infosec2A few months ago, I was fortunate enough to attend RSA, one of the biggest and best security conferences here in the States. Today, I’m overseas attending Europe’s leading security conference. It’s a tough job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it.

I’m talking of course about Infosecurity 2014, which features over 300 exhibitors, 13k attendees and hundreds of the brightest minds from the global security community. As you might imagine, the agenda covers nearly all of the hot industry topics, including cloud technology, compliance, cybercrime and much more. That said, there are four things in particular that I’m looking forward to:

#1. MFT and the Continental Divide

Here in North America, the primary drivers for adopting Managed File Transfer (MFT) are almost always some combination of automation, consolidation, integration, visibility and control. But can the same be said for organizations across the pond? I hope to find out. While Europe’s compliance laws, for instance, are certainly different from the ones we have here in the US, they are no less stringent. Thus, I’m interested to learn what unique factors are driving MFT adoption outside of the US.

#2. Sessions, Sessions, Sessions 

If I could clone myself and attend every session, I would. While I’ll be attending as many as I can, I’m especially interested in these four:

  • Understanding and Addressing Data Governance in Large Scale Enterprises: Barclays recently took a series of measures designed to strengthen its data governance capabilities with respect to “unstructured, human-generated data.” I was aware of the initiative, but only on a very general level, so I’m interested in getting an insider’s look during this presentation.
  • PCI DSS 3.0, Application Security and Penetration Testing: PCI is a topic near and dear to me (and the rest of us here at Ipswitch), so I’m excited to learn about new techniques that help PCI-compliant organizations ensure a greater level of safety for their applications. This session covers some of the latest changes in 3.0 and “how it relates to application security and see how new technology can be applied to development processes to create continuous security assurance for applications early in the development life cycle.”
  • Social Engineering, a View From the Dark Side: Organizations have gone to great lengths to secure their systems from a data breach, but they still have a long way to go towards securing their employees in a similar fashion In this session, we’ll be given a closer look into social engineering – how hackers are “coercing unwitting employees to provide them with the tools they need to unlock even the most secure systems.”
  • How to Avoid the Tangled, Digital “Do-It-Yourself” Approach to File Transfer: In the absence of well-defined policies, awareness and education, and enterprise-supported alternatives — enterprises over time have come to rely on a mix of “digital do-it-yourself” approaches for synching, sharing and transferring files. In this presentation, Ipswitch’s very own Steve Hess will untangle the web of file transfer applications within the enterprise and talk about best practices to ensure visibility and control in an increasingly regulated market.

#3. Innovations and Insights 

Of course, not all of the learnings and key takeaways will come from panelists and presenters; much of it will come from the conference’s 325+ exhibitors. I’m therefore extremely eager to chat with my colleagues and contemporaries to gain a better understanding of the global security market. I’m always interested to see what other upcoming tools and technologies are being developed to help make businesses (and their data) more secure – and there’s no better place to do just that than Infosecurity.

London Calling 

On a personal note, I’m really looking forward to walking around Soho (my favorite part of London), having pints of lager with bangers and mash in some of the more prominent pubs, and shopping at Lillywhites on Piccadilly Circus for football jerseys and rugby shirts.

Earlier this week we published new survey findings around IT frustrations with manual file transfer, with the vast majority of respondents equating the process with sitting in traffic. TechRadar Pro reporter Juan Martinez wrote a story about the findings, and I had the chance to catch up with him via email on a few questions he had.

Relatively new to the managed file transfer (MFT) space, Juan wanted to understand why file transfer can be so challenging for today’s organizations, and where the technology is headed. These are two great questions and are behind what’s driving file transfer today, and I thought the content of our email exchange would be interesting to anyone curious about the future of MFT.

So why is file transfer a challenge? For a lot of reasons – but mainly because it’s becoming increasingly complex, with end-user adoption of EFSS (enterprise-grade file sync & share) solutions that not only create data security issues, but also result in additional systems for IT to manage and support. And at the high-end, MFT can get absorbed into major IT undertakings that require an immense investment and consultative implementation— rather than an out of the box solution.

The challenge in getting managed file technology right is balancing the needs of collaborative file sharing vs. integrated file-based system to system integration. End users demand simple file sharing solutions that are quick to get started while IT demands compliance to corporate and regulatory security standards. It is easy to focus on one end of this while ignoring the other. Ipswitch understands that there are multiple scenarios of file transfer and that organizations today are looking to centralize and consolidate their file transfer systems into one, secure, ready to use solution. One major area to look into is complete visibility and control into file transfer processes— this is becoming increasingly important as compliance mandates proliferate and become more encompassing.

And so in our view MFT is clearly evolving, with the market is moving toward secure, manageable, and scalable systems at the core. But MFT is more than just file transfer. Ipswitch sees the need for tightly integrated transfer automation around the system core that allows IT to manage the exchange of any volume of transfers, while efficiently processing files to prepare them for the next step in a business process.

We understand that transfers happen in the context of B2B relationships, and we envision a system that wraps every exchange in metadata about the partners and workflows servers by exchange events. We imagine a system in which a broad range of end-user and system-to-system workflows can be accommodated, with clients’ tools that synchronize across partners, empower mobile workers, automate local and remote transfer processes, and intelligently control the flow of content between partners.

As I noted to Juan, Ipswitch has work going on today in all of these areas, and our customers should expect great things in the years to come.

To read Juan’s story, click here: IT Professionals are dissatisfied with file transfer processes, concerned about security

Google filed a patent this week that brings BYOD to a new level. The patent covers a camera-enhanced smart contact lens that is controlled by the wearer’s eye movements. Think Google Glass without the frames. Essentially, the technology could allow users to gaze over a scene. Capturing image data along the way. And then retouch and share through a tablet or smartphone.

Photo: ExtremeTech
Photo: ExtremeTech

It’s clever technology and yet another indicator that the impact of wearable technology on IT networks is going to happen sooner than later. Businesses are exposing themselves to increasing risk if they don’t start now to assess the impact of BYOD + wearable technology once these devices start showing up in the workplace.

If smart contact lenses, wigs, watches, glasses and gloves become as commonplace as a smartphone is today, the impact on corporate IT will be huge. All these gadgets need to pair with an ‘original’ device, which will significantly multiply the number of devices attempting to access networks.

For those who found BYOD a challenge, expect the wearable technology revolution to be like BYOD x 100.

Ipswitch TrafficNothing is more exasperating than sitting in traffic. Trust me, I have an hour and a half bumper-to-bumper commute each day! In honor of stress awareness month, Ipswitch surveyed more than 100 IT professionals to identify the level of frustration that comes along with manual file transfer processes in their organizations. We found that an overwhelming number of IT professionals were weighed down by the stress of their approach to file transfer – 61 percent equated the process to sitting in traffic, while a trip to the registry of motor vehicles was a distant second. The podium was rounded out with a tie between filing income taxes and their Xbox crashing.

Just as a traffic jam keeps drivers from getting where they need to be, manual file transfer processes limits IT professionals from managing other priority projects. For example, 22 percent noted they would be able to provide internal customer assistance more quickly and another 18 percent said they could be automating repetitive organizational tasks during this time.

IT departments’ frustration with manual file transfer operations is understandable. Not only is a manual approach inefficient, there is potential for data loss and continuous interruptions to IT projects. The resulting security concerns and lost productivity go far beyond just operator frustration. The adoption of automation into file transfer processes with a centralized managed file transfer system would eliminate many of these issues and maintain efficiency across the organization.

So, in honor of springtime, it’s time for some organizational spring cleaning – out with the old and in with the new. And the good news for IT professionals is that unlike a traffic jam, the challenges of manual file transfer can be resolved.

Ipswitch-Traffic

CLOUDAsk anyone who has worked in technology and you’ll get an instant look of recognition when you mention “alphabet soup” – a phrase used to refer to an abundance of industry acronyms. Every industry has them, and the file transfer space is obviously no exception.

Of course, it pays to know the lingo. So over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting a few essential terms that everyone in the file transfer space should know about. To start, we’re going to focus on a few terms specific to the financial services industry.

Let’s take a closer look:

  • PCI – Payment Card Industry.  If you’ve ever bought a product online or given your credit card information to secure a service via a computer, you have invariably operated under the auspices of this organization. In order to make sure that transaction happens securely, this industry sets the standards.
  • PCI DSS – PCI Digital Security Standards. This acronym identifies the rules. Once you are in a PCI-regulated environment, you will find that specific rules and specifications exist to ensure that all transactions are safe. Aside from security, there are a number of comprehensive protocols, standards and measurements that are required in order to successfully meet the compliance requirements.
  • ROC – Report on Compliance.  This term is basically just what it says it is; an official written report of the compliance process that is achieved by adhering to the standards outlined by the PCI. Specific details of the PCI qualification process, unique characteristics and requirements of individual application are found in this document, which serves as a template for qualification.  Typical entries include, Executive Summary, Description of Work, Environment, Reporting Procedures, Statistics, and Observations.
  • QSA – Quality Security Assessor.  A QSA is an auditor or provider that has been qualified by the PCI Council to serve as implementers of the PCI standards. Qualified Security Assessors are employees of these providers who have been qualified and certified by the Council to validate an entity’s adherence to the PCI DSS.
  • DMZ – Demilitarized Zone.  A safe zone, essentially. This is a hosted area or a small secure network that serves as an intermediary or neutral location between the end user and the provider.  This “zone” prevents unauthorized access to the secure servers that process the actual transactions and store the credit card information, for example.  Outside users can only access as far as the DMZ and no further.
  • PII – Personally Identifiable Information.  Anytime a transaction that requires credit card, Social Security, phone numbers or other sensitive occurs, a verification process must occur. Secret code words, symbols and unique individual identifiers are typical requests during a PII transaction.
  • MFT – Managed File Transfer (MFT) Systems provide a central system to manage the transfer of files and data (including sensitive and confidential transaction information) to/from the financial institution to its extended ecosystem of partners, suppliers and transaction handlers. This includes integrating with other systems and vendors with multiple configurations and access controls. MFT systems are a key cog in enabling a financial organization with file transfer automation and auditing to support PCI compliance.

We hope to have shed some light on a few key terms relating to financial file transfers. If there are other terms you’d like explained in clear, concise language, be sure to let us know in the comments sections.

heartbleed-300x363By now you’ve likely read the articles about the recent vulnerability uncovered in OpenSSL that has affected vendors and companies that rely on this near-ubiquitous open source security protocol. In basic terms, the vulnerability exposes any exchange that uses the OpenSSL 1.0.1 family of protocols to an attack.

Security is clearly a top priority for Ipswitch and our customers. From the first alert of this vulnerability, the Ipswitch Security Team moved quickly to determine the impact and will issue patch fixes in any case where we find vulnerability. In those cases, we’ve decided to partner with the security community at-large to implement an industry-best solution. We’ll be issuing security patches to disable the OpenSSL heartbeat and will follow-up in the near future with new versions of the OpenSSL library.

UPDATE

Some of Ipswitch’s products were impacted because of our use of OpenSSL. Impacted products include:

  • MOVEit Cloud (has been remediated)
  • MOVEit Mobile for MOVEit File Transfer (DMZ) 8.0
  • WS_FTP Server 7.6
  • WS_FTP Pro 12.4 (Only if accessing a compromised website using SSL)
  • IMail, IMail Secure and IMail Premium versions 12.3 and 12.4

Through your Customer Portal you’ll be able to access instructions to properly implement the Security Update for impacted versions.

Products not impacted by this vulnerability are:

  • WhatsUpGold (WUG) and other WhatsUp tools and network products
  • MOVEit File Transfer (DMZ) when MOVEit Mobile server is not installed
  • MOVEit Central
  • MOVEit Ad Hoc Transfer Plug-in for Outlook
  • MessageWay
  • MOVEit EZ
  • WS_FTP Server versions other than 7.6
  • WS_FTP Pro versions other than 12.4, including WS_FTP LE
  • IMail, IMail Secure and IMail Premium versions other than 12.3 and 12.4

As with any wide reaching story, we understand that our customers may have concerns. We’re here to answer your questions and have developed a list of the ones we’ve heard most frequently on the customer portal.

If you should have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to the appropriate technical support team:

By now you’ve likely read the articles about the recent Heartbleed SSL vulnerability uncovered in OpenSSL that has affected vendors and companies that rely on this near-ubiquitous open source security protocol. In basic terms, the vulnerability exposes any exchange that uses the OpenSSL 1.0.1 family of protocols to an attack. Bleed

Security is clearly a top priority for Ipswitch and our customers. From the first alert of this vulnerability, the Ipswitch Security Team moved quickly to determine the impact and will issue patch fixes in any case where we find vulnerability. In those cases, we’ve decided to partner with the security community at-large to implement an industry-best solution. We’ll be issuing security patches to disable the OpenSSL heartbeat and will follow-up in the near future with new versions of the OpenSSL library.

As with any wide reaching story, we understand that our customers may have additional concerns. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer support team.

UPDATE (4/11/14)

Some of Ipswitch’s products were impacted because of our use of OpenSSL, and they include:

  • MOVEit Cloud (has been remediated)
  • MOVEit Mobile for MOVEit File Transfer (DMZ) 8.0
  • WS_FTP Server 7.6
  • WS_FTP Pro 12.4 (Only if accessing a compromised website using SSL)
  • IMail, IMail Secure and IMail Premium versions 12.3 and 12.4

Through your Customer Portal you’ll be able to access instructions to properly implement the Security Update for impacted versions.

Products not impacted by this vulnerability are:

  • WhatsUpGold (WUG) and other WhatsUp tools and network products
  • MOVEit File Transfer (DMZ) when MOVEit Mobile server is not installed
  • MOVEit Central
  • MOVEit Ad Hoc Transfer Plug-in for Outlook
  • MessageWay
  • MOVEit EZ
  • WS_FTP Server versions other than 7.6
  • WS_FTP Pro versions other than 12.4, including WS_FTP LE
  • IMail, IMail Secure and IMail Premium versions other than 12.3 and 12.4

As with any wide reaching story, we understand that our customers may have concerns. We’re here to answer your questions and have developed a list of the ones we’ve heard most frequently on the customer portal.

If you should have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to the appropriate technical support team:

UCONN

Congratulations to the UCONN Huskies, the NCAA March Madness champs! It’s always exciting when the underdog prevails. When the odds are stacked against you, as an IT pro, that is, you need to be prepared to manage through a bunch of problems that can make life difficult.

I’ve got two areas to cover in today’s post. First, we’re going to crown the Ipswitch March Madness champs, then I’m going to share some details regarding a survey we conducted to see how March Madness affected networks around the U.S. (If you are wondering what this is about, check here for the full Ipswitch Madness.)

The Ipswitch March Madness Champion

For the past several weeks we’ve been making arguments as to why 16 network issues should or should not be crowned as the biggest problem facing the network manager in 2014. Frankly, there’s not much left to say or argue for with our two finalists, BYOD vs. Traffic Spikes. They both create their own issues and struggles for IT and in the end, it may just be a matter of preference, or disdain, on which problem is viewed as the worst. Our panel of experts has debated, we’ve found common ground and it’s gotten heated at times, but in the end, we have selected a champion.

Frankly, there’s not much left to say or argue for with our two finalists, BYOD vs. Traffic Spikes. They both create their own issues and struggles for IT and in the end, it may just be a matter of preference, or disdain, on which problem is viewed as the worst. Our panel of experts has debated, we’ve found common ground and it’s gotten heated at times, but in the end, we have selected a champion.

(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ipswitch March Madness Bracket  TRAFFIC SPIKES WIN!
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Ipswitch March Madness Bracket
TRAFFIC SPIKES WIN!

It’s hard to look past BYOD. It represents a loss of control as the majority of personal devices aren’t under the watchful eye of the network administrator. Not to mention the exponential impact wearable technology will have upon managing networks in the years to come. Traffic Spikes, on the other hand, can cause a traffic jam (not unlike the one I just encountered coming to work in a downpour). If a bunch of employees are streaming highlights from the NCAA’s own March Madness tournament and your network is bogged down for too long due to an increase in traffic and you are unable to recover, it’s game over.

In a truly tough decision, it was determined that both of these issues suck (a lot of bandwidth from the network). Whether or not you’ll consider it an upset or not, the confetti is raining down upon Traffic Spikes as they get the final hats and t-shirts of the 2014 Network Management Bracket.

Thanks for playing along with us over the past several weeks; we’ve enjoyed the debate and bringing our thoughts to you. And really, who doesn’t enjoy a good bracket? Agree, disagree with our eventual champion? We’d love to hear from you!

The 2014 Ipswitch March Madness Survey

This morning we announced the results of a survey taken by more than 100 IT professionals around the U.S. It seems that IT pros are not fans of worker who streamed March Madness games, or anything else that isn’t related to their jobs. Here are the results:

Planning Ahead for the Madness

In anticipation of this year’s three-week long tournament, more than 44 percent of all respondents had a plan in place to deal high demands on network bandwidth. Close to 45 percent of all respondents blocked certain websites, while nearly 39 percent monitored bandwidth usage by device or user. Additionally, almost 34 percent of all respondents monitored sites being visited, 31 percent set thresholds for bandwidth use, while 24 percent shared policy prior to the event. Nearly 16 percent went the distance to help create a dedicated space for employees to watch the games.

BYOD plays big into network problems

When asked what types of devices workers use to stream video to watch events like March Madness, company-provided computers (83 percent) ranked the highest, followed closely by smartphones (77 percent). Tablets (55 percent) and personally-owned laptops (46 percent) rounded out the rest of the pack. The findings indicate that the BYOD movement plays strongly into network performance problems caused by popular events.

Brackets are as unpopular as the event itself

More than 62 percent of all IT professionals polled did not have a bracket through an NCAA March Madness pool, nearly 21 percent had one but had been eliminated, and the remaining 17 percent were off to the Sweet Sixteen. Ipswitch created its own March Madness bracket [link] with a network management spin to explore problems that make IT pros jump through hoops. More about our journey from the sour sixteen to the top issue that cut down the net(work) can be found here: http://bit.ly/1sj9hkW.

Final thoughts

Those responsible for keeping networks running smoothly may not be as enamored with March Madness as others – and for good reason. Spikes in wireless bandwidth usage can lower productivity and the moods of those trying to do their jobs. There’s no need for IT pros to go into overtime as they can manage their networks during popular events, like March Madness, by gaining visibility as to those who are using more than their share of bandwidth and isolate issues before they spin out of control.

If you want to learn more about how March Madness applies to your daily work life, join us TOMORROW, April 9 for our webinar entitled “Network Management’s Sweet 16 – Solve the Problems Competing for your Time“. Register here for the 8:00AM (US ET) tip off or here for the 2:00PM (US ET).

 

 

The goal of every NCAA March Madness team is to reach the Final Four. The experts say this validates the season and makes it a success. Yet, is it enough to just get there? Or does true satisfaction only come when the confetti drops and you are the last team standing? We’ve had a heck of a tournament thus far and it’s a shame only one team will win, but that’s just the way the bracket goes. (If you are wondering what this is about, check here for the full Ipswitch Madness.)

In our first March Madness Final Four matchup BYOD is facing off against Slow Apps. In the past several weeks a strong case has been made for both of these issues to stake their claim as the champion. So it really comes down to the head-to-head matchup. It’s hard to believe anything can be more frustrating than a slow app. A slowdown always seems to come at the worst possible time. Workers on tight deadlines sit there and stare. Not what you are looking for as a way to boost productivity. BYOD, on the other hand, creates nightmare scenarios for IT as it opens up countless numbers of potential slowdowns and vulnerabilities for the network. Every employee these days seems to bring at least two or three mobile devices to work. So who’s it going to be? As frustrating as a slow network or app can be, perhaps the only thing worse is wondering which one of the 6,487 devices on the network is causing it to be slow in the first place. BYOD is on to the Finals!

(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ipswitch March Madness: THE FINAL FOUR
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Ipswitch March Madness: THE FINAL FOUR

In our second Final Four matchup, Traffic Spikes are taking on Outages and Downtime. Talk about your limited options, any IT or network manager will tell you that they despise both of these issues with equal enthusiasm, but as we said, only one can win out. Outages and Downtime pump the breaks on the business about as fast as any IT related issue. The only potential saving grace is that they problem is often affiliated with the service provider and not the network, and in instances when it is, the problem can normally be rectified quickly. Traffic Spikes on the other hand can creep up quickly and wreak havoc on the organization and frustrate the would-be customer. They tend to be quick hit issues that the network manager is often blind to until it’s too late. So who wins this battle of the heavy weights?

In a bit of an upset, Traffic Spikes is gearing up for a Monday night showdown with BYOD in the Finals!

In regards to the “other” March Madness streaming towards its final showdown, I’ll be watching the Huskies take on the Wildcats tonight!

If you want to learn more about how March Madness applies to your daily work life, join us THIS WEDNESDAY, April 9 for our webinar entitled “Network Management’s Sweet 16 – Solve the Problems Competing for your Time“. Register here for the 8:00AM (US ET) tip off or here for the 2:00PM (US ET).

Let’s face it: For many companies that handle payment card data, the search for a safe and secure way to store and transfer information in the cloud hasn’t always led to a feeling of full-blown confidence. And, the reality of so many new breaches doesn’t help.

While the road to PCI compliance can seem long and daunting, it is possible – and with the right guidance, can be easier than you thought. So, for those feeling like pulling their hair out, worry not!

Check out this article in Retail Online Integration in which I outline four actions that are important to making PCI compliance a tangible and achievable reality:

  • Understand the difference between PCI compliance and certification,
  • Get the business involved,
  • Develop a plan, and
  • Make education a priority.

Retailers and other companies required to be PCI compliant, we’d love to hear from you – please share your experience or questions.

On the courts and on the network, coaches and IT managers are always looking for consistency and reliability. So when we have two of the strongest issues in the bracket squaring off in the Reliability Region for a trip to the Final Four, it’s sure to get interesting. (If you are wondering what this is about, check here for the full Ipswitch Madness.)

Outages and downtime not only create issues for IT, but put the business at risk. When systems are down, so is the workforce who relies on them to do their jobs. While not always an onsite issue, it’s always a huge concern. The need to get back online quickly takes priority over anything else. While getting back online fast is the prescription,  Unresolved Problems are often the lingering cold that is left unchecked in busy IT environments.

ipswitch_march_madness_bracket_4-3-14
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Ipswitch March Madness Bracket

So we have to ask ourselves, what’s worse? Going offline or never fixing the problems that caused downtime in the first place? Tough call, but in the end, business screeching to a halt because the network is unresponsive has the potential to cost a lot. Therefore, Outages and Downtime is pulling out the ladders and the scissors and will be cutting down the nets.

The final trip to the Final Four is a battle between two really annoying and problematic issues coming out of the Influx Region. Point-in-Time events, such as NCAA’s own March Madness, create a drain on the network that can distract and slow down critical business functions. Any event that has the potential to create widespread delays and timed out sessions is something IT has to take serious. On the other hand, random Traffic Spikes creates its own set of issues because they often come when it’s least expected. Nothing can hurt productivity like a network that has a traffic jam.

Think about a trip to your favorite vacation spot on the Fourth of July and you get the picture about what a network may look like when an unexpected spike hits. So what is worse, the event sure to create a large spike, or the potential for a spike to come out of nowhere? When IT can plan for an event, they can usually handle it with relative ease, it’s when it comes out of nowhere that cause them to scramble. So therefore its midnight Cinderella for Point-in-Time events as Traffic Spikes moves on to the Final Four.

If you want to learn more about how March Madness applies to your daily work life, join us on April 9 for webinar entitled “Network Management’s Sweet 16 – Solve the Problems Competing for your Time“. Register here for the 8:00AM (US ET) tip off or here for the 2:00PM (US ET).

March Madness is getting down to business as the pretenders have been weeded out and the contenders are getting ready to faceoff for a trip to the Final Four. Our own March Madness with a network management spin is off to its Final Four as we move through the Elite 8 today and Thursday. (If you are wondering what this is about, check here for the full Ipswitch Madness.)

The Bandit Region presents us with a heavyweight bout of network problems. The Bandwidth Hoarders are the folks in the office who watch videos on YouTube or Vimeo, or stream music from Spotify or Pandora, among other streaming activities that can cause strain on wireless networks. And of course there’s this year’s NCAA March Madness tournament which is always one of the most popular events each year that lead to a lot of bandwidth hoarding. Bogging down the network is the enemy of all network administrators. In contrast, BYOD is all about productivity. Workers want all of these devices, whether company-issued or personal, to be connected to the ‘net at all times. They’re doing their jobs like everyone else, yet they never miss whatever comes through text, Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook or pretty much any program or site that makes their phone beep, ding or chime to mark the arrival of a message.

(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ipswitch March Madness: Bandits and Greys Hit Final Four
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Ipswitch March Madness: Bandits and Greys Hit Final Four

This kind of multi-tasking is not a common way to work for the Baby Boomers in the workforce. But the Generation Y crowd works well with multi-tasking using all sorts of devices and programs. They grew up with the Internet and MTV and rapid, short communication is a natural way for them to process information. But it can be sometimes taxing on a network environment with the average worker being hooked into the corporate network with three to four separate devices. This extra drain needs to be accounted for. While we praise the dedicated employee and quietly curse the hoarders, due to the sheer number of  those who want to bring their own [fill in the blank] to work, BYOD has punched its ticket to the Final Four.

Finishing out the left side of the bracket, the Grey Region seeks out its champion with Slow Apps against Lack of Visibility. Most IT admins will tell you that the problems they hear about from users (before they know they even exist) but are hard to identify and isolate the root cause, are some of the toughest to solve. For that reason Lack of Visibility is a strong contender for the title. Slow Apps (aka application performance problems) drives users crazy and is the number one problem faced by IT pros. It ranks first  because it is the issue they hear the most from their users. When email comes to a crawl, remote access is busted, or the sales team cannot access their CRM application, you can’t help  but notice.

Although Lack of Visibility makes finding the root cause of a problem to be a real pain, Slow Apps lead to a rush of help desk calls and open cases, and oftentimes less-than-pleasant demeanors from those seeking assistance. This game had two strong contenders, with Slow Apps  cutting down the nets on their way to their first Final Four.

Stay tuned for the next round between winners of the Reliability Region and the Influx Region in a few days.

If you want to learn more about how March Madness applies to your daily work life, join us on April 9 for webinar entitled “Network Management’s Sweet 16 – Solve the Problems Competing for your Time“. Register here for the 8:00AM (US ET) tip off or here for the 2:00PM (US ET).