Intel Acquires PasswordBox Print E-mail
Intel has announced the acquisition of PasswordBox, a Montreal-based provider of a cross-platform identity management service. Primary product functionality enables users a convenient way to log into all of their websites and applications from any device without having to type or remember passwords. According to Intel, PasswordBox will become a part of the Safe Identity organization within Intel Security Group.
The Safe Identity organization provides solutions that reduce the pain of passwords, simplify and strengthen security and providing consumers with easy access to their digital lives. According to most cybersecurity experts and CISOs, secure passwords are essential to protecting sensitive personal and corporate data.
According to a recent report by Deloitte, more than 90 percent of user-generated passwords are vulnerable to hacking because 10,000 of the most common passwords could access close to 98 percent of all accounts.
Additionally, last year an Experian survey reported the average user possesed 26 password-protected online accounts but used only five different passwords. In fact, nearly 37 percent of users have asked for assistance on their username or password for at least one website per month. Intel Security and PasswordBox will work together to target and try to eliminate these problems.
“Everyone can relate to password fatigue. The PasswordBox service has already brought relief to millions of consumers who now enjoy simple, instant login,” said Chris Young, SVP and GM of Intel Security Group. “Intel Security and PasswordBox share the same goal of improving digital identity protection across all devices and platforms. We believe we have the technology, expertise and reach to bring simple, secure access to consumers worldwide.”

The Intel Security Group combines the security expertise of the previous acquisition of McAfee, with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel. Intel Security is focused on solving some of the largest challenges in digital security today. These solutions will help provide users with peace of mind by knowing they can access their content more simply. Intel Security will incorporate PasswordBox’s current and future technologies to deliver three benefits to consumers:
1. Reduced Password Fatigue – PasswordBox’s solution utilizes one of the most accurate form fillers on the market, with patent-pending one-tap (on mobile devices) and one-click (in browsers) login to simply and seamlessly provide secure access from any consumer device. Intel Security will continue to extend and expand these capabilities to provide consumers a convenient way to access their favorite sites and apps.
2. Security Simplified – In an era of catastrophic data breaches, consumers are expected to create increasingly complex passwords that include capital letters, numbers and symbols to protect their digital identities. Intel Security will incorporate the simplicity of the PasswordBox solution with new, user-friendly authentication technologies that enable users to get the benefit of improved security in a manner that is simple to set up and use.

3. Experience Next Generation Solutions – Intel Security has assembled world-class innovators in hardware engineering, software and services, to build solutions that address the most pressing security challenges. Combining the power of Intel Security with PasswordBox’s expert team, Intel is committed and well positioned to innovate and deliver new, ground-breaking, next-generation solutions on a regular cadence to meet the needs of consumers.
PasswordBox was a privately held company founded in 2012, with 44 employees and headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. All current employees have joined Intel Security. Since its debut one year ago, PasswordBox secured VC funding, led by OMERS Ventures, won best mobile app at CES 2014, and has been downloaded 14 million times worldwide. Intel’s acquisition of PasswordBox is effective immediately. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed and are not material to Intel’s operations.
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The CIOs Guide To Mitigating Attacks & Ensuring DDoS Protection Print E-mail

What keeps the CIOs awake at night? An IT Business Edge survey of CIOs conducted earlier this year showed cybersecurity as among the top ten threats that CIOs worry about every day. While cybersecurity itself is an umbrella term encompassing various frauds and threats like phishing, hacking, SQL injection, etc. one threat that has exponentially risen over the past few years is DDoS. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks happen when the server is hit persistantly from multiple systems at the same time. The attacks are aimed at hogging bandwidth and server resources in order to make the website unavailable to genuine visitors.

One reason why DDoS is more critical than the other cybersecurity issues is because of the ease with which such an attack can be carried out. There are free tools like Stacheldraht that are available online that allow anybody with an internet access to initiate a DDoS attack on a website they dislike. Not surprising then that businesses as big as Sony, Blizzard and Paypal have experienced DDoS attacks in recent years.

While DDoS attacks do not steal any of your confidential information, they are still an expensive headache to fight. As a CIO what are some things that you can do to mitigate the potential disaster? Here are some viable recommendations:

Content Delivery Networks (CDN) : The primary job of a CDN is to protect your servers from bandwidth hogging when one of your pages get popular. CDNs primarily create a cache of your static website content so that visitors to your site are delivered cached information from the CDN servers instead of these visitors hitting your servers each time. CDNs are also extremely helpful during DDoS attacks. CloudFlare, for instance, has an 'I'm under attack' mode that provides a sophisticated layer of security during DDoS attacks. In addition to caching your content, what they also do is that they mask your real IP address. You might also choose to point your domain name to the localhost ( – this way, when the attackers do not know your IP address and hence choose to attack your domain name instead, they would be hitting their own localhost.

DDoS Mitigation Appliance : According to a Neustar report, nearly 20% of businesses use either a purpose-built DDoS protection system or have a DDoS mitigation appliance implemented on their servers. Services like FireBlade provide SaaS based tools that monitor your web pages for SQL injections, cross site scripting and other kinds of application level attacks. In addition to this, such services provide bot detection systems on both the application and network layers to nip potential DDoS attacks in the bud and thus mitigate such attacks.

Better IT Architecture : There are a dozen ways to mitigate DDoS attacks and this includes sophisticated firewalls, IPS based prevention tools, ISP blackholing, routers, etc. But nothing would work if your fundamental IT architecture is not sophisticated enough. For instance, your IPtables rules must be set up to drop repetitive connections from the same IP address. Also, you must always make sure that your Apache configuration is not vulnerable to slowhttprequest. You could solve this problem by making use of nginx too. It's recommended that your company orders an external IT security audit every 6-12 months to ensure that your systems are built to withstand any kind of DDoS or other security related attacks.

All said and done, no amount of preparation can prevent an attacker who is knowledgeable enough to take down your system. Ultimately, cybersecurity requires constant evolution and learning. Only a real world attack will tell you how comprehensive your security preparation has been.

CIOs Target Innovation, Decision Making in 2015 Print E-mail

Employees' comfort level with technology and how they use it to perform their jobs continually changes. For example, Microsoft Powerpoint is out for presentations, instead the tool of choice is  Prezi when giving a talk or presentation. (Microsoft is responding with Microsoft Sway, its new presentation app. Sway lets you drag and drop photos, videos, files from your computer, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or cloud storage. It works via a Web browser or an app for your phone and the presentation is stored on the Web.)

CIOs and IT professionals can focus on several areas in response to employees tech demands to enable collaboration and foster growth. These include innovation, timely and well informed decision making, IT talent development, and making the most of business led IT.

1. CIO Innovation
A recent CEB survey of 166 IT executives demonstrates 33 percent of the 2014 IT budget is earmarked as “business opportunity and innovation.”  CEB defines business opportunity as “Investments that deliver new capabilities 
that drive the realization of business benefits; typically involve initiatives that expand your organization’s current line of business (e.g., a new customer-facing system).” Innovation is defined as “Transformative sources of competitive advantage; investment returns are typically hard to measure; typically involve initiatives that are outside your organization’s current line of business, (e.g., a system for sharing competitive intelligence).”  This is an increase from 31 percent of the budget for 2013.

Additionally, CEB notes a reduction in the share of the budget allocated to maintenance spending, which is at 57 percent in 2014 compared to 63 percent in 2011. Perhaps Cloud migrations are driving down overall maintenance costs.

2. Timely CIO Decision Making
Decision-making has changed as the amount of data generated has grown exponentially over the last decade. However, even as companies increasingly invest in systems to derive insight from the information streaming in from suppliers, customers, and internal operations, less than 40% of employees have sufficiently mature processes and skills to use data effectively.

According to CEB, Big data needs to be complemented by “big judgment.” Big data and more advanced analytics will dramatically amplify the effects of human decisions. Teams and functions with the highest “insight IQ” – the ability to find and analyze relevant information to make better decisions – performed, on average, 24% better than their peers across a wide range of metrics, including effectiveness, productivity, employee engagement, and market share growth.

3. CIOs Must Make the Correct IT Talent Decisions
 Today’s work environment demands wholesale restructuring of IT talent. But most IT organizations are unprepared for the changes taking place today and will simply not be able to make the leap.

The highest performing CIOs spend more time on talent development than any other activity. This approach requires advising up-and-coming staff on how to boost their performance, brokering opportunities for them to gain new experiences, helping them learn from those experiences, and championing their careers with other stakeholders.

By getting talent decisions right, IT organizations can help their companies drive up to a 12% increase in revenue.

4. Derive Value from  Business-led IT

Nearly two-thirds of business leaders feel that corporate IT is not effective at providing capabilities for the collaboration, analysis, and mobility needed to improve productivity and achieve their objectives.

Business leaders increasingly find innovative ways to use analytic, social, mobile, and cloud technologies. And so they reallocate significant shares of their own budgets to technology – up to another 40% on top of the CIO’s budget – and blur the boundary between IT and business responsibilities.

Overlooked Cost-saving and Productivity Strategies for SMBs through Misallocated Office Devices Print E-mail


Small to Medium Businesses (SMBs) often run on lean budgets, conserving operating capital to fund strategic growth initiatives. Managers are conscious of each dollar spent, operating as efficiently as possible. However, a consistently overlooked source of savings can be found in the misallocation of office technology.


A recent study shows that significant losses may occur when workers are positioned too far from office devices, such as printers, multifunction printers (MFPs) and document management systems. This misallocation may have a number of financial and productivity implications, but costs can be recovered in many areas across the office by deploying resources more strategically.


Research shows that SMBs are distributing fewer print devices across a larger number of workers. In some cases, as many as 40 employees are now sharing one device and printers are farther away than they used to be. In the past, the closest printer may have been just a few feet away, providing easy access and rapid task cycles. Today, the company MFP may be more than 100 feet away, hindering the speed of business and failing to meet the demand for anytime, anywhere access to information and technology.


Financial Implications

This ineffective deployment of devices has bottom-line implications of higher costs and productivity losses. When employees walk an extended distance to printers, they lose valuable time better spent on business tasks such as reaching out to clients or completing marketing collateral.


Here's how this lost productivity specifically turns into financial waste at an SMB with 500 employees. Studies tell us that each worker executes an average of five print jobs per week. Since MFPs are widely disbursed, employees have a typical round-trip walk time to/from the printer of two minutes. This translates to approximately 4,333 hours per year. At an average employee salary of $30 per hour, the cost of wasted transit is $129,987 per year - a significant amount that can be recovered.


Additional Inefficiencies and Waste Factors

In addition to the cost of lost productivity, poor device strategies have several other downsides. Many MFPs are capable of printing at least 100,000 pages per month. However, data from InfoTrends shows that SMBs typically print no more than 10,000 pages per month. This 90 percent underuse wastes valuable capital, as pricing is often based on an expected monthly print volume that does not match the needs of most SMBs.


SMBs sometimes also overspend on unnecessary features. SMBs utilize color booklet-making features only 10 percent of the time. Alternate paper sizes are also infrequently used, and a recent study finds that only 2 percent of SMB office jobs are printed on 11" × 17" paper, also known as "Ledger" and "A3." Unnecessary large-footprint devices also consume additional energy, require more maintenance, absorb extra space and require more staff intervention.


Optimizing for Cost Savings and Efficiency

Armed with this knowledge about unbalanced deployment and unnecessary features, there are a number of ways that SMBs can significantly reduce device-related waste. Simply identifying the issue and bringing the right machines closer to employees can have dramatic effect on the bottom line.


MFPs with unnecessary features should be replaced with basic printers and All-in-Ones with intelligent scanning solutions more widely and appropriately deployed throughout the organization. When this strategy is properly executed, no employee should be farther than 15 to 25 feet from the closest device. With printers located closer to workers and equipped with output management software, privacy and regulatory compliance issues are more easily solved.


In Summary

Given the implications of misallocated and inappropriate print devices, it is important for SMBs to assess their needs and reduce unnecessary spending. A number of advantages can be gained when an organization's print infrastructure is optimized for cost, productivity and business needs. This balanced deployment of appropriate devices creates savings and efficiencies that can help the SMB succeed and prosper.


Data source: InfoTrends whitepaper "Device Underuse and Unbalanced Fleets"


About the Author


Dan Waldinger is the Director, Services and Solutions Marketing, Brother International Corporation. With more than 25 years of industry experience, Mr. Waldinger leads the Brother SMB initiative, Don't Supersize. Optimize. Under his leadership, Brother provides resources, self-assessment tools and solutions for SMBs to reduce document-related costs and increase efficiencies.

CIO Predictions for 2015 Print E-mail

A recent gathering of industry analysts Michael Rosen, Serge Findling, and Joseph Pucciarelli, has lead to a published report from IDC called the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide CIO Agenda 2015 Predictions.

The session and resulting report may provide organizations with insight and perspective on long-term industry trends along with new themes that may be on the horizon. Additionally, the report may help company leaders capitalize on emerging market opportunities and plan for future growth.

The most significant prediction in my opinion is by 2017, 80% of the CIO’s time will be focused on analytics, cybersecurity and creating new revenue streams through digital services. 

This confirms the evolutionary nature of the CIO's role from an internally focused DevOps person to one of an externally focused profit oriented new product and services provider.

The predictions from the FutureScape for CIO Agenda report are:

1. By 2017, 80% of the CIO’s time will be focused on analytics, cybersecurity and creating new revenue streams through digital services.

2. By 2016, 65% of global competitive strategies will require real-time 3rdPlatform IT-as-a–Service (ITaaS).

3. By 2016, security will be a top 3 business priority for 70% of CEOs of global enterprises.

4. By 2015, 60% of CIOs will use DevOps as their primary tool to address the speed and sprawl of mobile, cloud, and open source applications.

5. By 2016, 80% of CIOs will deliver a new architectural framework that enables innovation and improved business decision-making.

6. By 2020, 60% of CIOs in global organizations will be supplanted by the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) for the delivery of IT-enabled products and digital services.

7. By 2016, 80% of CIOs will accelerate 3rd Platform migration to counter premature obsolescence of current IT assets.

8. By 2018, 30% of CIOs of global organizations will have rolled out a pan-enterprise data and analytics strategy.

9. By 2017, 35% of vendor sourcing relationships around 3rd Platform technologies will fail, causing CIOs to roll out new sourcing processes.

10. By 2018, 50% of CIOs will relinquish IT's traditional mode of technology control in favor of an open standards-based framework.

“The transformations brought about by the 3rd platform are having significant effects on how the business uses IT, how IT is delivered, and how the IT organization is structured. Insightful CIOs will seize the opportunity to be key players in this transformation and elevate their role in the enterprise” said Michael Rosen, Adjunct Research Advisor with IDC's Research Network.


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