Recent Blog Posts

Empowering Your Workforce Through Mobile Collaboration

With mobility slated to top enterprise CIO priorities in 2015, clear internal communication strategies and robust collaboration platforms are crucial for continued success. As enterprise companies continue to heavily invest in IT infrastructure that enables their employees to untether from their desks and work remotely, collaboration software like Microsoft* Lync and Skype enable workers to remain productive and responsive — even out of the office.

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As companies have developed mobility strategies, many have invested in hardware such as tablets and smartphones in order to provide employees a modicum of flexibility. CIOs have discovered that due to their mobility strategies:

 

…employees in the field complete mission-critical tasks in real-time; they no longer gather information in one place, and then return to an office to transcribe what they learned on the road. Because workers are constantly connected, they’re always able to communicate, and are more likely to keep working even during off-hours.

 

Though it has proven to be an invaluable strategy across the increasingly complex enterprise landscape, the increase in productivity through mobility is still evolving.

 

Refining Mobility in 2015

                                                                                                           

 

Mobility is no longer a “nice to have” for employees — it’s expected. However, as the enterprise continues to adopt mobile technology, flaws are starting to appear. As BYOD and mobility have evolved, cross-platform collaboration has been somewhat limited by compatibility issues between operating systems.

 

Collaboration platforms like Microsoft* Lync* and Skype* have apps for most popular mobile operating systems, but functionality across some of these mobile platforms may be significantly limited compared to the desktop client.

 

For example, Microsoft* recently announced support for unified Lync & Skype communication (meaning Lync users can call and message Skype users, and vice versa). However, this functionality is limited to desktop clients for both devices. This feature, as well as many others, has been a major stumbling block for companies trying to promote robust collaboration efforts in conjunction with their mobility strategies.

 

Companies looking to refine their mobility strategy should consider the range of cross-platform compatibility issues and productivity limitations when looking to invest in any new device or strategy. A recent Principled Technologies test report compared Microsoft* Lync and Skype* performance on three popular mobile devices: an Apple* iPad* Air, Samsung* Galaxy* Note 10.1, and Microsoft* Surface* Pro 3.

 

The feature set and performance for the apps on the iPad* and Galaxy* Note was significantly limited compared to the Surface* Pro 3. Since the Surface* Pro 3 runs the full desktop version of Windows* 8.1 Pro, as opposed to a mobile operating system like the iPad* and Galaxy* Note.

 

Click here to read the full Principled Technologies test report.

 

*Other names and brands are property of others

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Better, Faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi is Here — Shouldn’t It Be In Your New PC?

Many manufacturers are still putting outdated 802.11bgn wireless technology in new devices despite the fact that the technology is almost 8 years old and has since been replaced by 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which is 3x faster and more stable. Since this … Read more >

The post Better, Faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi is Here — Shouldn’t It Be In Your New PC? appeared first on Technology@Intel.

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Identifying Your Mobile Device Management Strategy

Not all roads lead to BYOD.

 

Business paths diverge when it comes to mobile device management (MDM) strategy; as consumerization and mobility have become more prevalent within the enterprise, so has the variety in both corporate and customer requirements. According to Hyoun Park, “The proliferation of mobile devices has led to a similar proliferation of enterprise mobility support models. As your organization considers how to move forward to support mobile devices, applications, data, content, and unified communications, keep in mind how enterprise mobility is currently supported within your organization.”


Park states that the blanket term of BYOD can be broken down into eight specific categories that better represent specific strategies and objectives for the business.

 

Eight Ways to Structure Your MDM

 

COLD: Corporate Owned, Locked Down

Provides both a secure device and secure gateway, with rigorous policies surrounding lost or stolen devices. “In today’s world, this model has only become even more secure with the encryption of voice calls, multifactor authentication, content and application virtualization to prevent improper sharing, and sandboxes used to isolate applications and content.”

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COBRA: Corporate Owned, Business Ready Applications

New employees are given corporate devices pre-loaded with applications geared towards the mobile worker. “This might be as simple as including Dropbox, Box, or Evernote. This could also include mobile CRM and ERP applications, help desk applications, and productivity enablers.”


COPE: Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled

All devices are compartmentalized into corporate-owned and personally-owned. “This can be done by dedicating an enterprise-specific portion of the device to the applications and documents used in the workplace, while dedicating the rest of the device to Facebook, Angry Birds, personal e-mail accounts, and whatever else the employee wants to put on the device.”


CAPO: Corporate Approved, Personally Obtained

Devices are purchased by employees, but must meet corporate guidelines. “These standards can be as simple as supporting the company’s security or mobile device management standards or as complex as defining specific policies to shut off nearfield communications, camera, and other functions.”


EQUAL: EQuipment Under Approved List

EQUAL is a version of CAPO; all devices or operating systems are company ordained. “This allows companies to focus on the devices and operating systems they support without being overwhelmed by the evolution of mobility across every possible platform. However, the focus comes at the potential cost of creating a new version of shadow IT from unsupported devices.”


PEER: Personally Equipped, Enterprise Ready

PEER is a version of the COPE model; rather than the company funding the device, the employee makes the purchase instead. “The PEER model allows companies to put business applications, security, and governance onto a personally owned device. Employees agree to give businesses the control needed to transmit and support these applications.”


POOR: Personally Owned, Office Required

A somewhat controversial model that dictates employees must fund a device (sans employer compensation) in order to fulfill job requirements. “POOR is expected to become more troublesome as states increasingly see class action lawsuits that, like Cochran, are created based on a combination of state labor laws and BYOD requirements.”


CHAOS: Corporate Handles All Operating Systems

Often IT’s least favorite BYOD option, this means corporate supports all operating systems regardless of platform. “From an operational perspective, this approach often results in users falling through the cracks as IT is unable to provide employees with enterprise applications because vendors have never developed them for a specific platform. And from a support perspective, IT is constantly on the phone with additional support staff to troubleshoot unfamiliar devices.”

 

As the device market continues to evolve, remember to refresh your strategy and policies often to keep pace with our ever-changing world.

 

To continue this conversation, please follow us at @IntelITCenter or use #ITCenter.

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The New Free Cyber Warfare Range is Open to the Public

I am excited for the opening of the free Cyber Warfare Range. I had the pleasure of meeting the team at Arizona Cyber Warfare Range (ACWR) and getting an exclusive tour of their virtual warfare range. During this guide of their internal architecture, I was able to get some insights into controls which protect their cyber warfare environment.  It is vital the activities which occur inside the range do not get loose and directly impact the real world.


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So what is a virtual warfare range?


A virtual warfare range is an open-source, virtual location where security professionals can test their skills and programs in a simulated environment. You can conduct dangerous activities in a safe, isolated, and controlled space.  You can think of it like a cybersecurity gun range or paintball arena. For example, users are encouraged to hack the servers, compromise networks, break software, test the robustness of products, and even play with toxic malware (in specialized ranges).  Customized environments can be created to attack or defend.  All of which are important learning experiences for security professionals.

 

It’s no secret that security professionals need practical, real-world experience. However, it is never recommended to do dangerous activities on production, personal, or work networks as it is a recipe for harmful unintended consequences.  As a vitally important resource, the warfare range provides a free, internet accessible, and safe place where  novices and experts alike can learn and test their skills while conducting more specific activities – such as testing products, evaluating malware, etc…

 

The ACWR is simply a safe environment for learning by doing. Hacking, testing, war games, malware practice, product evaluations, and real opponent challenges help security professionals hone their skills in an isolated setting. Beginner and advanced ranges provide teaching challenges, customizable environments, analysis, and metrics. The site encourages users to go wild, ‘burn systems to the ground’, and do whatever it takes to learn and improve.

 

No more excuses, time to get learning.

 

- Matthew Rosenquist

 

To find out more visit the Arizona Cyber Warfare Range Website: http://www.azcwr.com/


Twitter: @Matt_Rosenquist

IT Peer Network: My Previous Posts

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/matthewrosenquist

My Blog: Information Security Strategy

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Intel Goes Platinum for OpenDaylight Project (ODL)

This blog is a summary of a conversation between Uri Elzur, Director of SDN architecture and OpenDaylight Board Member and Chris Buerger, Technologist within Intel’s Software-Defined Networking Division (SDND) marketing team. It outlines the motivation and plans driving Intel’s decision to increase its OpenDaylight Project membership to Platinum.

 

Chris: Intel has been a member of the OpenDaylight Project since its inception. We are now announcing a significant increase in our membership level to Platinum. Explain the reasoning behind the decision to raise Intel’s investment into ODL.

 

Uri: At Intel, we have been outlining our vision for Software Defined Infrastructure or SDI. This vision is taking a new approach to developing data center infrastructure to make it more agile so it works in a more automatic fashion to better meet the requirements that shape the data centers of tomorrow.  Some of us fondly call the force shaping it  ‘cloudification. ’

 

SDI is uniquely meeting customer needs at both the top and the bottom line. Top line refers to greater agility and speed to develop data center scale applications, which in turn allows accelerated revenue generation across a larger number of our customers as well as the introduction of new, cloud-centric business models. At the same time, SDI also uniquely allows for the reduction of total cost of ownership for both service providers and their end-user customers. Service Providers are under intense competitive pressure to reduce cost, be it the cost of a unit of compute or, at a higher level, cost for a unit of application where an application includes compute, network, and storage.

 

Mapping this back to SDN and OpenDaylight, it is important to Intel to help our customers to quickly and efficiently benefit from this new infrastructure. To do that, we need to support both open and closed source efforts. OpenDaylight represents an open source community that has been very successful in attracting a set of industry contributors and that has also started to attract large end-user customers.

 

At this point in time, we see our efforts across multiple SDI layers that also include OpenStack and OpenVSwitch in addition to OpenDaylight come together in a coordinated way. This allows us to expose platform capabilities all the way to the top of the SDI stack. For example, by allowing applications to ‘talk back’ to the infrastructure to express their needs and intents, we are leveraging the capabilities of the SDN controller to optimally enable Network Function Virtualization workloads on standard high volume servers. This gives cloud service operators, telecommunication providers and enterprise users’ superior support for these critical services, including SLA, latency and jitter control, and support for higher bandwidths like 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet. Among open source SDN controllers, OpenDaylight has shown healthy growth based on the successful application of open source principles such as meritocracy. We are excited about the opportunities to work with the OpenDaylight community as part of our wider SDI vision.

 

Chris: As Intel’s representative on the Board of the OpenDaylight Project, what do you envision as the key areas of technical engagement for Intel in 2015?

 

Uri: Keeping our customer needs and the wider SDI vision in mind, our first priority is to really exercise the pieces that the community has put together in OpenDaylight on standard high volume servers to deliver the benefits of SDN to end-users. We are also going to work with our community partners as well as end-user customers to identify, validate, and enhance workloads that are important to them – i.e. optimize the hardware and software on our platform to better support them. For example, take a look at the work being done in the recently announced OPNFV initiative. We are planning to take use cases from there and help the community optimize the low-level mechanisms that are needed in an SDN controller and further to the

 

Chris:  The enablement of a vibrant ecosystem of contributors and end-users is critical to the success of open source projects. What role do you see Intel playing in further accelerating the proliferation of ODL?

 

Uri: We think Intel has a lot to bring to the table in terms of making the ODL community even more successful. Intel has relationships with customers in all of the market segments where an SDN controller will be used. We have also demonstrated our ability to create environments where the industry can test drive cutting edge new technologies before they go to market. For SDI, for example we created the Intel® Cloud Builders and Intel® Network Builders ecosystem initiatives to not only test the SDN controller, but couple it with a more complete and realistic software stack (SDI stack) and a set of particular workloads as well as Intel platform enhancements to establish performance, scalability and interoperability best practices for complex data center systems. And bringing this experience to OpenDaylight accelerates the enablement of our SDI vision.

 

Chris:  Software Defined Networking and Network Function Virtualization capabilities are defined, enabled and commercialized on the basis of a multitude of standards and open source initiatives. How do you see Intel’s ODL engagement fitting within the wider efforts to contribute to SDN- and NFV-driven network transformation?

 

Uri: Our answer to this question has multiple parts. One change that we have seen over the last few months is a shift in organizations such as ETSI NFV that, while always considering SDN to be reasonably important, never placed much emphasis on the SDN controller. This has changed. The ETSI NFV community has come to terms with the idea that if you want scalability, a rich set of features, automation and service agility, then you need an SDN controller such as OpenDaylight as part of the solution stack. And we believe that ETSI represents a community that wants to use the combination of OpenDaylight, OpenStack and a scalable, high-performing virtual switch on low cost, high volume server platforms.

 

We have also observed some interesting dynamics between open source and standards developing organizations. What we are witnessing is that open source is becoming the lingua franca, a blueprint of how interested developers demonstrate their ideas to the rest of the industry as well as their customers. Open source promotes interoperability, promotes collaboration between people working together to get to working code and then it is presented to the standard bodies. What excites us about OpenDaylight is that as a project it has also been very successful in working with both OpenStack and OpenVswitch, incorporating standards such as Openflow and OVSDB. Moreover, interesting new work on service chaining and policies is happening in both OpenDaylight as well as OpenStack. And all of these initiatives align with network management modelling schemas coming out of the IETF and TOSCA.

 

All of these initiatives are creating a working software defined infrastructure that is automated and that helps to achieve the top and bottom line objectives, we mentioned. OpenDaylight is a central component to Intel’s SDI vision and we are excited about the possibilities that we can achieve together.

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Protecting Consumer Information: NCR and Intel Team Up for a New Approach

One of the most relevant—and challenging—aspects of using technology in the retail and financial services space is how to ensure the protection of personal data on open platforms. In the guest blog post below, Chris Lybeer, Vice President of Strategic … Read more >

The post Protecting Consumer Information: NCR and Intel Team Up for a New Approach appeared first on IoT@Intel.

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Tablet PCs & Next-Gen Healthcare

Digital innovations in healthcare are streamlining daily tasks, enabling clinicians to provide faster, accurate care, as well as empowering patients to take a bigger role in monitoring their own health. From big data to tablets to apps and smart watches, this technological shift is giving the healthcare industry an overhaul. With clinicians adopting digital record keeping, remote monitoring and care for patients, and other software as a service (SaaS) platforms, there is enormous potential to not only dramatically reduce administrative costs by up to $250 billion a year, but to also deliver a new level of sophistication and accuracy with regards to patient care.

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According to a recent Forbes article, digitizing care is no longer something that healthcare providers can afford to ignore. Many industries already use technology and data to improve efficiency and quality, and healthcare providers who fail to use digital innovations to their advantage may find themselves losing patients to their competitors.

 

Mobile devices like tablets allow clinicians to optimize patient care through the use of advanced technology. A recent survey found that nearly 70% of clinicians in U.S. hospitals use tablets. According to the same study, 1 out of 3 healthcare providers report that using mobile devices increases their efficiency. These devices improve clinicians’ ability to communicate with patients and other healthcare providers, multitask, and access information such as test results that used to be tethered to desktop PCs and printouts stuffed in folders.


Pioneering the Healthcare of Tomorrow

 

With recent digital innovations in healthcare, doctors, nurses and other health professionals are looking to new mobile devices like tablets to enhance their capabilities and offer them versatility in and out of the exam room. However, with an excess of tablets and mobile devices to choose from, finding the right one can be difficult. Thankfully, with the help of a recent Principled Technologies report, choosing a tablet isn’t brain surgery.

 

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The report compared the performance of the following popular tablets based on tasks healthcare professionals encounter each day: Microsoft Surface Pro 3*, HP ElitePad 1000 G2*, Dell Venue 8 Pro*, Apple iPad Air* and mini*. The Intel-powered Dell Venue 8 Pro*, HP ElitePad 1000 G2*, and Surface Pro 3* outperformed both the iPad Air* and iPad Mini* in a number of categories.

 

The Intel-powered devices in the study offer features like the ability to work in multiple apps simultaneously, create tasks with speech-to-text, load files from USB peripherals, and wirelessly print documents from the popular Allscripts Wand software.

 

For detailed comparisons of each device, check out the following case studies:

 

Microsoft Surface Pro 3* vs. Apple iPad Air*; HP ElitePad 1000 G2* vs. Apple iPad Air: Dell Venue 8 Pro* vs. Apple iPad mini*.

 

*Other names and brands are property of others

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5 Most Interesting Security Metrics in the Q3 2014 McAfee Threat Report

The McAfee Labs Threat Report for Q3 2014 is out.  (McAfee is part of Intel Security)  As one of my longstanding benchmarks to track malware growth and velocity, this issue does not disappoint. 

Here are my Top 5 most interesting metrics, every security professional should be thinking about.

  1. Signing Malware continues to skyrocket as a practice by attackers, more than doubling to 40 million samples, a growth of over 1000% in two years!
    McAfee Q3 2014 - Signed Binaries.jpgSigning malware with legitimate and trusted certificates is a great tactic for attackers to get their harmful files past network filters and security controls to be installed by unaware users.  We will see this trend continue, because it works.  In fact, I predict a more mature market to emerge for selling and using stolen credentials by hacking communities and darknet enterprises.  Be careful who you trust. 
    “Trust is the currency of security, without it we are bankrupt.”
  2. New Malware is created at a rate of over 5 per second, 307 per minute
    McAfee Q3 2014 - New Malware.jpgThe relentless onslaught of malware production continues to grow at a tremendous pace.  Can attackers sustain this insane growth rate?  Yes.  Malware is easy to create, customize, and deploy.  More advanced and well-funded attackers have the ability to produce more complex malicious software to compromise systems and environments.  Take all necessary precautions and expect this trend to persist.  Rely on security products, services, architectures, vendors ,and employees who can keep pace with the attackers.
  3. Total Malware in existence exceeds 300 million, growing 76% over the past year
    McAfee Q3 2014 - Total Malware.jpgThe malware zoo grows every year and now exceeds 300 million distinct samples.  It is mind boggling that we must be protected against each of these critters.  The electronic world is truly a hazardous place.  For organizations, establishing a comprehensive layered set of defenses, starting at the perimeter, supported within the network, reinforced with specialized communication protections (web, email, IM, etc.), embedded on client devices, and with good judgment of users, is the only way to survive the onslaught over time. 
  4. Mobile malware jumps 112% from last year
    McAfee Q3 2014 - Mobile Malware.jpgRisks of malware on our mobile devices continue on a steady rise.  Not a sexy news grabbing story, but how long can we ignore these growing threats to our most used computing device? 
  5. Denial of Service still the king of network attacks
    McAfee Q3 2014 - Top Network Attacks.jpgDenial of Service attacks are still most prevalent but aren’t necessarily the most impactful.  As attackers leverage other tools and methods to achieve their objectives, the mix will shift and DOS attacks will wane.  Will you and your organization be ready as attacks change to more effective ways to cause harm?  Security is an ongoing endeavor and planning for the future is a requirement for sustaining a strong posture.  Past successes won’t stop attackers in the future.  As Sun Tsu said over 2 thousand years ago, persistence is not important in combat, only victory.  Think ahead and prepare for how the threats will evolve.  It is your move.

 

Twitter: @Matt_Rosenquist

IT Peer Network: My Previous Posts

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/matthewrosenquist

My Blog: Information Security Strategy

 

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Keeping Patient Data Safe from Evolving Threats

The healthcare industry’s digital transformation calls for shifting the burden of care from the system to the patient. Technology is helping to lead this charge, as evidenced by the growing number of patients who are now able to track their own health information as well as generate data that previously was unavailable to physicians and other care providers. With the 2nd Annual Healthcare Cyber Security Summit this month – and the attack vectors targeting the industry having changed over the past couple years – it’s a good time to revisit the topic.

 

Mobile devices, EMRs, HIEs, cloud computing, telemedicine and other technologies are now common to healthcare settings, incrementally delivering on their promise to stretch resources and lower costs. But along with these new capabilities come new threats to patient data and the organizations responsible for managing it. Such threats are reflected through the rise of HIPAA data breaches from 2012-2013, as well as in the increase of state- and corporate-sponsored cyber attacks targeting medical device makers in 2014. As a recent webinar presented by NaviSite pointed out: the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) also raises the stakes for healthcare organizations, as reflected by Europol’s recent warning about IoT and the FDA’s determination that some 300 medical devices are vulnerable to attack.

 

In April, the FBI issued a sobering notification to healthcare organizations stating that the industry is “…not technically prepared to combat against cyber criminals, basic cyber intrusion tactics, techniques and procedures…” Nor is it ready for some of the more advanced persistent threats facing the industry.

 

It doesn’t help that medical records are considered up to 50 times more valuable on the black market than credit card records.

 

Whether through HIPAA data breaches, malware, phishing emails, sponsored cyber-attacks, or threats surrounding the evolving Internet of Things, the emerging threats in healthcare cannot go unaddressed. Security experts say cyber criminals increasingly are targeting the industry because many healthcare organizations still rely on outdated computer systems lacking the latest security features.

 

With so many mobile and internet-connected devices located in healthcare settings, determining how to secure them should be a top priority. That means developing and implementing strategies that make anti-virus, encryption, file integrity and data management a top priority.

 

Security experts report that, ultimately, data correlation is the key. What is important for healthcare organizations is having a system in place that empowers threat identification, classification, system analysis, and a manual review process that offsets human error, enabling 100 percent certainty regarding potential incidents.

 

With this in mind, how is your organization safeguarding against cyber threats? Do you rely on an in-house cybersecurity team, or has your organization partnered with a managed security service provider for this type of service?

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