rsa conferenceNothing ever stays the same in the world of information security. Each day we see new threats and challenges, along with new solutions, tactics and approaches. Despite the ever-changing nature of the space, there are however a few constants – one of them being the annual RSA Conference.

Considered by many (myself included) to be the premier IT security event, RSA features keynotes and sessions from some of the world’s foremost experts – including those from business, government and academia. If you’re interested in being among the first to know about a particular topic or trend, this is the place to be. In fact, it’s where I’ll be in just a few short days.

So what am I looking forward to the most? Here are five things in no particular order:

1) New Insights on Cloud Security: If you scan the RSA Conference 2014 tracks, you’ll notice that cloud security is getting a fair amount of attention – and for good reason. After realizing the benefits of adopting the cloud (cost, efficiency, etc.) organizations quickly discover the challenges and concerns, which almost always center on security. While we have our own take on this matter, I’m interested to hear what others have to say. Thus, some of the sessions I’m most looking forward to include Is the Cloud Really More Secure Than On-Premise?, Virtualization and Cloud: Orchestration, Automation and Security Gaps and Trust Us: How to Sleep Soundly with Your Data in the Cloud.

2) The Networking: The RSA Conference is well-known for attracting some of the best and brightest from a wide range of industries – and this year’s conference will be no exception. Here are a few of the featured speakers that I’m hoping to catch:

  • Selim Aissi, Vice President, Global Information Security, VISA
  • Marene Allison, Global Chief Information Security Officer and World Wide Vice President of Information Security, Johnson and Johnson
  • Bob Blakley, Global Head of Information Security Innovation, Citigroup
  • Mary Ann Davidson, Chief Security Officer, Oracle
  • Scott Andersen, Director, Global Information Security, Citi
  • Bret Arsenault, Chief Information Security Officer, Microsoft Corporation
  • Joseph Demarest, Assistant Director of the Cyber Division, FBI
  • Eran Feigenbaum, Director of Security, Google Apps, Google

3) Stephen Colbert: I’m not sure how much Stephen Colbert knows about information security, but I’m not sure that it matters. As a long-time fan of the Colbert Report, I was thrilled to find out that he’ll be one of the featured keynote speakers. Who says that information security isn’t funny?

4) Alternate Realities: Here at Ipswitch, we tend to discuss file transfer security, compliance and other matters through the lens of a business. But at this year’s conference, we’ll get to see how security is viewed by large government organizations like the FBI, as well as that of venture capital firms, economists, academics and other personas those of us in the business world sometimes forget about. If you’re looking to expand your understanding of information security, there’s no better place to be than the RSA Conference.

5) The Food: This year’s event will be held in San Francisco, a haven for foodies like myself. Thus, I’ve already spent a considerable amount of time on Yelp scoping out restaurants and other hotspots. Clearly this is important to me. I’ll be coming back with a renewed appreciation for the importance of information security, but also a few good meals. Thankfully, they only hold this event once per year.

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What are you looking forward to seeing at this year’s RSA Conference? Be sure to let us know in the comments section. Or let me know your recommendations for must-eat restaurants!

A facilities manager at a global real estate firm called recently. He was literally hot under the collar. Company headquarters on the U.S. West coast had been fitted two years earlier with a new HVAC system. It was designed to showcase the firm’s commitment to environmental efficiency. A month before we heard from him, temperatures at HQ started to unexpectedly spike up to the high 80s. And just as quickly subside. More than a few hot heads began to complain.

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Heat Miser

The contractor who installed the system checked every device but couldn’t find the problem. The facilities manager told us, “Every time the heat kicked in, I tried to monitor network bandwidth on the HVAC controls network for anomalies. But the temperature would return to normal before I could find any latency with network requests.”

He knew that tracking network bandwidth levels would lead to the source of the problem. But he couldn’t find a product that would do that job until he learned about WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor from Ipswitch. The network bandwidth monitor measures data from multiple devices and ports that can be grouped together by type. It can then report and create alerts when traffic bottlenecks threatened to take a hit on performance.

Ipswitch Flow Monitor supports common network bandwidth management formats and protocols including NetFlow, sFlow, J-Flow, IPFIX and NSEL. The network bandwidth monitor software can manage application performance and oversee network traffic prioritization policies. It ultimately saves money by minimizing wasted bandwidth.

The facilities manager had Flow Monitor installed by his IT team. They configured thresholds to track the volume of traffic between:

  • Network interfaces
  • Conversation pairs
  • Failed connections per host
  • Top senders/receivers
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Ipswitch Flow Monitor

He found the device causing the problem using the product’s unified dashboard. The device was immediately replaced.

The heat miser was banished.

Today’s tale from the front lines of network monitoring comes from a sysadmin from a large CT-based financial services company. One day not long ago he was performing routinely scheduled website maintenance at his office in Tampa, FL. Everything seemed rather normal. The web servers were humming along.

Until the complaints started pouring in. About a problem they couldn’t see. And neither could he.

invisibleAs it turns out, users – including middle management – hadn’t been able to get access to the website for 45 minutes. And they were seriously unhappy.  

Naturally, I was blamed for the outage,” he reports.

He used WhatsUp Gold from the network management division of Ipswitch to see the problem he had only heard about. A few minutes later, after checking out the single dashboard and glancing at a few reports, he saw that HTTP/HTTPS/Ping had gone down on several sites. He traced the problem to an F5 load balancer issue.

In a flash, he restored access to the site.

donkey“[Without WhatsUp Gold] it would have never been solved and I would have been blamed for a production outage! CYA – cover your ass – because the blame was pushed off of me and my maintenance!”

“Also, people actually being able to work again was a nice bonus.”

If you’ve found yourself in this situation (or are looking not to be), you can try our software free for 30 days and see for yourself.

Today’s true story from the front lines is about intermittent application performance issues. But it’s also about Fred, who works for one of our customers. (His name has been changed for privacy purposes.)

One evening not long ago, Fred took his laptop home and visited adult entertainment websites. Before logging off, his machine was quietly infected by malware. Fred came back to work the next morning and connected to the network.

AA023549Soon thereafter the network started to crawl.

Application performance became intermittent.

And the help desk got bombarded with user complaints.

To sort out the problem, the company’s IT manager used Flow Monitor from Ipswitch for network monitoring and traffic analysis. A quick analysis provided a graphic representation that showed the source of the problem. There was a very large amount of UDP traffic coming from Fred’s laptop. The machine was removed from the network.

Network and application performance went back to normal. And IT quietly shared a few best practices with Fred.

If you want to know what’s flowing through your network, you can take our software out for a spin for free for 30 days.

Because every company has a Fred.

 

Here at Ipswitch File Transfer, we eat, breathe, and dream Managed File Transfer (MFT). Each and every day businesses move files – through systems and by people – not for fun, but to get real work done. Understanding the issues and technologies associated with MFT, simply put, means getting work done better. That’s what this blog is about.

Welcome to All Things Managed File Transfer
Here at Ipswitch File Transfer, we eat, breathe, and dream Managed File Transfer.

What is Managed File Transfer? Some people believe MFT is the same as secure file transfer services such as FTP and Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS). But MFT offers much more. While MFT starts with secure file transfer, the “M” in MFT—the Managed part—offers much more, such as:

  • Control and security to meet SLA and compliance requirements
  • Strength through scalability, reliability, failover, and disaster recovery
  • Automated workflows that power daily tasks
  • File-based business processes that connect systems and people via email, the web, and mobile devices

All of these capabilities are critical considering that the vast majority of the data flowing through corporate networks is in the form of files.

Sure, we are probably biased in our viewpoint – just like parents are biased about their children. But this blog isn’t here to sell you our products. Rather, it’s intended to share the experiences and perspectives we gain as we interact with prospects, customers, partners, and industry analysts and other market influencers. We’ll also share lessons learned, considerations about where the market stands today, and offer our perspective on where it’s headed in the future. We’ll look for and encourage guest blogs and of course encourage a dialogue through comments.

Subscribe to our blog, join in the discussion, and visit us regularly to stay up to speed on All Things Managed File Transfer. Together we can all learn.

Our services team recently assisted a casino with their WhatsUp Gold install. The casino outsourced network management to a third-party consultant, whom we called to get the credentials for their core router. He told us he would “call us back”.

 

Sunglasses on a craps table

Three weeks passed. No return call from the consultant.

Enter WhatsConfigured. A quick analysis revealed a back door through the casino’s firewall and core router, exposing sensitive data assets. Back of the house compromised.

Third parties, disgruntled employees – or just simple human error – it’s critical to ensure your network is properly configured. Find out if your network security is tight – run WhatsConfigured on your network free for 30 days.

WhatsConfigured provides businesses with security and control over critical infrastructure & configuration data:

  • Archiving authorized configurations
  • Scheduling regular configuration audits
  • Alerting when configurations have been changes
  • Comparing running configurations to authorized configurations

Learn how to uncover common IT vulnerability – run a free scan of your own network to see if you’re secure.

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If you think that public sector organizations can’t be leaders when it comes to IT management, think again.

At Ipswitch’s Network Management Division, we work with government IT teams at the federal, state and local levels every day, and get to see just how innovative they really are. It’s one of the public sector’s best-kept secrets.

Thankfully, government IT departments are finally getting the recognition they deserve. Matt Asay, blogger at ReadWrite (they dropped the Web last year) wrote a great piece last month, listing several examples of innovation in government IT. The Wall Street Journal has also profiled the steps Chicago is taking to filter previously fragment information into new analytics software that policymakers can use in the city’s infrastructure planning process:

The system will allow policymakers to analyze disparate pieces of information from across agencies, including crime statistics, building and business permits, and transcripts from resident complaints, Chicago’s chief data officer, Brett Goldstein, told CIO Journal. Goldstein hopes the system, which will be available to all agencies, will help officials parse out patterns for violent crime and allow public workers to provide better services by understanding how different factors affect city life.

Chicago’s team is also doing this with little funding, as the city works to close a $300 million budget deficit. Talk about doing more with less…

If you’re working in public sector organizations, we’d love to hear about the new projects your team is working on – and whether or not you’re getting the credit you deserve.

For IT folks in the private sector, we hope this starts to change your perspective on your government counterparts.

Network Monitoring tools are a must-have for organizations of all sizes. When evaluating solutions focus is often placed on comparing features and ease of use, but understanding the total cost of ownership is very important. The core licensing structure, whether it is device-based, port- or interface-based, or measurement-based, can have a big impact on license costs up front and the administrative workload for maintaining the solution in production over the lifetime of the product.

Join Jim Frey, VP of Research, at Enterprise Management Associates and Brian M. Jacobs, Senior Product Manager, at Ipswitch – Network Management Division, as they discuss what you should know about licensing for network monitoring solutions.

This webinar will cover:

  • Understanding the Cost of Enterprise Network Monitoring Tools
  • Licensing Models – Similarities and Differences
  • Choosing a Licensing Strategy That is Best for You
  • An Example:  WhatsUp Gold Licensing Approach
  • Case Studies:  Device-based Licensing Experiences
  • Key Takeaways  and Q&A

Date and time:
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
10am US EST

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Now you can isolate issues and resolve network and application problems before users are even aware anything is wrong. The new, easy to-use WhatsUp Application Performance Monitor, lets you diagnose and fix complex application performance problems quickly from within a unified dashboard.

Application Performance Monitor Highlights:
• Proactively alert and automatically repair potential problems before applications fail—to ensure continuous up-time with limited IT resources.
• Quickly identify root causes of application performance problems— across network, server or multi-tier application or component dependencies.
• Gain the valuable insight necessary to improve application availability and performance – through real time and historical reporting and analysis.

Join Brian M. Jacobs, Senior Product Manager, on Tuesday, March 26th as he demonstrates how easy it is to discover, map and monitor your network and applications with the WhatsUp Gold suite. Register now!

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Ipswitch Network Management Division is proud to announce that our award winning IT management solution WhatsUp Gold v16 is now offering its web interface in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese, at no additional cost. Instructions to help you transition WhatsUp Gold from English to the language of your choice is available in Japanese, Chinese and Russian.

For more information and to download WhatsUp Gold v16 in your preferred language click here!

We are pleased to announce that WhatsUp Gold won Silver in the 2013 Redmond Reader’s Choice Awards Best of the Best for General Network Monitoring Tool.

“We are honored to receive this award from the Redmond community,” said Ennio Carboni, President and General Manager of Ipswitch’s Network Management Division. “We take pride in the fact that our network management tool, WhatsUp Gold, is an easy to use and cost-effective solution for organizations of all sizes and is viewed in the same class with enterprise solution providers.”

The winners of the General Network Monitoring Tool category are:

  • GOLD: Cisco Syslog Analyzer
  • SILVER: Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold
  • BRONZE: IBM Tivoli NetView

The awards appear in the February issue and online.

Click here to see all of our awards.