Congratulations to Chris Burns – the winner of the WhatsUp Gold Star Wars Contest! The contest involved participants posting on the WhatsUp Gold Facebook page which Star Wars character they feel is most like them. Chris will be receiving “Star Wars: The Complete Saga” on Blu-ray as his prize. Thank you to everyone who participated – we enjoyed all of your responses!

Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold has been nominated in the “Best Software of the Year” category for the IT Pro Awards 2011! IT Pro is an IT industry site blending the latest industry news, features, product reviews, whitepapers, webinars and more. This is the inaugural awards event for IT Pro, which will be held November 22nd in London. (Want more information on the IT Pro Awards 2011? Visit their official website.)

The WhatsUp Gold team is excited and honored that we have been considered for this award. Friday, September 30th is the last day to vote, so make sure your voice is heard. Everyone who votes is also entered to win an Amazon Kindle 3G, so vote now for your chance to win this great prize!

CLICK HERE TO VOTE.

Happy 13th Birthday Google!

To celebrate their birthday the Google doodle of the day is of a birthday party scene.  Complete with decorations, party hats, gifts, cake, and of course the company logo.  Google has put a new doodle on the home page since 2002 as a way of celebrating.

According to an article on Mashable, today is not the actual date of Google’s birthday but this is the day they celebrate this year.  The exact date Google celebrates this occasion has changed over the years, according to the company, “depending on when people feel like having cake.”

Google has come a long way from when Larry page and Sergey Brin, two Stanford University students, first developed the idea in 1996, then known as BackRub.  Goggle is one of the world’s largest and most significant companies around today.  It will be exciting to see where the company is thirteen years from now.

WhatsUp Gold recently made a donation to a children’s choir called “Coral da Gente”.  We were fortunate enough to hear them perform during the Network1 event (Brazil’s exclusive distributor of WhatsUp Gold) in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  The donation will help purchase instruments, maintenance of the headquarters, among others. 

The People’s Choir is a program developed by the Baccarelli Institute, a nonprofit civil association whose mission is to provide musical education and artistic excellence by providing personal development and creating the opportunity for professionalization. The institute has focused on helping children and adolescents in situations of social vulnerability. Located in the community of Heliopolis, the largest slum in Sao Paulo state and the second largest in Brazil and Latin America, the Foundation is currently composed of about 1,100 children and adolescents aged 6 to 25 years.

Earlier this week members of the WhatsUp Gold public sector team participated in the Matt Light Celebrity Shoot-Out event in Rhode Island. This one-of-a-kind event consists of a clay-shooting tournament, fly fishing, outdoor concert, fine dining, and a live auction. To date, the Matt Light Celebrity Shoot-Out has raised close to $2.5 million dollars for the Light Foundation.

The Light Foundation mission is to install and augment values of responsibility, accountability, and hard work by providing youth with unique outdoor learning experiences that assist them in reaching their highest potential. Click here to learn more about the foundations programs and events.

Jeff Johnson: National Account Manager – Government, Matt Light: New England Patriots Offensive Tackle, Tom D'Errico: Director, Government Sales

As George Hulme recently wrote, the vision of Senator Richard Blumenthal’s data breach legislation is simple enough:  Protect individuals’ personally identifiable information from data theft, and penalize firms that don’t adequately secure their customers’ information.

Clearly, there’s a need for organizations to better secure confidential and private customer information.  It seems that a week rarely passes without a new high-profile data breach in the news.  In fact, 2011 is trending to be the worst-ever year for data breaches.  And that is despite many U.S. states introducing legislation that expands the scope of state laws, sets stricter requirements related to notification of data breaches involving personal information, and increases penalties for those responsible for breaches.

The need to protect customer data is unanimously shared by honest people worldwide…. The issue is HOW to effectively govern and enforce the various data protection requirements and laws?

I agree with Senator Blumenthal’s concept of establishing “appropriate minimum security plans”…. But color me skeptical on the government’s ability to appropriately monitor and enforce those plans, especially after witnessing the mighty struggles at effectively governing the dozens of state laws already on the books.

My skepticism is shared by many, including Mark Rasch, director of cybersecurity and privacy consulting at Computer Sciences Corporation:  “The devil is in the details with these laws.  We’ve had regulations, from Gramm-Leach-Bliley to HIPAA, that purport to help protect consumer data.  Companies are already victims in these attacks, so why are we penalizing them after a breach?  I think that’s because it’s easier to issue fines than it is to track down the criminals and go after them.”

In my opinion, business leaders need to prioritize their own internal efforts to properly protect sensitive information rather than wait on the government to catch up.  First order of business is to identify where confidential files and data live in your organization and ensure visibility of that info (after all, how can you protect what you don’t know about?).  Fortunately, there are technology solutions available to help organizations better manage and govern their critical files and data as they are being moved and consumed both internally and with business partners and across people, systems and various business applications.

Many customers today expect ‘WAN acceleration’ technology (sometimes referred to as WAN Optimization) as part of their MFT vendor’s solution offering. In general this is a useful addition to the MFT feature set, and can certainly reduce file transfer times in a wide variety of scenarios. However, customers should have realistic expectations of what these acceleration technologies can offer, and be cognizant of the limitations and constraints imposed by the carrier network itself.

Customers should question any absolute, unequivocal claims an MFT vendor makes regarding performance improvements achieved using their particular approach.  A claim of “7x” or “30x” improvement without any documented caveats is simply not credible. The key point is that observed performance enhancements in the WAN are probabilistic, not deterministic. A file transfer occurring multiple times between the same endpoints will in all likelihood produce different latency measurements depending on a large number of factors:

  • Time of day
  • Day of week
  • Physical media traversed
  • Design of intervening switch fabrics and router queues
  • SLA agreements with the carrier
  • End-to-end QoS provisioning (if any)
  • Burstiness (jitter) of co-mingled traffic, etc.

Techniques for improving WAN performance vary by vendor: data caching, compression, truncation, protocol optimization (usually proprietary, as an enhancement to TCP at the transport layer), traffic shaping, and de-duplication, just to name a few. Customers should ask many questions and perform their own “real world” tests to ensure they are in fact receiving the transfer performance improvements they expect, under conditions that are common to their WAN environment.

SANS Network Security 2011 will take place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas from September 17-26, 2011. SANS Network Security is an annual event which offers network security training, certification, and research on the most important topics in the industry today.

The WhatsUp Gold team will be hosting a lunch and learn presentation:

 “Adding Rich Access Control and Audit Logging to Windows Applications

  • Presented by: Andy Milford – Product Manager, Log Management & Andy Hopper – Senior Software Architect
  • Thursday, September 22nd 12:30pm – 1:15pm US PST
  • Register to attend now! (link to registration)

Our session will cover how applications that target the Windows platform can incorporate the ability to manage highly granular access control and automate audit logging by using the security subsystems in the Windows operating system. Topics covered include discretionary access control lists, system access control lists, the Windows audit log and the Windows Authorization APIs.

Do you have an application that is managing potentially sensitive information? Then you must join us for this exciting lunch and learn presentation!
http://www.sans.org/network-security-2011/vendor.php

It was a beautiful, warm day last Saturday, September 10th when 40 Ipswitch employees headed to the Bank of America Pavilion in Boston’s Seaport District to spend the day with almost 200 area children and families.

As a part of the 9/11 national day of service, we donned our Ipswitch iCare t-shirts to take part in a luncheon and day of fun organized by the Foundation To Be Named Later (FTBNL), a Red Sox affiliate, to support Room To Grow, a charity which helps infants in poverty. Other beneficiaries and invitees to the luncheon included the West End House Boys and Girls Club and Horizons for Homeless Children. Parents raising babies in poverty face many challenges including isolation and lack of resources, say organizers of the event. A special social gathering over lunch can provide meaningful social connections and much-needed respite.

The day began with setting up the arts and crafts tables, decorating the dining tables with fun baseball-inspired centerpieces, and  assisting the six Boston-area restaurants who generously catered the event.

When the children and their families arrived, the fun really began! Ipswitchers mingled with the wonderful families, Theo and Paul Epstein (brothers and co-founders of FTBNL), and supporters of the charities. Balloon animals and temporary tattoos were the biggest hits, while the children also enjoyed face painting, coloring, bubbles, and decorating picture frames.

When lunch was served, it became clear that it would be a special treat for volunteers and invitees alike. Six Boston-area restaurants created some seriously delicious gourmet treats, including chicken tacos, macaroni & cheese, mini pastrami sandwiches, and sophisticated “PB&J” sandwiches with fig and blue cheese!

This was truly a special event in which Ipswitch was fortunate to participate. We each enjoyed meeting the inspirational families and children from Room to Grow, Horizons for Homeless Children, and the West End House Boys and Girls Club. A big thank you goes out to the Foundation to Be Named Later for organizing this luncheon!

To see more of the pictures from the event, check out our Facebook Album!

 

Yesterday, September 12, 2011, Ipswitch, Inc. celebrated its 20th anniversary. In celebration of this achievement, the Network Management Division of Ipswitch, Inc. launched a new community service program, “Twenty4Twenty.” The goal of this program is for every employee in the Network Management Division complete twenty hours of community service within the next twelve months.

To kickoff this program, several members of the Marketing Team and I volunteered yesterday in Boston at Room To Grow, an organization designed to build a strong foundation for babies in poverty. We spent the day helping out with Room to Grow’s “Seasonal Switch,” – the bi-annual process of organizing children’s clothes for the fall/winter season. It was a wonderful experience for all and we plan to go back and help out very soon!

Members of Ipswitch’s Network Management Division marketing group pause for a photo while helping out at Room to Grow’s Boston location with their “Seasonal Switch” as they organize children’s clothes for the fall/winter season.

Recently, Cisco published a blog post on an interview with a former Anonymous hacker who offered his top security tips for the enterprise. Some of the suggestions were fairly obvious, while others were intuitive and absolutely on point. For example:

#5: Teach your staff about information security

Take note, he didn’t refer to just security staff; he was referring to the entire staff – from the administrative assistants to the most critical of security analysts. In fact, a recent Ipswitch survey shows that even the most stringent security professionals break protocol when it comes to the transfer and collaboration of information. And these folks have tons of acronyms behind their names!

What chance does the layman have? Establishing the groundwork for the dissemination and adherence to corporate policies around information security is a positive set of actions to better protect companies.

There needs to be a general awareness around information security and data and a clear understanding of the security and risk issues associated with physical media, such as DVDs and memory sticks, and outside services, like Gmail, which allows employees to ‘easily’ send large files.  This combination can be the best deterrent to data breaches.

#6: Teach your staff about social engineering

The use of technology to interact and collaborate – and how that collaboration can involve unknown third parties – is the very reason your staff should have an understanding around social engineering. Let’s face it, anyone can get an e-mail address and register on any social site. Hackers, thieves, con artists, and scammers aren’t the only ones that want access to
your personal information.

Employees who use shareware or free cloud service are exposing sensitive information and risking an unintentional data breach. Employees who work from home, on a personal machine late at night or on an unapproved smart phone (at any hour) are the biggest targets for hackers and breaches. How many corporate iPhone users are there anyway?

#13: Keep an eye on what information you are letting out into the public domain

In many cases, all information about major IT purchases and deployments by publically traded companies is public record. A move to incorporate MySQL databases, a content management system based on open source technology or even portal technologies can give a hacker everything they need to exploit your system.

Again, this is an issue of determining risk associated with information and mitigating that risk. Laying out your architecture and your infrastructure blueprints for the world to see may not be the best idea for your company…

#14: Use good physical security. What good is all the [security] software if someone could just walk in and take your “secure” system?

Stop everything you’re doing and walk from the front entrance of your office to the mailroom.

Is that door of the mailroom locked? How hard is it to just pick up a backup tape or CD and slip it into a bag? For that matter, how hard is it to just walk into the office without proper credentials? And when you walk into your office, are there secure terminals? Maybe someone in human resources went to the break room for coffee and neglected to lock their computer?

A simple, misplaced memory stick or an unsecured PC are potential recipes for disaster. There is never any excuse for leaving a terminal unsecured in a public or semipublic setting. My rule of thumb: if you can’t leave your purse or wallet opened with hundred dollar bills in plain view, you cannot keep your desktop, laptop, smart phone or a terminal unsecured.

All in all, I think the suggestions make sense. Looking at a few of the tips allows you to take a few steps in the mind of a hacker. A few seconds of non-diligence equals a career of regret.

This is the second post of a two-post blog series. To view my first post, please click here.

Please find below the second half of the “Top 10 Reasons to Use Network Monitoring,” which includes highlights from “Ipswitch Network Monitoring for Dummies,” written by Robert Armstrong in 2007.

“Top 10 Reasons to Use Network Monitoring”

     6. Make sure your security systems are operating properly — Make sure your security devices – that many companies spend a lot of money on – are up and running as configured

     7. Keep track of your customer-facing resources  — Network monitoring can watch applications running on a server and ensure your customers can connect to the servers and are seeing that they need to see

     8. Be informed of your network status from anywhere  — Most network monitoring applications prove remote viewing and management from anywhere with Internet connection. For example, with WhatsUp Gold Mobile Access you have the ability to react to events immediately after receiving an alert or notification of a problem from your smartphone or mobile device

     9. Ensure customer uptime — If your customers depend on your network for their business, then network monitoring solutions enable you to make sure they’re up and running at all times

     10.  Save money! — Network monitoring solutions cut down on the total amount of downtime and time to investigate problems, which translates to fewer man- hours and less money when problems occur.

Try WhatsUp Gold – the most intuitive, comprehensive, and cost-effective network management toolset available today!

>>DOWNLOAD NOW!