Businesses Beefing Up on IT Security Specialists

policeIn the wake of increased high-profile cybersecurity breaches, new research shows businesses are beefing up on their IT security specialists.

The 2012 Career Impact study by (ISC)2, a nonprofit organization representing security specialists worldwide, found that 72 percent of businesses hired new employees last year specifically for their information security skills.

Sixty-two percent of businesses reported they are looking to hire additional information security employees in 2012.

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Internet Explorer takes the lead — as most error-prone browser

http://www.legendswebdesign.comThere is good news and bad news for Microsoft in a report by Sauce Labs about browser reliability. The bad news is that Microsoft Internet Explorer has fared the worst overall in recent years. The good news is, Internet Explorer keeps getting better and better with each release.

Sauce found Internet Explorer’s overall error rate to be 0.25 percent, with an error defined as a browser failing to start. While this is still a lot less than even 1 percent, the number is significant for application testers who may have to perform thousands of tests, notes Santiago Suarez Ordonez, lead back-end engineer at Sauce. The study, released Tuesday, was based on tallies of errors recorded in Sauce’s Selenium, a browser behavior automation tool available in the cloud. More than 55 million tests over several years were gauged.

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Microsoft Vs. Google: Who Has Better Privacy Benefits?

http://www.legendswebdesign.comCarpe diem! Microsoft has seized the opportunity presented by Google’s privacy policy changes to tout its online services as alternatives. Ads this week hit the pages of the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and USA Today suggesting that people concerned with Google’s policies try Microsoft’s Bing search engine, Internet Explorer browser, Hotmail email and Office 365 for business documents.
“Google is in the process of making some unpopular changes to some of their most popular products,” the ads read. “Those changes, cloaked in language like ‘transparency,’ ‘simplicity’ and ‘consistency,’ are really about one thing: making it easier for Google to connect the dots between everything you search, send, say or stream while using one of their services.”
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Government Lab Reveals It Has Operated Quantum Internet for Over Two Years

A quantum internet capable of sending perfectly secure messages has been running at Los Alamos National Labs for the last two and a half years, say researchers

 One of the dreams for security experts is the creation of a quantum internet that allows perfectly secure communication based on the powerful laws of quantum mechanics.

The basic idea here is that the act of measuring a quantum object, such as a photon, always changes it. So any attempt to eavesdrop on a quantum message cannot fail to leave telltale signs of snooping that the receiver can detect. That allows anybody to send a “one-time pad” over a quantum network which can then be used for secure communication using conventional classical communication.

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Microsoft prepares U-turn on Windows 8

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Microsoft is preparing to reverse course over key elements of its Windows 8 operating system, marking one of the most prominent admissions of failure for a new mass-market consumer product since Coca-Cola’s New Coke fiasco nearly 30 years ago.

“Key aspects” of how the software is used will be changed when Microsoft releases an updated version of the operating system this year, Tami Reller, head of marketing and finance for the Windows business, said in an interview with the Financial Times. Referring to difficulties many users have had with mastering the software, she added: “The learning curve is definitely real.”

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‘Honeywords’ to trigger alarm when hackers compromise passwords

Security experts have proposed a simple way for websites to better secure highly sensitive databases used to store user passwords: the creation of false “honeyword” passcodes that when entered would trigger alarms that account hijacking attacks are underway.

The suggestion builds on the already established practice of creating dummy accounts known as honeypot accounts. It comes as dozens of high-profile sites watched user data become jeopardised — including LivingSocial,  dating site Zoosk,  Evernote,  Twitter,  LinkedIn, and eHarmony to name just a few from the past year. Because these dummy accounts don’t belong to legitimate users of the service and are normally never accessed, they can be used to send a warning to site administrators when attackers are able to log in to them. The new, complementary honeyword measure — proposed in a research paper titled “Honeywords: Making Password-Cracking Detectable — was devised by RSA Labs researcher Ari Juels and MIT cryptography professor Ronald Rivest, the latter who is the “R” in the RSA cryptography scheme.

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Ethernet cableSony-backed ISP has announced that it now offers the world’s fastest home broadband service. So-net Entertainment on Monday began offering its “Nuro” fiber-based service to residents in Tokyo and six surrounding areas. The service is available for Y4,980 ($51) per month with a two-year service agreement and a Y52,500 ($535) installation fee. Customers who apply online, however, will have the one-time fee waived. Upload speeds top out at 1Gbps and download speeds come in at a blisteringly fast 2Gbps, double that of Google Fiber.

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Mars One will start recruiting volunteers in July for one-way trip to red planet

Rocket Engines 4Mars One, the ambitious (some might say crazy) project that aims to make the red planet’s colonization into a successful reality TV show, will begin accepting video submissions for its first batch of astronauts in July. In an attempt to separate serious candidates from dreamers, the company plans to institute an entry fee that will vary depending on your native country. It’s reportedly going to top off at $25 though, so hopefuls won’t need to take out a second mortgage to plot out their departure from Earth. The mandatory fee is also a means for Mars One to secure funding for the actual trip and Mars colony buildout.


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Google Wants to Replace All Your Passwords with a Ring

The world’s largest search engine is now experimenting with jewelry that would eliminate the need to remember dozens of passwords.

As part of research into doing away with typed passwords, Google has built rings that not only adorn a finger but also can be used to log in to a computer or online account.

The search and ad company first revealed its plans to put an end to passwords in an academic paper published online in January (see “Google’s Alternative to the Password”). The effort focused on having people plug a small USB key that provides their credentials into a computer. The possibility of using special jewelry in a similar manner was mentioned in that paper.


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Ensure your DR plan is ready to fly when needed

Disaster Recovery (DR), the act of ensuring that your systems and departments are ready for a disaster and that your IT systems can recover from it, is an important issue for all companies. While large companies with operations in more than one country can often bounce back quickly, small to medium businesses in the disaster area might have a tougher time, Ensuring a DR plan is reliable is necessary for small to medium sized businesses.

Here are four ways to ensure your DR plan is sufficient and company is disaster-ready.

Are your systems compliant?
Many DR systems are licensed, and it’s important to ensure that these licences are both up-to-date and supported by all necessary backup systems. If you’ve added or changed components like a server or software, but not upgraded the relevant licenses, chances are your systems won’t be covered when disaster strikes. If this is the case, when you go to retrieve the backup, you’ll just get a license error; your data can’t be retrieved.

Another issue with DR software is that it’s often not used, lying dormant for years. You should regularly check and ensure the software meets modern compliance standards, is up-to-date and licenses have not expired. You should also be aware of how the software you use integrates and interacts with the DR software. For example, an upgrade to a new email server, may not communicate well with your DR software.

What’s the status of your backup server?
As most DR plans usually involve a separate server from day-to-day servers, it’s important to ensure that they are functioning properly, usually by having the vendor test them. It’s also equally important to communicate with the vendors or manufacturers of the servers to ensure that the correct software/hardware licenses are in place and cover the function. If they aren’t, you could risk legal action or being fined.

Test regularly
Regular tests are an integral part of a properly functioning DR plan. You need to conduct tests on at least a yearly basis to ensure all systems involved in the DR plan function well. From these tests, observe any function that performed poorly, or not at all, and take steps to fix or replace it.

Work with a knowledgeable partner
DR plans and systems can be a complicated, almost messy aspect of business. While this may be, DR is crucial to the survival of a business after a disaster, and shouldn’t be treated lightly. To get it right liaise with DR experts to create and maintain a plan that meets your needs.

If you would like help with either implementing or improving your DR plan, please contact us, we may have a solution for you.

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