Next week (March 1-4, 2010) I’ll be at the RSA Conference in San Fransciso.  Please come down and see Ipswitch on the floor or drop me a note to set up a private time to talk.

Since we were there last year a lot has happened to Ipswitch File Transfer products.

  • Ad Hoc Transfer Modules – Both MOVEit DMZ 7.0 and WS_FTP Server 7.5 will provide the ability for registered senders to send files to anyone with an email address from a web browser or Outlook email client.  (The MOVEit DMZ version provides reply capabilities, encryption at rest, more online logs and the ability to send messages without files.)
  • MOVEit Central Advanced Tasks – Complex, conditional workflows were made possible with the release of MOVEit Central 7.0.
  • MOVEit DMZ Web Farms – Our most secure server gained the ability to scale horizontally on top of common database and file server tiers with the release of MOVEit DMZ 6.5.
  • New Security Model in WS_FTP Server – WS_FTP Server 7.1 quietly rolled out a new “perimeter” security model to protect its web-based admin interface, based on suggestions from security personnel.
  • MOVEit DMZ SaaS – Project leaders, small businesses and departments may now subscribe to a hosted service that provides secure storage, secure transport, delegation of authority and superb logging.  This service is based on the latest version of MOVEit DMZ, deployed on a web farm in a datacenter that has achieved SAS 70 certification.
  • MOVEit Central Corporate – A version of our workflow engine scaled to meet the needs of people with 10 or fewer remote servers to communicate with or project leaders
  • Virtualization, 64-bit and Windows 7 Support – WS_FTP Professional 12.2 became the first major FTP client to be recognized by Microsoft as Windows 7 compatible (both 32-bit and 64-bit).    Meanwhile, our server products expanded their support of 64-bit Microsoft Server platforms and their support of virtual platforms based on EMC’s VMWare and Microsoft’s Hyper-V.
  • Microsoft Certified Partner – Ipswitch became a Microsoft Certified Partner last year, gaining access to software, including Windows 7, before it is released to the public.
  • Gartner “Leader” Designation – Ipswitch was named as a “Leader” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrent, based largely on the ability of our MOVEit products to meet the needs of business customers, our forward-looking vision and our willingness to build or buy our way toward solutions that meet even more needs.

Thanks to our partners we are able to reach a large and diverse number of international clients. This wouldn’t be possible without the exceptional help of our International Distributors of the Year for 2009:

Infinigate Deutschland in Europe, Middle East and Africa; ZeroOne Technology Taiwan in Asia Pacific; and LicenciasOnline in Latin America took charge in their respective regions and delivered impressive results.

The WhatsUp Gold Partner Program provides WUG ninjas such as these with resources, certifications, marketing opportunities, expertise, and training on the most up-to-date WUG products. Through collaboration like this, WhatsUp Gold stands to reach network managers in need of solutions in every corner of the world.

Want to learn how to become a WhatsUp Gold Partner? Visit our Partner Section.

Want to find a partner near you? Find one now!

WUG Ninja

Using free online storage and collaboration systems dramatically increases a company’s risk of a data breach.  Many of these tools automatically synchronize desktop folders with folders in the cloud.  Compromised credentials can give hackers easy access to all of a company’s sensitive information.

Companies need to monitor traffic over known P2P ports and over commonly used ones, like 80 and 21.  It’s not just data loss prevention, it’s ensuring that policies that address “what data can be sent to whom” are enforced – regardless of port and security mechanisms.

Most of today’s threats with P2P file sharing come from applications that work in conjunction with cloud services, leaving room for hackers to create desktop onramps for their own use.”

 In a recent case, the FTC found the breach.  The truth is – the companies breached should have found it first.

Many enterprise collaboration tools have browser-based portals set to automatically download documents from specific locations.  Simply changing the default settings away from “My Documents” can prevent employees from unknowingly downloading and installing applications that could increase a company’s risk of a breach.

An ordinary day for a network administrator can tend to be anything but. Whether you’re dealing with help-desk tickets, installing new applications into the infrastructure or troubleshooting a network outage, there never seems to be a shortage of tasks on your daily to do list.

One of the more important aspects of your job, when it relates to maintaining optimum network performance, is managing network device configurations and changes within those devices. The fact is, device configurations are the key to a properly functioning network, and when changes go unnoticed, or devices fail, the impact felt across the network can be detrimental to business operations.

Obviously, with the level of importance of maintaining network device configurations being so high, there are some related tasks that are necessary to keep your infrastructure up and running at its peak at all times. Backing up configuration files in the event you need to restore or replace any failed devices rapidly, limiting the impact felt by the network, is vital. Also, when changes are made to device configurations, it’s important to compare running files to stored files in order to speed up operational response.

Those are just a few of the main tasks that are necessary to complete in order to gain complete control over your device configurations. The fact is, this is not a simple aspect of network management to maintain, especially if you are tasked with conducting these jobs manually.

We at WhatsUp Gold realize the stresses you have to face daily, and try to do what we can to make life for you that much easier. When it comes to  Network Change and Configuration Management (NCCM), WhatsUp Gold WhatsConfigured offers you peace of mind by automating the critical tasks necessary to maintaining your device configurations around the clock.

Don’t take my word for it though, listen to Rachel Kennedy, Senior Information Developer in the Ipswitch network management division, for a full description of WhatsConfigured’s command line:

To many companies, “ad hoc transfer” is all about getting people to quit sending large and/or sensitive data through their email clients.   With than in mind, Ipswitch File Transfer developed a web-based module for its WS_FTP Server and a similar module for its MOVEit DMZ Server to do just that.

However, “ad hoc” isn’t just about email.  Back in the day, when someone wanted to get a file to someone else and there was no explicit file transfer process in place, a sender would likely put a file on the company FTP site, a hidden directory on the company web site (guilty!) or cut the file to CD or thumb drive.   One of the reasons not everyone has gone to email is that those other methods either involve a log that the sender can check or a physical hand-off.  In other words, ad hoc senders want to be able to monitor the process.

Taking a step back as an administrator,  think of your own user base.  Even if you have implemented Ipswitch File Transfer’s Ad Hoc Transfer server modules (thank you!) and have weaned your users off sending important files through email, are you sure they are using their other file transfer access (FTP, SSH, ?) to interact with other people the way you expected them to?   How would you know?  That, in a nutshell, is why the monitoring and logging capabilities around “ad hoc” person-to-person transfers on ALL your file transfer products are so critical.

One of the most frequently asked questions that I have fielded throughout my career as both a sales person and as an executive has been  “What makes your product different from everyone else’s?” or “How is your company different?” I generally see the response go one of two ways. Either the respondent looks like a deer in the head lights stunned by the simple question or they start to talk. And talk, and talk … to the point where you have no idea what they said.

At Ipswitch it is a real simple answer – it is “time to value”. We enable users (people and/or companies) to start using and receiving the benefit of our software as soon as they download it!  It is a very basic concept that goes back to the beginning of our company almost 20 years ago – build software that is easy to install and use that solves everyday problems. Build software that does what it says it will do – simply, reliably and intuitively. Provide support, when needed, the same way.

Today, companies are under tremendous pressure to cut costs, to do more with less and to leverage the limited resources available to them to accelerate their return on investment.  Truly delivering on time to value enables our customers to not only survive, but to thrive under these conditions.   It is why we have grown substantially over the past two years of economic turmoil.   Time to value is a timeless value, one that we embrace as much today as we did when we started the company.  And, time to value is a value that millions of our customers share.

I just received my books for a refresher course in the Systems and Network Auditor training from the SANS organization.    It’s an organizational non-event, but the fact that regular security training is now common in the organization is worth reflecting on.

Since we started investing in and training personnel nine years ago, Ipswitch File Transfer now has people on staff with the following security certifications, as well as the attendant experience that goes along with designing, developing and supporting solutions that securely manage interactions.

  • CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional by (ISC)2 – An ANSI ISO/IEC Standard 17024:2003 accredited certification approved by the U.S. Department of Defense in both their Managerial (IAM) and Information Assurance Technical (IAT) categories.  The U.S. National Security Agency has also adopted this certification as the baseline for its Information Systems Security Engineering Professional (ISSEP) program.
  • GSNA – GIAC Systems and Network Auditor by SANS – A certification that identifies an expert in laying out and completing network and security audits using the language of risk and control.  (GIAC stands for “Global Information Assurance Certification”.)
  • GCIA – GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst by SANS – A certification that identifies an expert in detecting attacks and probes.
  • GCWN – GIAC Certified Windows Security Administrator by SANS – A certification that identifies a Microsoft Windows security expert.
  • GCIH – GIAC Certified Incident Handler – A certification that identifies an expert in preparing for and handling a security breach.
  • GSEC – GIAC Security Essentials Certification – A certification that identifies an individual who has received general computer security training appropriate for a typical system administrator.

…and the list will continue to grow as companies of all sizes continue to depend on us to take the same or greater care of their data as they would themselves.

So, it’s back to the books for me, but I don’t mind it one bit.  Regular refreshment of my auditor credentials helps me to understand the needs of the security and risk management teams and to develop product solutions (both software and services) that meet emerging corporate policies and industry regulations.

Multi-enterprise collaborative implementations and deployments can be extremely difficult to benefit from because all too often the companies deploying these solutions overly emphasize the security mechanisms and protocol support. While those aspects are important, the ecosystems around companies are expanding to include smaller partners and Prosumers that need to be managed, provisioned, and have their expectations met. In short, companies will need to spend the time and effort on better managing all aspects of the interactions in their ecosystem.

The agreement between Cleo Communications and Stonebranch is a good step in this direction, but we continue to advise our customers, prospects, and the overall market to strongly consider the visibility, management, and enforcement aspects of any type of integration and collaboration. Much of this partnership seems to be based on technology around providing multiple protocol and security support. I will never underestimate or undervalue the importance of protocols and security mechanisms, but I will always focus on the larger aspects of governance: visibility, management, and consistent enforcement of policies related to security and performance. These are the things that matter. This agreement furthers my strong and publicly stated beliefs that companies are consolidating their approaches to integration and collaboration.

Simply put, there continues to be a high degree of volatility (this impacts the entire marketplace in a positive way) in the managed file transfer market.

Frank: “Hey Dad, before I go off into the world what is the one bit of advice that you would give me?”

Frank’s Dad: “If I had to give you one piece of advice it would be save all your receipts and tax returns for seven years in a file cabinet someplace in the back of your closet.”

Frank: “That’s it?! You mean nothing about women? Nothing about credit? Nothing like own at least one suit and a pair of good shoes?”

Frank’s Dad: “Nope that’s it. Trust me you’ll see…”

Now that I’m older I can give this advice to my son. I can also give the same advice to e-mail administrators, “save all your e-mails, someplace safe, for at least three years… preferably more.”

Now here’s the technology part:

It’s becoming more and more apparent that offloading large file attachments from e-mail using a third-party technology integrated with e-mail servers, requires a rethinking of strategy of e-mail and data archival and storage strategy. read more “I’m not a lawyer I just play one on TV OR getting whipped by the tail of the e-mail offloading”

Join Our 14.2 and WhatsVirtual TTP

Ipswitch’s network management division takes pride in developing software that keeps our users on the cutting edge of industry standards. You need a network management solution that will continue to evolve as the industry evolves.

The latest product we’ve been developing, WhatsVirtual, is an answer to the growing industry trend toward virtualization. It is now essential for IT professionals to have a tool that allows them to effectively monitor and manage their virtualized environments.

Join our WhatsVirtual Technical Preview Program and be the first to give us feedback on this new tool. We view our TPP participants as an integral part of WhatsUp Gold’s product developement.
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The success of WhatsUp Gold’s Traffic Analysis tool late last year was without doubt due in part to your feedback and participation in our Flow Publisher TPP.

Netflow ScreenFlow Publisher is a lightweight complement to WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor (Flow Monitor provides detailed insight into how your network bandwidth is utilized by collecting NetFlow, sFlow and J-Flow data) designed for those networks that don’t support flow data.

So cross Budget For Costly Upgrades and New Hardware off your To Do List: Flow Publisher; enables flow monitoring for every network segment and for every device whether or not they natively support flow monitoring. Flow Publisher captures raw network traffic and converts it into standard NetFlow records.

Here’s a quick 101 of network traffic analysis terms you should be familiar with in order to effectively get a handle on your network’s performance

* Top Offenders: The top offenders are those users, applications or hosts that are consuming your network bandwidth.
* BitTorrent: This is a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol used for distributing large amounts of data, which allows large files to be downloaded without affecting the performance of the network.
* WAN Data Traffic: This refers to traffic slowing down the performance of the wireless environments, usually consisting of FTP or copying files between sites.
* Security: Proper network traffic and performance monitoring allows you to detect DOS attacks and other rogue activity directed at your network.

Worried about how people in your organization send files to other people, both internally and externally?

If not, you should be.

Employees have proven that they’ll use whatever is convenient to send files to other people, including email, USB drives, burning DVD’s and even signing-up for free file sharing websites.  Although convenient to employees, each of these examples has their own set of risks and uncertainty to the company.

Ipswitch File Transfer is pleased to announce the launch of our new person-to-person Ad Hoc Transfer module.  When used in conjunction with any of our WS_FTP Server solutions, the Ad Hoc Transfer module delivers the visibility, management and enforcement that IT departments need to safely enable file sharing interactions, while at the same time making it simpler than ever for employees to quickly, easily and securely share files with other people using either Microsoft Outlook or their browser.

Please do join one of the following webinars to learn more:

How does the popular UK tech blogger, Jason Slater, use WS_FTP Professional?

WS_FTP Professional User Interface

In his latest blog post, “Mass Transferring Files with WS_FTP Professional,”  Jason reveals that he’s in the process of migrating his websites to a new dedicated web server.

In order to do this successfully, Jason needs to utilize a tool that transfers his data quickly and securely. That’s where WS_FTP Professional comes into play…

Jason explains that he relies on WS_FTP Professional to get this important job done and that he’s been using “WS_FTP for quite some years and [has] seen the product develop into the essential application it is today.”

To read Jason’s full  post on WS_FTP Professional, please visit his website, Jason Slater Technology Blog.