos by unifying existing storage systems, including traditional SAN and NAS systems, along with newer flash and hyperconverged appliances. Vicinity provides a platform that truly manages and optimizes for diverse workloads concurrently, creating a unified storage environment that enables cross-vendor data mobility both on-premise and cloud. Vicinity reveals more capabilities in the existing infrastructure and provides an intelligent storage platform for long-term growth.

Since Vicinity’s debut, compelling applications and solutions have emerged, such as:

SAN Extender – More life from existing storage by seamlessly extending it with newer technologies while staying within budget.

Migration Solution – Seamlessly migrates data between both old and new storage targets while apps are up and running, eliminating risk and ensuring continuity. 

Hyperconverged – Innovates with a software-driven intelligent, resilient, cost-effective application platform that deploys in minutes. 

Docker – A micro-converged system providing storage that was designed with Docker in mind: light, agile, scalable and persistent.

Server SAN – Transforms commodity hardware into a distributed, enterprise-class storage platform, while maintaining unique application service objectives. 

With these many powerful options, IT experts see the benefits of software-defined storage as a way to achieve true business agility. One customer deployed the SAN Extender, freeing the hours he was spending optimizing his environment on a daily basis.

“I was spending a great deal of time, almost on a daily basis, trying to get the most possible performance out of our NAS units,” said Donald Lopez, IT Manager at InReach. “ioFABRIC Vicinity is extremely simple to deploy and use. The biggest advantage for me was the time I gained in my day by having Vicinity monitor and automatically shift things around in order to get the performance I needed.”

Industry experts across the board are beginning to research and communicate the business benefits of SDS and EMA chose ioFABRIC for an “EMA Vendors to Watch” award. “ioFABRIC Vicinity excels at making storage management efficient, automatically delivering the needed storage resources to meet service-level requirements,” said Jim Miller, Senior Analyst at EMA. “Costly overprovisioning can be eliminated, and overall storage utilization can be increased to its full potential, which means capacity purchases can be delayed while administration chores are reduced.”

“The future is about intelligent automated solutions that can do the complex and time-consuming activities that usually require expensive experts and expensive systems,” said Steven Lamb, co-founder and CEO at ioFABRIC. “Vicinity adds intelligence to any storage, allowing admins to gain agility and data mobility in a cost-optimized manner.

With features like intelligent monitoring and automation, ioFABRIC Vicinity drastically reduces storage OPEX and CAPEX. Vicinity transforms storage to transform business, driving agility and cost-efficiency in any environment. Customers experience cost-effective growth, risk-free migration, easy hyperconvergence integration, and flexible storage for development environments, including Docker. 
ioFABRIC Vicinity is licensed by capacity under management as an annual software subscription, with site and perpetual licenses available. Vicinity is available through ioFABRIC’s reseller and distribution channel, in addition to pre-built appliances with bundled hardware and software.

About ioFABRIC
ioFABRIC Inc. is a software-defined storage company that increases business agility while reducing storage costs. Its vision is to transform storage into something a business can simply depend on, eliminating admin demands, and freeing IT time to focus on true business innovation. Its flagship product, ioFABRIC Vicinity, drastically reduces storage OPEX and CAPEX with intelligent automation and growth through commodity hardware and the cloud. Vicinity Solutions are available to extend existing storage systems, solve migration problems, and deploy as distributed storage, hyperconverged, or Docker. Vicinity is sold through ioFABRIC’s reseller and distribution channel, supported by its industry leading LEaD program. Partners sell Vicinity as licensed software with support or by white-labeling it with additional hardware and/or software. Founded in 2013 by an executive team that has worked together for more than 20 years, the company is funded by private investors and Real Ventures. ioFABRIC is an industry leader in customer service and product development: agile and responsive. For more information visit www.ioFABRIC.com/Learn.

New Release Brings Enhanced Visualisations and Increases Efficiency and Productivity 


LONDON, UK – LANDESK today announced the release of Service Desk 2016.1, bringing new capabilities and features to its IT service management platform. 


The new version of Service Desk focuses on Workspace enhancements and dashboard customisation to improve productivity. In addition, this release delivers a number of efficiency enhancements and a more personalised experience. 


“With these updates, we are continuing to solidify Service Desk as an invaluable resource that helps improve service delivery and IT support,” said Ian Aitchison, director of product management at LANDESK. “These enhanced capabilities will drive IT productivity, making it easier for our customers to modernise their organisation’s IT and empower individuals to be more actionable, all while providing exceptional user experiences.”


Notable enhancements include the following: 

  • Customisable Workspaces Dashboards. The IT analyst Workspaces have been enhanced to include menu shortcuts and customisation features. Using the Dashboard Designer, Service Management professionals can design a responsive, personalised dashboard. In doing so, they can gain insights faster with enhanced visualisations. 
  • Improved Action Capabilities. The latest action enhancements enable service management professionals to go faster. Bulk Actions has been added to Workspaces so users can perform an update or action to a specific number of selected items from a query list. Related Actions is a new feature that empowers users to run an action on one or more related processes at once. 
  • Tools to Gain Faster Insights. With enhanced visualisations for all gadgets, users can design and configure a range of gadgets, including Donut charts, pie charts, HTML content, query results and links to processes, dashboards, websites and Workspaces pages. 
  • New Corporate Branding Capabilities. The new release invites Workspaces users to personalise their interface to match their corporate style and branding. Users can choose from a range of themes, add a corporate logo and insert background images for the application and login screen. 

For more information regarding LANDESK Service Desk, please visit http://www.landesk.com/itsm



LANDESK is the global authority on user-centered IT. By integrating and automating IT tasks, LANDESK helps organisations balance rapidly-evolving user requirements with the need to secure critical assets and data. LANDESK is headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT, and has offices all over the world. To learn more, visit www.landesk.com.

Copyright © 2016, LANDESK. All rights reserved.

First-to-market solution provides centralised visibility into use of public cloud services and tools to eliminate waste and optimise spend


Maidenhead, U.K. – Flexera Software, the leading provider of next-generation software licensing, compliance, security and installation solutions for application producers and enterprises today announced the launch of FlexNet Manager for Cloud Infrastructure. The first solution from a Software Asset Management (SAM) vendor addressing the management of cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), FlexNet Manager for Cloud Infrastructure gives organisations centralised visibility into their cloud services use and allows them to optimise utilisation and control costs.


“The cloud services industry is growing more than five times faster than other IT categories as organisations shift away from internal hardware to greater use of public cloud infrastructures. This shift in spend means having the ability to track, manage and optimise cloud services usage is essential for responsible governance and cost management,” said Jim Ryan, President and CEO of Flexera Software. “With FlexNet Manager for Cloud Infrastructure as part of FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises, Flexera Software enables companies to manage and optimise cloud infrastructure services and the software running in the cloud, along with traditional on-premises software.”


This first release of FlexNet Manager for Cloud Infrastructure focuses on optimisation of Amazon Web Services (AWS) – the most widely adopted cloud infrastructure service. Most organisations have multiple cloud accounts that are often purchased in a decentralised fashion by different departments and business units.  

Because of this, FlexNet Manager for Cloud Infrastructure will automatically import usage and billing data from multiple accounts to deliver a centralised view of all AWS accounts and instances across the enterprise.


Moreover, a cloud dashboard provides an executive-level view of the organisation’s use of cloud resources, presenting aggregated consumption patterns and total spend across all AWS cloud subscriptions. Cloud usage analysis and reporting enables organisations to eliminate waste and optimise spend. Organisations can analyse data and view consumption reports and breakdowns based on AWS instance types (On-demand and Reserved Instances), view consumption rates by departments and perform trending analysis.


As organisations continue to adopt cloud services and create even more complex, heterogeneous IT environments, their asset management tools must evolve and expand to optimise not only on-premises hardware and software assets, but cloud infrastructure services as well. FlexNet Manager for Cloud Infrastructure enables companies to:

  • Track cloud services spending and usage across all departments to eliminate over-buying and under-utilisation of cloud capacity and instances
  • More effectively negotiate volume discounts and rationalise usage of cloud instances
  • Enable IT’s transition to a service-based organisation by centralising management of cloud services, minimising overhead, managing costs and facilitating chargeback of cloud services
  • Optimise usage of pre-paid capacity (reserved instances) to minimise costs

“The new frontier in Software Asset Management is Infrastructure as a Service,” said R “Ray" Wang, Principal Analyst & Founder at Constellation Research. “Organisations are rapidly subscribing to public cloud services as a means to reduce their infrastructure costs and deliver flexible computing resources that can be quickly scaled upward or downward according to demand. But you can’t deliver true cost reduction and efficiency without visibility into, and control over, cloud services spend. Software Asset Management processes and technology must be able to account for, track and manage cloud infrastructure services.”



FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises includes the following components:  


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About Flexera Software

Flexera Software helps application producers and enterprises manage application usage and increase the value they derive from their software. Our next-generation software licensing, compliance, security and installation solutions are essential to ensure continuous licensing compliance, optimise software investments and future-proof businesses against the risks and costs of constantly changing technology. A marketplace leader for more than 25 years, 80,000+ customers turn to Flexera Software as a trusted and neutral source of knowledge and expertise, and for the automation and intelligence designed into our products. For more information, please go to: http://www.flexerasoftware.com.