The Ipswitch Innovate Virtual Summit for IT pros, by IT pros. Click to register!

Calling all IT pros looking to learn innovative best practices from each other and our own technology experts. Attend the Ipswitch Innovate 2015 Summit (October 21-22), a two-day virtual event where you can leave your car at home and wear anything you like, because you can only attend this summit online. It may be virtual, but Ipswitch Innovate 2015 will deliver a high dose of tech advice from IT innovators – live streamed directly to you.

Registration is FREE for anyone who wants to attend. Whether you’re an Ipswitch user or seeking tips, tricks & best practices for your IT team, you’ll receive 3 hours of LIVE content each day on ways to improve your IT operations across network, server & application monitoring, file transfer and more.

Summit highlights include case studies and live chats with product experts who will answer your questions including best practices for getting the most out of your monitoring & file transfer software. But the benefits of participating don’t stop there. Here are five reasons why this summit is a must-see:

  1. Advance your techniques, for free

Register now to get real-world technical advice from leading experts on the best ways to simplify IT initiatives with Ipswitch software. Did I already mention our online event is free?

  1. Get recognized for your success

Are you already innovating with Ipswitch software? If so, nominate your company for an Ipswitch Innovate 2015 Customer Award.

  1. Prepare for the future

Be among the first to learn about new, innovative Ipswitch products that are coming your way. Learn what’s trending in compliance and the Internet of Things (IoT) that’s changing everything you thought about securing data and monitoring Things.

  1. Get inspired by others

Hear battle stories from your fellow savvy IT pros in the trenches and learn how they are using Ipswitch technology to solve their IT challenges.

  1. Earn Ipswitch $

Participate and earn Ipswitch $ value rewards you can use to buy Ipswitch products like WhatsUp Gold network performance monitoring, MOVEit managed file transfer and WS_FTP.

Register now to reserve your seat. Want to learn more? Check out our summit agenda.

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.

Are you attending RSA Conference next week in San Francisco?  If so, stop by booth #629 at the Moscone Center and say hello the Ipswitch team.

This will be my third year attending RSA.  Not only and I’m looking forward to talking about how Ipswitch’s portfolio of Managed File Transfer solutions can solve the problems you’re experiencing with your current file transfer and B2B environment….  But I’m also looking forward to learning about topics like security attacks, data breaches, mobile threats, cloud security, and compliance along with the other 15,000+ people attending the largest security conference in North America.

If you’re going to be at RSA this year, stop by our Ipswitch booth (#629) to learn how we can help you:

  • Mitigate security risks and data breach exposure.  We’ll show you how to secure and control all files/data moving between systems and people — both internally and externally
  • Reduce complexity by consolidating and replacing the various file transfer products, homegrown solutions, hard to maintain scripts, and tools people use to share files
  • Increases productivity and efficiency by automating manual and labor-intensive workflows with a simple point-and-click interface – No scripting required
  • Provide visibility and auditability into all data transfer and file sharing activities, including files, events, people, policies and processes

We hope to see you there.

On Wednesday, November 3 and Thursday, November 4, Ipswitch File Transfer will be exhibiting and speaking at SecureWorld Expo, the leading regional security conference that brings together the security leaders, experts, senior executives, and policy makers who are shaping the very face of security.

The “Exhibits and Open Sessions Registration” for SecureWorld Expo is complimentary and it gives you access to the expo floor, the keynote presentations, and open industry expert panels. Plus, you’ll get to hear the luncheon keynote from L. Frank Kenney, The Data Breaches You Don’t See Hurt You The Most,” and the industry expert panel Data Protection: Walking the Thin Line Between Employee Productivity and Security.”

Here are the details:

What: SecureWorld Expo – Dallas

Where: Plano Convention Centre, Plano, TX

When: November 3, 2010 and November 4, 2010

Why: Meet the Ipswitch File Transfer team, learn about our solutions (from WS_FTP to MessageWay), listen in on L. Frank Kenney’s luncheon keynote, and keep up to date on the latest in the security world!

Plus, if you visit us and mention this blog post, you’ll receive a Starbucks gift card – on the spot!

See you in Dallas!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking with the sales representatives and account managers at CompuCom, many of whom have been selling Ipswitch solutions for a long time.  It was a return visit to CompuCom’s Dallas headquarters for me, having attended a similar vendor fair about 6 months ago.

Many of our conversations centered on the types of problems that CompuCom customers are asking them help solve with technology solutions.  Top of the list are topics such as:  Group policy management, security, compliance, B2B exchanges and virtualization.

About a dozen or so of the representatives I talked with focus solely on renewal business.  It was nice to see the enthusiasm on long-term customer relationship and growing existing customer accounts.  One upsell in particular that was mentioned quite often for existing WS_FTP Server customers was adding the Ad Hoc Transfer module for person-to-person transfers using either Outlook or a browser.

Oh, and team Veeam – nice spending time with you guys.  You may have won the bowling match over team Ipswitch, but I return home to Boston knowing that Sam Adams beat Shiner Bock (TX’s so-called national beer) in the head-to-head comparison taste test!

I had the pleasure of attending the SecureWorld Expo last week in Santa Clara, CA, right in the heart of Silicon Valley.   Although it was a relatively small show, the audience was feisty!   And as the first tradeshow I’ve attended as an Ipswitch employee, and my first security-themed show, there was a ton to learn.

The range of exhibitors and their offerings was impressive and instructive.  Attendees (and this reporter) had the opportunity to learn about end point security, patch management, threat management appliances, disaster recovery, identity management, and much more.

Here are a few vendors that caught my eye:

  • ESET – whose live, 2-inch long cockroaches drew cringes and well-earned attention to their anti-virus solutions set;
  • Websense – whose DLP solution is a great complement to Ipswitch’s managed file transfer products, as it automatically identifies content that likely contains data that is sensitive and needs to be secured;
  • Veracode – which is changing the game in application security testing with its SaaS static testing and analysis offerings.

I was tapped to be a panelist for a breakout session entitled “Data Protection – Walking the Thin Line Between Employee Productivity and Security”.  It was a great subject that my fellow panelists handled very well, demonstrating their deep knowledge about security solutions and how they fit (or don’t) within corporate cultures.  I look forward to exploring these questions with Ipswitch’s customers and at other tradeshows in the coming months.

The most insightful conversations I had at the show were with attendees who visited our booth.  More  on those conversations soon….

Tonight I’m blogging from the PCI Council Community Meeting here in Orlando, FL.  Tomorrow we’ll be talking about the new changes in version 2.0 of the PCI DSS audit requirements (set to go into effect in 2011), but tonight was the welcome reception for the 1000 attendees here at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel.

Participation in the PCI Council Community Meeting conference is on the rise.  Two years ago there were about 500 attendees from 300 participating organizations – now the numbers have roughly doubled.  There are probably two major factors behind this.

One factor is the de facto status of PCI DSS as one of the gold standards of information security.  When five competing credit card companies came together in 2004 to publicly agree on a single security standard there was much rejoicing throughout the industry.  And the standard has held up: though major releases have come every two years, the original twelve categories and most of the subcategories remain essentially unchanged from the original.

The second factor is the ever-widening circle of companies that fall under the scope of PCI compliance.  Originally it was large credit card processors and retailers, but in recent years even companies that only handle a few dozen credit card transactions a year have had to take notice.  And as the scope widens, there are more people who want their voices to be heard in the decision-making process, which is where this week’s conference comes in.

I’ll be posting a few more items about this conference in next few days – please stay tuned.

I’m sharpening my marketing skills at this week’s Social Media Strategies Summit.  I’ll be bringing back some innovative and creative ideas to help in our quest of having more open, engaging, relevant and educational conversations with customers and prospects over social channels.

We hope you follow and retweet us on Twitter, watch our videos on YouTube, write on our Facebook wall, connect with us on LinkedIn, and of course continue to read and comment on our blog posts.

I spent the day today at the CompuCom vendor fair in Dallas, TX.  CompuCom is one of Ipswitch’s sales channel partners, and the purpose of attending today’s event was to talk about Ipswitch File Transfer solutions with CompuCom’s team of account managers and sales representatives.

Today’s goal was to raise awareness, education level and excitement about  Ipswitch File Transfer solutions among CompuCom’s 130 or so software sales associates so that they, in turn, will proactively pitch our solutions to their accounts and ultimately close more deals.

I walk away having had dozens of conversations that align with our focus of solving real business problems.   The days of selling “feature feature feature” are over.  In past years, literally thousands of sales centered on a laundry list of features such as 256-bit AES encryption, FTPS, SHA-512 file integrity and administrative separation of duties.  Today, a large (and growing) number of sales conversations center on higher-level topics such as policy enforcement, risk mitigation, visibility into all internal and external file interactions, and how to give end users a simple and secure way to quickly transfer files with other people.

It was definitely a very worthwhile event to participate in and I believe that we successfully raised mindshare and interest level in our portfolio of secure managed file transfer solutions within CompuCom.  And it’s always nice to see some x-large belt buckles while hearing a few success stories from sales reps about how they recently closed some juicy deals.

Those of you who visited the Ipswitch File Transfer tradeshow booth at the recent RSA Security Conference were likely asked to fill out a short survey.  When the show ended, we tabulated the survey results and there are some staggering data points that we want to share:

  • 83% of IT executives surveyed lack visibility into files moving both internally and externally
  • Nearly 90 percent of survey respondents admitted to using thumb drives or other external devices to move work-related files
  • 66 percent of survey respondents admitted to using personal emails to send work-related files
  • More than 25 percent admitted to sending proprietary files to their personal email accounts, with the intent of using that information at their next place of employment

Here’s my colleague Frank Kenny, VP of Global Strategy at Ipswitch File Transfer, sharing his thoughts on the survey results.

The key takeaway here is that IT organizations are at a greater risk for sensitive company information ending up in the wrong hands if they don’t know who is accessing company information and how they use/move files, where they send them, and to whom they are sent to.  It’s not enough to secure common data access points or provide tools for some employees.  Rather, true visibility into all file and data interactions enables IT organizations to then actively manage, secure and enforce policies for company information, both inside and outside of the organization.

I participated on a panel discussion at SecureWorld Boston yesterday. The discussion topic was striking a balance between productivity and security and it yielded three thoughts that I would like to discuss in today’s blog.

  1. The notion that our companies are going to employ the same type of security policies that we used over the last 30 years is ludicrous. With the arrival of the digital natives into the workforce, simply assuming that your new knowledge workers can adapt to your existing security policy is a farce.How do you establish security mechanisms for information when the people who use this information and data on a daily basis have a much more radical perception on information security and risk? Most digital natives think nothing of providing personal information via the Internet because there is a firm understanding that the information already exists there. These digital natives have grown accustomed to the idea that you should check your credit report every six months and always look for fraudulent charges when the statement arrives.
    read more “Striking a balance between productivity and security”