Filtered by category: Security

Picture this.

A terrorist is targeting one of the major high-rise buildings downtown. He picks up his cell phone and types an update to Facebook so his family knows he’s ok. Just as he hits “Post,” law enforcement swoops in from every angle and surrounds him so there is nowhere for him to run. They cuff him and bring him to the station. It’s a great day for this task force. They’ve been following this criminal for a while, and now he’s officially in their custody and off the street. He can’t hurt anyone now.

KEEPING LAW ENFORCEMENT RELEVANT & EFFECTIVE

Sounds like your typical Tuesday night TV drama, right? Fortunately, with Hitachi’s recent advances in connecting data intelligence tools, cutting down on data silos will increase response times for law enforcement. These positive steps make it easier and more efficient to keep communities safe. This is part of a broad commitment by Hitachi to Social Innovation in order to make society safer, sustainable, healthier, and more comfortable by leveraging the IoT, big data analytics, and IT infrastructure technologies.

If you think this all sounds like some sort of real-life CSI, you’re absolutely right. Police departments are actually able to pull up a map of the city and see relevant information like social media posts and video from strategically placed cameras and where they happened on the map in addition to the time. Although court documents still need to be obtained in order to access any information on someone’s phone, police can access any public information. For example, law enforcement is unable to use someone’s phone location to find them, but they can use social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, which often provide the user’s location as the user posts.

SMART TOOLS FOR SMART CITIES

So, what is this wonder tool delivering dynamic situational awareness to public safety officials across the globe? It’s the converged solution, Hitachi Visualization. This converged solution literally gives city officials the opportunity to move from making reactive decisions to using real-time insights and predictive crime analytics as part of a more proactive decision-making process.

To support a data-driven, citizen-centric police philosophy, the Austin, Texas Police Department (APD) is using the Hitachi Visualization Platform (HVP) to collect, share, and analyze information. HVP edge-capture camera devices allow the city to monitor activity in real time for targeting city areas, providing potential crime evidence, and supporting public safety goals. “We’ve been able to reengineer our department into a data-driven and intel-based policing organization. The public safety camera project is designed to aid the city in deterring, detecting, and investigating crimes,” said Troy Gay, Assistant Chief of the APD.

The goal of the APD was to implement a real-time observation project with digital cameras posted in crime-dense areas of the city, including Rundberg, Sixth Street, and the Warehouse District. The venture officially became known as the HALO Public Safety Camera Project (HALO is short for High Activity Location Observation) and it is part of an ongoing effort to reduce crime in these “hot spots.”

With Phases I and II successfully completed, APD is now embarking on Phase III which includes the purchase of additional HVP cameras and related hardware, software, services, maintenance, and post-warranty support. This maturity phase will also include enhancement of wired and wireless network capacity and security to ensure continued, uninterrupted operational resilience.

The award-winning, cloud-based Hitachi Visualization Suite aggregates data into a common, live operating picture, providing full situational awareness to support incident management and investigations for the APD and many other public safety officials.

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With more than 26 billion devices expected to be connected to the Internet by 2020, challenges in data security are cropping up at speeds faster than we can solve them. We learn about some of these data breaches in the news, which makes all of this feel more real and closer to home. However, it is disturbing to think about how many security violations we don’t actually know about and how close they may really be to affecting us all. Perhaps sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Right now—as our concern about data security grows—there are hundreds of thousands of data scientists and tech gurus in multiple places around the world thinking, researching, documenting, planning, and strategizing how to solve these challenges. One of their top tasks is to prioritize the order in which these challenges will be given attention. Sounds simple enough, but when you look at the top data security challenges we’re currently facing and the rate at which they are growing, it becomes painfully clear that many technologies are being implemented faster than the security can be addressed.

TOP THREE DATA SECURITY CHALLENGES RIGHT NOW

While there are a number of security challenges boggling the minds of industry pundits today, right now they’re heavily focused on three areas of data security and how to tighten up those standards. They include:

  1. Mobile devices. Talk about interdependency. Smartphones are officially our new constant companion! We bring them to work. We keep them close while we sleep. They contain almost all (or all) of our professional and personal information. We basically live on these devices which makes them that much more attractive to hackers. As consumers, we have an organic expectation when we purchase something—like a Smartphone or other mobile device—that it’s not only “ready to go” but also secure. However, give a hacker an inexpensive piece of equipment and 30 seconds, and he/she can access your device or install malware with relatively few difficulties.

IT departments have been tasked with helping workers increase productivity and efficiency with more mobile applications. However, through empowering employees to be mobile, they now face the challenge of protecting the portion of their organization’s data that completely bypasses their security and goes straight from an employee’s mobile device to the organization’s cloud. They now have to think about and prioritize how to handle challenges in regards to the physical access to these devices, employees use of unprotected networks, browser-based attacks, as well as insider threats.

  1. Internet of Things. Networks of tangible devices connected to the Internet and to each other. Interconnectivity of everything from smartphones and gaming consoles to refrigerators, batteries, and more. In 2015, the booming popularity of products categorized into the Internet of Things (IoT) encouraged manufacturers to rush products to market with little to no security considerations. The reality of these products is that they often require organizations to consult experts outside their normal scope of work. This is also leading to expenses and obstacles that were not originally planned for as well as more complex problems for business leaders.

The bigger issues cropping up with devices consumed by the IoT—aside from some bad press—are privacy concerns, data collection, and no real transparency. These devices should have been conceptualized with a security-focused approach as its foundation rather than having this be an after-thought. Now, executives are scrambling to find developers who have experience with data security and can resolve their trouble spots.

  1. Cloud platforms. As more organizations move their most valuable data to this type of storage platform, more investments are being made to crack the code on finding the right level of cloud security for organizational needs every day. Finding answers that will block hackers who hide behind legitimate network sources and thus remain anonymous to access an organization’s data in the cloud is a high priority on the list of security challenges in 2017.

The good thing about cloud solutions is that while cloud security is relatively immature, you can work with your partner to find custom storage solutions that are right for your business and might include some combination of cloud, on premise, and even flash. Using something like Hitachi’s Content Platform Anywhere will help you to eliminate risk and concerns of data loss from bring-your-own-device (BYOD) use with new levels of visibility and control of corporate data.

SECURE YOUR DATA THE RIGHT WAY

With the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP), your organization can gain visibility and control across devices, clouds and storage tiers. HCP securely and cost-effectively delivers differentiated private, public and hybrid cloud services while lowering costs by as much as 60%. The solution easily supports diverse use cases, spanning archive to cloud and beyond, with a flexible storage ecosystem. Finally, your organization can gain insight and fuel innovation; increase productivity, speed e-discovery, and analyze and extract content as users need it with HCP.

ConRes is here to help your organization identify and plan for its security challenges before they happen. Please call ConRes at 800-937-4688 for more information.

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With so many online file sharing (OFS) options today, it has become common practice in the workplace for employees to use their personal accounts for syncing and sharing their work data. The majority of OFS solutions—for personal use—are easy to use and free so employees feel it helps them to operate in a more efficient capacity rather than signing on through a VPN to access traditional file servers.

Some organizations have been reluctant to move to OFS because they fear losing control of their data. What these administrators don’t realize is they are ultimately losing more control by not offering an enterprise-level solution as well as being exposed to security breaches in an even bigger way. Employees are using their personal OFS and they’re not going to stop if not given a better option. This makes finding an efficient, secure solution for employee productivity and organizational control a must in 2016. Other benefits of enterprise file share solutions include:

  • Increased productivity
  • Mobilized workforce
  • Minimized risk
  • Reduced cost and capacity requirements.

Choosing an Enterprise Solution

In addition to keeping data secure and finding a more effective solution for employees, one of the main objectives for moving to an enterprise-level OFS is choosing a platform that will integrate with existing IT tools and applications. Some might think that just about any solution available should integrate, but asking the right questions upfront about how a new OFS will integrate and sharing your integration needs will be helpful with the discovery process.

For those that feel a certain vulnerability to cloud-based OFS, they’re not wrong. On premise offerings are really the more trustworthy route to take when the security of work data is critical. On-premise options are highly customizable; therefore, some organizations find it more cost effective to use an on-premise OFS and supplement with cloud-based solutions for their commonplace IT data needs such as email.

One Approach to OFS

Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) Anywhere is an on-premise solution designed for secure file sharing and content distribution that can improve end-user productivity while maintaining corporate control, management, and protection of data. It allows organizations to empower your IT to deliver its own mobility solution through:

  • Access-controlled links that synchronize user files and folders to multiple devices for internal or external sharing
  • Simplifying administration with self-service mobile device management
  • Simple to deploy; intuitive for end users and works with your existing IT investments, practices and policies

Please check out the content platform demo here.

Continental Resources will help you choose and implement the best OFS solution for your organization’s needs. Our expertise will help increase productivity and mobilize your workforce all while keeping your IT department in control and secure. Please call Continental Resources at 800-937-4688 to discuss the best OFS solution for your business.

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What’s lurking inside your IT upgrades?

You’ve updated, automated, streamlined and optimized your IT operations for efficiency, agility and competitive advantage. And although you’ve succeeded in transforming your data center for modern demands, you may have opened the door to key risks—risks that may mean you need to upgrade your enterprise cyber security programs as well.

Truthfully, enterprise security is not static. The threat landscape is expanding every bit as fast as innovation. A recent CNBC article found that there are approximately a half-million cyberattack attempts every minute. So what cybersecurity threats could be lurking inside your newly optimized enterprise?

1. Virtualization Vulnerabilities

If you converged your compute, network and storage assets with virtualization for cost savings and higher efficiency, congratulations. But did you know that the virtualization that drives convergence comes with some real-world risks? There are many different layers of hardware, software and services involved in this complex deployment—any of which can be points of vulnerability. For example, cybercriminals often target hypervisors for attack. In addition, weakness can exist wherever your physical and virtual components intersect.  Any time a virtual machine is added or a workload is moved, there’s a new opportunity for a security breach.

2. BYOD Breakdowns

If you’ve adopted a mobile strategy to keep your on-the-go employees connected and give them anytime, anywhere access to key business applications, then you face several sets of security threats. First, the need to protect your data in the event an employee device is lost or stolen is essential.  The mobile operating systems on employee-owned mobile devices also have become a target for hackers seeking unauthorized access to corporate data. Remote device hijacking and eavesdropping can put your enterprise at risk for data leaks as well.

3. IoT Exploits

Webcams. Vehicles. Sensors. Smartplugs. Network elements. Tablets. If you’ve got devices streaming data across your networks, then you need to safeguard those endpoints. While Gartner estimates that 2016 will be the year  we reach 6.8 billion connected devices, it’s also going to give rise to machine-to-machine attacks. With IoT driving more devices connected globally, there’s a big payoff to hackers who can compromise these connections. And the weakest link is often the consumerized devices that aren’t using the right security settings.

Products like Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) security solutions can streamline and simplify end-to-end security for compliance and peace of mind. Download the Solutions Brief to explore your options and learn how ConRes can protect your business with enterprise wide cybersecurity solutions using HPE technology.

 

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The next generation of smartphones, the newest tablets, the hottest marketing apps, an influx of new hires, employee movement—for an IT professional, managing the always-connected enterprise is a juggling act. How do you manage this digital transformation in the new era of connectivity?  First it is best to break it down:

Step 1: Assessment

You can’t come up with a viable connectivity solution until you’ve identified fully where the issues lie. Not only do you need to assess your current wired and wireless environment, it is important to consider what’s next. Millennials have now surpassed Baby Boomers in the workforce and, with that demographic shift, you’re no doubt experiencing a workplace transformation. GenMobile, as they are sometimes referred to, were figuratively born with another appendage—a smartphone and organization should account for this in their security and connections available to accommodate this shift.  According to Hewlett Packard Enterprise “When people interact with the connected world, they feed incredible synergies among humans, machines, software and our environments. But it’s the quality and efficiency of those interactions that affects your organization’s ability to be transformative and achieve the business outcomes needed to thrive in the idea economy.” Hence, your enterprise mobility infrastructure needs to account for not only the various devices that will attempt to access your corporate network, it needs to carefully consider who the people and the Internet of Things behind the devices, how they use their devices (company-issued, BYOD and guest access) and from where they’ll access the network (on premise, remote, cloud, branch office).

Step 2: Evaluation

Considerable investment goes into building your network infrastructure. You need to evaluate which enterprise mobility solution fits best, while at the same time making it more adaptable, future-ready and highly secure. For maximum agility to respond to the demands of the business, the ideal infrastructure is software-defined. Software-defined networking and policy management—software programmability—are key to enforcing secure mobility. A software-defined network gives IT managers the ability to adapt to the needs of the GenMobile workforce by understanding contextual information: where the user is, which applications are in use, and which devices are connecting (including devices that are part of IoT). Your network must be able to dynamically adapt to your users’ mobility demands by leveraging SDN capabilities.

Step 3: Solution

Prepare for the mobile-centric, Wi-Fi-fueled workforce that doesn’t compartmentalize work hours from personal time. A well-crafted, secure, flexible business environment will help your company attract the best talent and the most productivity from #GenMobile.

Having worked with our many clients on assessments and evaluations, we often come around to recommending Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager as an integral part of the access layer solution. Aruba, an HPE company, offers an advanced policy management platform that ranks as a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Wired/WLAN access. Within this single platform, you can centrally enforce all aspects of access to your wired or Wi-Fi network including privileges based on user; device type, health and location; MDM attributes; and more.

Learn more about ConRes wired and wireless networks product solution.

For 50 years, ConRes has been helping companies find solutions to even the most complex IT challenges. We’ll help you avoid the chaos and control your mobile enterprise.

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