Featured Posts

<< >>

Are Firms Ignorant About BYOD Issues?

Enterprises are being ignorant towards the issues BYOD is causing to their business says backup vendor Acronis. James Rawbone, Senior Partner Account Manager EMEA, Enterprise Mobility Solutions at Acronis, shared his opinions with Desire Athow at ITProPortal on why and how enterprises are being ignorant towards BYOD issues. The Acronis 2013 Global Data Protection Trend

What Holds the Internet Together

Those that have followed the Bach Seat for a while, know that I am fascinated by maps. A well done map can say so much more than a written description. One of favorite things to do at work is to work on maps; network maps, rack elevations, logical  diagrams, they just make is so much

Password Insecurity – 2015

As readers of Bach Seat, you have protected your personal data with strong passwords, but Engadget warns that when hackers seize control of unenlightened users computers, the resulting “botnets” can cause plenty of mayhem and collateral damage to enlightened users who take their online security seriously. There are ways to deal with these users who

Palm Now A Chinese Mobile Company

Lets take a trip on the way-back machine and visit the first cool – gotta-have it tech toy, the Palm Pilot. I had several versions of the Palm Pilot, The Palm V was the best version, but the  PalmOne-m515, had a color screen. The oft traded PDA builder moved from Palm to modem-maker US Robotics,

Who Runs The Internet

While no one “owns” the Internet (for now, despite republican plans) there are a handful of companies that control the Internet. Unless you are a geek, most of these organizations fly under the typical users radar. The first organization that is actively trying to take over the functions of the Internet is the United Nations

Are Firms Ignorant About BYOD Issues?

Are Firms Ignorant About BYOD Issues?Enterprises are being ignorant towards the issues BYOD is causing to their business says backup vendor Acronis. James Rawbone, Senior Partner Account Manager EMEA, Enterprise Mobility Solutions at Acronis, shared his opinions with Desire Athow at ITProPortal on why and how enterprises are being ignorant towards BYOD issues.

ArcronisThe Acronis 2013 Global Data Protection Trend Report developed by the Ponemon Institute identified five surprising BYOD trends:

1. There are big gaps in secure BYOD policies across organisations. The Acronis survey found that 60% of businesses have no personal device policy in place, and those with policies 24% make exceptions for executives, who are most likely handling the most sensitive corporate data. As a result, these organisations are increasingly vulnerable to data loss and serious compliance issues.

Passwords2.Simple security precautions are not being adopted. The survey found only 31% of companies mandate a device password or key lock on personal devices, and only 21% do remote device wipes when employees leave the company, drastically increasing the risk for data leakage.

3.Businesses underestimate the dangers of public clouds. The researchers report that corporate files are commonly shared through third-party cloud storage solutions such as DropBox, but 67% of organisations don’t have a policy in place around public clouds and 80% haven’t trained employees in the correct use of these platforms.

compatibility4.The growth of Apple (AAPL) devices is complicating BYOD security for administrators. 65% of organisations will support Macs in the next year, and 57% feel compatibility and interoperability are still big obstacles to getting Macs compliant with their IT infrastructure. This puts data stored and shared across the corporate network and on Apple devices at risk.

5.Some organisations are ignoring the benefits of mobile collaboration altogether. More than 30% surveyed actually forbid personal devices from accessing the network.

Tight budgetMr. Rawbone believes there are two reasons organizations are not educating or training their employees on the risks of BYOD. First is time and money. Most companies have tight budgets across the board and in particular within their IT department, as well as their overall staffing. The second excuse for not training their staff is that they are unaware that their staff are using these solutions, or they are turning a blind eye to the issues effect their corporate data and overall IT infrastructure.

The Acronis Senior Partner told ITProPortal there are legal and compliance issues associated with BYOD; but generally BYOD can be adapted to each compliance regulation and rule. The main concern of BYOD is data protection, and ensuring that as employees bring devices to-and-from the workplace, confidential corporate data is adequately protected while remaining easily accessible. An important part of data protection, often not addressed by BYOD strategies, includes ensuring that information and records comply with privacy laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), as well as specific industry and regional privacy regulations.

mobile device security policyMr. Rawbone concludes by reminding the author that the important thing every business needs to remember is that mobile devices can be replaced for a small cost in comparison to having your confidential data stolen and used incorrectly.

Companies need to embrace the evolution of technology and look at the business benefits of BYOD. Otherwise, he claims they will be facing some serious network and data issues and worst of all potentially facing some legal problems in the coming future.

mobile device security policyCreating a mobile device security policy doesn’t have to be complicated, but it needs to encompass devices, data and files. The article lists a number of simple things organizations should do, like require users to key-lock their devices with password protection. 68% of those surveyed use VPN or secure gateway connections across networks and systems, and 52% use Microsoft (MSFT) Active Directory and/or LDAP. The simplest place to start is to use device key-lock and password protection.

 

Ralph Bach has been in IT for fifteen years and has blogged from his Bach Seat about IT, careers and anything else that catches his attention since 2005. You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter. Email the Bach Seat here.

What Holds the Internet Together

What Holds the Internet TogetherThose that have followed the Bach Seat for a while, know that I am fascinated by maps. A well done map can say so much more than a written description. One of favorite things to do at work is to work on maps; network maps, rack elevations, logical  diagrams, they just make is so much easier to discuss how to get from A to B if you can see it.

TeleGeographyThe BusinessInsider published some cool maps from telecom data company TeleGeography of the submarine cables that hold the Internet together around the world. The maps are interesting to me for a couple of reasons, first, is engineering wonder of how all those cables get installed, and the mind-boggling amount of information they enable and the small number of places where they all come out of the water. My first thought looking at some of these maps was I wonder what the no such agency is doing at those sites.

The main map charts out all the undersea fiber optic cables that send Internet communication from country to country. There are more fiber optic cables that are land based, but they’re not charted here. Here is a map of the current undersea fiber connects on the US eastern seaboard.

US east coast

Paul Brodsky, an analyst at Telegeography explained to BI how data gets around the world.

The vast majority of Internet traffic travels on fiber optic cables … Many people think Internet connections go through satellites … but that’s not the case. They run through these undersea cables.

This map shows the undersea cables that link China, Japan, South Korea and Russia to the Internet. It also shows that North Korea does have a dedicated direct connection to the rest of the world, the Hermit Kingdom, indeed.  The picture of kind of awkward because China is in blue, which you would expect to be water.

Pacific basin

TeleGeography’s Brodsky explained to BI how the cables get installed. The companies that lay these cables have giant spools of fiber optic cable on their ships. The ship goes from country A to country B and literally lay it on the bottom of the ocean. Close to the shore, they trench it out, but at a certain distance from the coast it just lies on the bottom of the ocean.

1857 The coiling of the Atlantic Telegraph cable on board HMS “Agamemnon”The biggest risk to the cables are trawlers, and ships dragging anchor. Sometimes there are natural disasters like earthquakes. But if one cable breaks, Internet traffic can be redirected to another cable.

Mr. Brodsky says the companies that lay the cables can track problems. If they spot something, they can go out to the middle of the ocean, pull up the cable and cut out the damaged section and splice in a new segment of cable.

In the future, expect more cables, Mr. Brodsky told BI. Now that the world is connected, the next step is to add more connections. Any country with just one cable will want two or three.

 

Ralph Bach has been in IT for fifteen years and has blogged from his Bach Seat about IT, careers and anything else that catches his attention since 2005. You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter. Email the Bach Seat here.

Password Insecurity – 2015

Password Insecurity - 2015As readers of Bach Seat, you have protected your personal data with strong passwords, but Engadget warns that when hackers seize control of unenlightened users computers, the resulting “botnets” can cause plenty of mayhem and collateral damage to enlightened users who take their online security seriously. There are ways to deal with these users who refuse to close the holes on their computers.

PasswordsThe depressing part is that one of the biggest holes is the easiest to fix: terrible passwords as I have documented again and again. Despite all of my rantings, SplashData has just released its annual list of the worst passwords compiled from more than 3.3 million leaked passwords during 2014 and the article observes that things haven’t changed over last year.

2014's 25 Worst passwords

 2014201320122011
1123456
123456
password
password
2password
password123456
123456
31234512345678
12345678
12345678
412345678
qwerty
1234
qwerty
5qwertyabc123qwertyabc123
612345678912345678912345
monkey
71234
111111dragon
1234567
8baseball
1234567pussy
letmein
9dragoniloveyou
baseball
trustno1
10footballadobe123
football
dragon
111234567123123
letmein
baseball
12monkey
admin
monkey
111111
13letmein
1234567890
696969
iloveyou
14abc123
letmeinabc123
master
15111111photoshopmustang
sunshine
16mustang1234michaelashley
17accessmonkey
shadow
bailey
18shadow
shadowmasterpassw0rd
19mastersunshinejennifer
shadow
20michael
12345
111111
123123
21supermanpassword1
2000
654321
22696969princessjordansuperman
23123123azertysupermanqazwsx
24batmantrustno1harleymichael
25trustno10000001234567football

SplashdataSplashData says the most common stolen password is still “123456,” which edged out perennial groaner “password.” Other top picks in the an alphanumeric hall of shame are “12345678,” “qwerty,” “monkey” and new this year, “batman.”

Online security author Mark Burnett, who wrote the book Perfect Passwords claimed in the presser that the top 25 account for only 2.2 percent of all passwords exposed. The good news is that fewer people are using bad passwords than in 2013, perhaps thanks to some well-publicized data breaches at Sony, Target and elsewhere.

Good passwordSplashData reminds folks to create good passwords with at least eight mixed characters — preferably more — not based on easy-to-brute-force dictionary words.

As pointed out by Buffer Open, other methods include pass phrases, mnemonic devices and other memory tricks.

You shouldn’t use the same password on more than one site. Use one of the many password managers out there, like LastPass or SplashID. Those let you access your entire collection of passwords with just a single passphrase — one that had better be a lot stronger than “123456.”

rb-

If your favorite password is on the list, you should change it now.

For those doing the math, 53% of the weak passwords appeared in multiple years; 27% of these weak passwords appeared in all 4 years and 16% appeared in 3 different years.

Passwords can’t die soon enough. At some point we are just going to have to say to bad, so sad, but they keep making the rest of us sick, just like anti-vaccine crazies  like Jenny McCarthy, who have brought back whooping-cough to Michigan.

 

Ralph Bach has been in IT for fifteen years and has blogged from his Bach Seat about IT, careers and anything else that catches his attention since 2005. You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter. Email the Bach Seat here.

Palm Now A Chinese Mobile Company

Palm Now A Chinese Mobile CompanyLets take a trip on the way-back machine and visit the first cool – gotta-have it tech toy, the Palm Pilot. I had several versions of the Palm Pilot, The Palm V was the best version, but the  PalmOne-m515, had a color screen. The oft traded PDA builder moved from Palm to modem-maker US Robotics, which was later purchased by 3Com then Handspring, then PalmOne/Source and finally purchased in 2010 for $1.2 billion by HP, where many tech firms go to die.

PalmNow ChinaTechNews.com reports that the Chinese consumer electronics group TCL recently announced that they will acquire the Palm brand from HP as part of Meg Whitman’s struggles to right the floundering HP (HPQ).

Li Dongsheng, chairman of TCL Group, told the author the Palm acquisition is different from their earlier purchase of Alcatel’s mobile division. According to the Chinese firm, Palm has its fans in America and its operating ideas are similar with Apple (AAPL) and this type of fandom can give Palm strength. Li said the Palm brand still has value in some of the global markets and people expect its re-emergence to continue to offer innovative products.

ChinaAccording to the article, TCL will launch new Palm products at the end of 2015. TLC plans to position Palm as a high-end smartphone brand.  Maybe in China, the Palm name is an innovative mobile terminal brand, which will be closely related to users and fans.

Variety reports from CES that TCL said that it will re-create Palm in Silicon Valley. In the statement TCL claims:

Palm has always carried a lot of affect and emotions … That’s why TCL has set the direction to rebuild the brand involving Palm’s very own community, making it the largest scale crowdsourced project ever seen in the industry.

The firm will back the crowdsourced development of new Palm products with 5,000 engineers and seven research and development centers around the world.

Guo Aiping, CEO of TCL Communication, told ChinaTechNews.com that this acquisition is limited to the Palm brand and it does not include other assets such as employees.

rb-

First, another US company sold to the competition. Just saying.

I agree with ArsTechnica they hypothesizes this move could be seen as TCL’s attempt to break into the US smartphone market under a well-known brand. Other Chinese companies such as Lenovo, which now owns Motorola, have a similar strategy of operating in America under a well-known brand.

 

Ralph Bach has been in IT for fifteen years and has blogged from his Bach Seat about IT, careers and anything else that catches his attention since 2005. You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter. Email the Bach Seat here.

Who Runs The Internet

Who Runs The InternetWhile no one “owns” the Internet (for now, despite republican plans) there are a handful of companies that control the Internet. Unless you are a geek, most of these organizations fly under the typical users radar.

The first organization that is actively trying to take over the functions of the Internet is the United Nations International Telecommunications Union, in my and many other opinion an out-dated, pointless throw-back to the days of the telegraph, with polices to match. I covered the last power grab by the UN’s ITU here.

Next is the Internet Architecture Board (AIB). The IAB is the overseer of the technical evolution of the Internet. The IAB supervises the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), which oversees the evolution of TCP/IP , and the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF), which works on network technology.

The IAB declared a major strategic move for the Internet. The Internet Architecture Board is calling for global encryption on the web (which I have covered many times from my Bach Seat) to become the norm across the Internet in a move to lock down the privacy and security of information exchange according to Dark Reading.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) develops and promotes voluntary Internet standards, in particular the standards that comprise the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP). It is an open standards organization, with no formal membership or membership requirements. All participants and managers are volunteers, though their work is usually funded by their employers or sponsors. The IETF is also well known for their RFC’s or Request for Comment documents like RFC RFC 1918 and RFC 873

Another organization that shapes the Intertubes is ISOC. The Internet Society (which I am a member) was formed in 1992 by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, to provide a corporate structure to support the Internet standards development process.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is perhaps the most critical organization that helps run the Internet. ICANN coordinates the distribution of IP addresses and the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS). IP addresses are the numbers that are assigned to every computer on the Net to uniquely identify each device. There are two types of IP addresses, IPv4 and IPv6. The web has run out of IPv4 addresses (which I covered here and here) and is very slowly being replaced with IPv6 addresses. ICANN doles out these addresses.

ICANN also manages the Domain Naming System (DNS) on the web that converts IP addresses to names. DNS makes it possible to remember www.google.com, which easy for humans to remember instead of remembering http://74.125.224.72/, which is easy for computers to deal with, to get to Google.

The U.S. government funds ICANN, so they have gotten heat from around the globe after Eric Snowden’s revaluations about global spying operations. The role of ICANN is changing.

The only group that makes money on the Internet but does not help run the Internet (yet) are the Internet Service Providers (ISP). ISP’s control nearly everyone’s access it. The gatekeepers to the web are ATT (T), Comcast (CMCSA), Charter (CHTR) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) are the biggest name ISP’s. ISP’s “perform” two key functions. First they provide last-mile connections, that is the connection to your home or business to their offices, which we all over-pay for. Next they provide back-haul or backbone services that move your email across the town or across the globe. The ISP’s also make money on these ISP-ISP connections.

Right now the FCC is considering the future of the Internet during its Net Neutrality decisions. If the ISP’s get their way, it is likely that home and businesses will be required to pay the ISP’s more money to maintain the crappy service we already get.

 

6 Shadowy Companies That Run The Internet

rb-

Lets add this up big business telecom money + millionaire politicians = the 1% screwing the rest of us. Get involved, save the Internet, get in touch with your alleged representatives and tell them NO MORE. 

Ralph Bach has been in IT for fifteen years and has blogged from his Bach Seat about IT, careers and anything else that catches his attention since 2005. You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter. Email the Bach Seat here.