Two months ago we posted about the massive data breach at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Massachusetts, “800,000 Reasons Why MFT is Important“.

Well, the drama and the headaches continue.

What originally happened was that computer files containing personal information of about 800,000 people, information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, medical record numbers, patient numbers, health plan information, dates of service, diagnoses, treatments relating to hospital and home health care visits had been misplaced, possibly lost or maybe even stolen.

Aspirin worthy.

On September 8th, 2010 Wickedlocal.com reported that “South Shore Hospital initially informed the Attorney General’s Office and the public that it would send individual written notice of the data breach to each affected consumer.”

Aspirin worthy, but the legal and responsible thing to do…that is until a brilliant idea occurred:

However, South Shore Hospital has informed the Attorney General’s Office that it does not plan to send individual written notice to affected consumers. Instead, South Shore Hospital has chosen to invoke a provision under state law to notify consumers through the ‘substitute notice’ process, which means rather than receiving individual letters at their homes, consumers who are affected by the breach will be generally notified of the data loss through a posting on South Shore Hospital’s website, publication in newspapers throughout the Commonwealth, and by e-mail for those consumers for whom South Shore Hospital has e-mail addresses.”

So the move here is that to notify the people who’s data they lost, they’ll put that information in a place where everyone can see it. Isn’t that counter-intuitive? 

In a related story on Healthdatamanagement.com – Joseph Goedert reports that:

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley ‘has objected to South Shore Hospital’s revised notification plans and maintains that affected consumers should receive individual notification as originally represented by South Shore Hospital in its prior public announcements concerning the data loss,’ according to a statement from her office.”

What are your thoughts on how South Shore Hospital is handling this? Am I the only one reaching for the Anacin?

Here’s a nice write-up of one of our newest customers, Salary.com

Every once in a while we like to showcase an exciting new customer and share some of the reasons why they chose to deploy an Ipswitch File Transfer solution to solve their business problems.

Quick background on the business need:

Salary.com exchanges data with thousands of customers and partners daily worldwide.

They sought a flexible, highly available solution that could simplify business operations and meet compliance regulations including SOX, PCI DSS, HIPAA and other state laws around employee privacy.

Security & compliance requirements were driving factors:

“It’s an imperative that our file transfer services maintain our rigorous requirements for keeping our clients’ critical business data secure,” said John Desharnais, managing director of technical operations at Salary.com.

And here’s some insight into their purchase decision:

“Salary.com reviewed several solutions, but selected Ipswitch’s MOVEit suite because of its comprehensive approach to managed file transfer, ability to provide an end-to-end audit trail and granular controls that monitor how files are moved, accessed, and used.”

“Ipswitch’s MOVEit solution is easy to use and ensures that we have complete visibility into all file transfer activity on our network.”

Salary.com, welcome to the Ipswitch family and we look forward to a loooong relationship together.  As your business needs continue to grow and evolve, Ipswitch will be a trusted partner that will continue to bring innovative solutions to market.

LodgeNet Manages Network of 1300 Hotels with WhatsUp Gold

LodgeNet, the premiere media and connectivity solutions provider for the hospitality industry, ensures that millions of travelers are provided with TV and internet in over 1300 hotels throughout the U.S. and Canada annually. Their network’s monitoring software of choice? WhatsUp Gold.

Selecting a network management solution was not easy for this vast network, so why WhatsUp Gold? Well, according to LodgeNet Systems Engineer, Brian Jacobs, “familiarity with WhatsUp Gold by no means ensured its selection (…) Everyone recommended WhatsUp Gold. Even with the cost of custom programming factored in, WhatsUp Gold was by far the most cost-effective and feature-rich solution.”

WhatsUp Gold provided LodgeNet with:

  • Real-time monitoring of a cross-continent broadband network
  • Ability for 24x7x365 customer service
  • Reduced call center costs, increased customer satisfaction
  • Instant verification on installation of new networks
  • Proactive network maintenance
  • Strengthened competitive advantage in emerging technology

What’s more is that the provider of media and connectivity solutions was able to utilize the WhatsConnected plug-in to instantly verify that each individual hotel’s network was set up according to company specifications. In the end, LodgeNet’s deployment of WhatsUp Gold (a transition from manual monitoring to real-time monitoring) over the whole network was completed in just two weeks.

>>Read the full case study or press release

>>Learn more about what WhatsUp Gold can do for you

>>Try WhatsUp Gold free for 30 days

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Every so often, you have to SYH (shake your head) at the acronyms created by technology companies
Shane O’Neill, Publisher of CIO magazine and CIO.com

O’Neill has a great point. I remember back in my freelance days I was in some meetings where project managers would reach into a box of Alpha-Bits, grab a handful, toss them on the table and produce the newest acronyms for their latest projects.

Just the other day I was working on a post and came across an acronym I was unfamiliar with. I Googled it, I hit Wikipedia and eventually I figured it out, but it took me much longer than I thought it would take.

Who knew there would be so many definitions for three little letters?

O’Neill poses a lighthearted, but interesting question in his article “Ten Ridiculous New Tech Acronyms.” O’Neill asks if it is “any surprise that acronyms have taken over our lives? They fit perfectly in our fast-paced, multi-tasking society. Why say something in words if you can say it in letters?”

When you consider our industry, O’Neill says that the tech acronyms “can be inscrutable, unintentionally funny, accidentally crass, or just goofy. In total, they add up to a big steaming bowl of alphabet soup.”

Here’s an OMG look at some new LOL acronyms: “Ten Ridiculous New Tech Acronyms

Ever wonder how other IT professionals use WhatsUp Gold?

Marston’s, Britain’s largest brewer of cask beer, has a cool use-case story. The brewers were interested in growing their business to become known for more than great beer and pubs. They wanted their evolving clientele to know them for also providing a fun public WiFi hotspot and the place to play the latest internet-connect gaming products.

In order to do this they needed to not only enhance both front of house and back-office infrastructure but also improve communications and reliability of connection between the individual pubs and head office so they could start offering these new services to clients.

To achieve this, Marston’s took on the ambitious and innovative step of moving into the telecoms industry in its own right, allowing it to package and deploy its own customized services to various parts of the business.

But creating its own broadband network and taking responsibility for the infrastructure of its 500+ managed pubs meant that Marston’s needed to invest in a scalable networking monitoring solution to provide visibility across the new telecoms network and to help identify problems with hardware and connectivity.

Luckily, their partner, Level 8 Solutions, stepped in and recommended Ipswitch’s WhatsUp Gold.

This wasn’t Marston’s first experience with WhatsUp Gold. They’d been using within their head office for several years. They then deployed a separate WhatsUp Gold installation to monitor routers and WiFi hotspots installed at its managed pubs, as well as to support home workers also served by Marston’s Telecom.

 

“Using Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold, we are able to monitor the remote infrastructure installed at our estate of managed pubs across the country, ensuring that equipment is functioning correctly and that the connectivity we are providing through Marston’s Telecom is also performing as expected,” McMinn explained.

Plus sides to using WhatsUp Gold over other products like HP Insight were WhatsUp Gold’s clear and easy to follow feedback on the state of the network and the devices connected to it; its single point of view over the health of the network being monitored; and the clear visual guidance when a device encounters a problem.

As in . . . Green is Good, Red is Bad.

So what about you? Do you use WhatsUp Gold to monitor something even more interesting that beer? If you do, let us know about it in the comments!

I just read an interesting article on MarketingWeek written by Richard Lees, chairman of dbg (The Database Group).  Richard has spent the better part of 20+ years combining two of my passions:  marketing and data.  So I’m instantly interested in his opinion on data security.

So why are we so scared of data security? Probably because we see the aftermath of data scandals and know how debilitating to a brand they can be.  Bad PR does not even come close.

So true!  Not only have data breaches resulted in billions of dollars in damages, they have also  single-handedly destroyed brands and killed entire businesses, and big ones at that.  And trust me, organizations like TJX will be feeling the ramifications of their data breach for decades.

Richard sheds light on the growing perception of “inevitability” surrounding data breaches:  “It’s so easy to get data processes wrong and everyone is always waiting for the real clanger to happen…The number of diverse touchpoints that are relatively loosely controlled means it’s far too probable that this can happen.”

And here’s one more soundbite that that drives home the point that many organizations aren’t yet taking even minimal precautions:

“It amazes me how some people still fail to do the basics such as merely password protecting data they are sending offsite, using secure file transfer protocols (SFTP)…It is remarkable how much customer data still moves around the internet every single day with very little control.”

Oh, and if you want more proof that sensitive files, data and documents aren’t safe, check out the WikiLeaks website that Richard references.  Take a look at a few of the anonymous submissions of confidential documents and communications from governments and organizations around the world that we can all get to with just a few mouse clicks.