Month: April 2017

Americans ignorant on cybersecurity, Pew poll shows

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By: Shaun Waterman, Cyberscoop

March 23, 2017      

                     

Most Americans don’t understand the security measures that can keep them safe online, according to new data from the Pew Research Center.

A survey published [mid-March] shows a large majority of Americans can pick the strongest password off a list and know that public WiFi isn’t safe. But only a third knew what HTTPS (the green padlock next to the web address bar) means, and only one in ten could distinguish two-factor authentication from other forms of login security.

The survey, of 1,055 American adults, was conducted last June for the center. It consisted of a 13-question pop quiz respondents took online.

The questions “cover many of the general concepts and basic building blocks that cybersecurity experts stress are important for users to protect themselves online,” said the center in an analysis. The multiple choice questions ranged from selecting the strongest password from a list, to identifying which login screen showed two-factor authentication, as opposed to other forms of non-password security.

The typical, or median, respondent was able to answer just over five questions correctly, the center found — an average of 5.5 correct answers. The most important predictor of success was education. And there was little variation for age.

“Indeed, on a number of these questions internet users age 65 and older are just as knowledgeable as those ages 18 to 29,” states the center’s analysis. For instance, older and younger users are equally likely to be able to identify a phishing attack or pick the most secure password from a list.

But younger users tended to score higher on more technical questions— like whether turning off GPS on a smartphone disables all location tracking.

pew survey

Overall, 18-29 year-olds correctly answered an average of six out of 13 questions, compared with an average of five among those 65 and older.

But those with college degrees or higher education answered an average of seven of the 13 questions correctly, compared to an average of just four for those with high school diplomas or less.

Three-quarters of respondents (75 percent) correctly picked the strongest password from a list of alternatives that included 12345. Almost as many (73 percent) correctly responded when asked whether a password-protected public wifi is secure enough to conduct banking or other sensitive transactions on (it isn’t).

But of the four questions answered correctly by one third or fewer of respondents, three of them relate to security measures that experts believe are vital to online safety: The secure hypertext protocol known as https; the use of virtual private networks or VPNs; and the use of two-factor identity authentication.

The four questions were:

  • Correctly identifying the meaning of the green padlock-in-the-browser and the internet address beginning https from a list of four alternatives — answered correctly by just 33 percent of respondents;
  • Picking the correct definition of a botnet from a list — 16 percent;
  • Knowing that a VPN protects your internet traffic on a public wifi connection — 13 percent; and
  • Correctly distinguishing the login screen that shows two-factor authentication via SMS text from screens that show other additional security measures — 10 percent. This question was also answered incorrectly by 71 percent of respondents, more than three times as many as the next most frequently wrongly answered question.

The center says that its online survey was carefully weighted to include Americans without internet access.

“The survey was conducted in English and Spanish by the GfK Group using KnowledgePanel, its nationally representative online research panel,” the center says in a note on its methodology.

KnowledgePanel members are recruited over the phone and via mail and “KnowledgePanel provides internet access for those who do not have it and, if needed, a device to access the internet when they join the panel,” states the center.

The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points for results based on the full sample.

 

 

Seamless File Sharing: Dream or Reality

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graphic-byodDo you have employees that regularly work offsite? If so, are they frequently accessing company files for updates and sending them back and forth for approvals and changes? There’s a continued increase in remote and mobile workforces with employees using their own devices creating unintentional security issues. Remote workers find themselves in constant email mode in an effort to stay on top of updated documentation, and often save information as files on personal computer drives.

Because remote workers need a shared location they can access from anywhere, mobile file sharing has become increasingly commonplace and most companies are familiar with, or have likely used unsecure, consumer-based cloud storage solutions such as DropboxTM or Google Docs.  With so much content to process, managers need to be able to configure access rights and track changes to content. Work groups can’t rely on document naming conventions to track versions, since documents are changed by multiple team members. Groups need automatic and intuitive document versioning tools that track changes and allow team members to easily identify the appropriate version of a given set of information.

Whether mobile or onsite, your employees need to work and collaborate efficiently, and expect complete device flexibility with seamless access to and transfer of documents between their colleagues. But, if you haven’t provided a company-approved file sharing solution with enhanced corporate file management capabilities, your employees will resort to using standard document naming conventi
ons and unmanaged consumer file-sharing options to meet their business needs, putting your business data and confidential information at significant risk.

Our File Sync and Sharing (FSS) solution provides you with secure self-service and automation so your files can be retrieved, recovered and edited without IT intervention. Plus, our endpoint data protection reduces IT burden, improves end-user productivity and keeps your corporate data protected.

With so many team members working on so many different projects, teams need a common platform that allows them to communicate with one another in real time. While communicating over email and using a set of chat tools that has served business in the past, the most competitive organizations are now opting for tools that allow both group communication and one-on-one exchanges to function in a consistent manner across the project team.

Additionally, security is a primary issue among many organizations subject to compliance or other industry regulations and need to demonstrate adherence to information management requirements.

Six-Month Retention

Typically, when you edit a file using your existing content management program and save it, the file is available for all end users to view and provide additional edits. Each new version is expected to overwrite the last. But, our solution goes one step further: it can open previous versions of a file for up to six months and allows for document version control and quick, easy content search and retrieval. A complete listing of all versions of the file will be made available to you along with the author’s name and file size.

When considering a content management tool, consider the advantages and features of ITG’s File Sync and Sharing (FSS) solution. It provides integrated mobile document management (MDM) and device security, access to shared server files while on the road and from any smart device, and the ability for system administrators to manage users, shared connections, and disconnect and wipe a compromised device, such as a lost cell phone. It features the most current file encryption while in transit and at rest, is HIPPA compliant with no file size limit and features file editing capability via a web browser and its mobile app. When file edits are saved they are made instantly visible to all members of the project. Once a file is saved, a new version is created giving users the ability to revert to any state of that file within the last six months.

If you feel the need to justify the purchase of our FSS solution, consider contacting one of our clients for their feedback on how we have helped them address their own sets of challenges in content management.  Contact us at info@itgcorporation.com.

Build a Virtual Environment

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Provide the foundation for delivering the highest caliber services to meet your business needs and support business growth.

Established businesses of late are faced with network infrastructures that are slow, inconsistent and disconnected across all locations. Outdated servers delay systems causing aggravated problems when running backups. Attempts by remote workers to access company file servers frequently result in time-draining troubleshooting.

Enter the digital workspace. Businesses are increasingly turning to virtual environments in an effort to maintain direct control of their own hardware and software.

“Ownership models, cloud computing and concepts like self-service have disrupted the traditional model for end-user computing. Today’s mobile-cloud era users increasingly leverage a portfolio of heterogeneous devices and applications as well as a growing set of enterprise resources and services through wireless connections and unpredictable security environments. As the possibilities have increased in this era, so too have the expectations that these applications and resources will be available anytime and anywhere, successfully making a workforce more effective in how they serve the business and their customers.

At ITG we build your company’s virtual environment around your data usage, performance and uptime requirements, then automatically manage and monitor that infrastructure ensuring seamless efficiency.

With the amalgamation of users, applications, operating systems and devices within the workforce, the digital landscape is now much more complex and difficult to manage. Microsoft apps and desktop PCs no longer dominate the workplace; BlackBerry adoption rates continue to decline. Cloud-native, web and software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps are able to accomplish the same levels of productivity as legacy applications.

Given these trends and the state of innovation across the industry, the market requires a new model. Unlike the desktop of the client-server era, the digital workspace is not defined by a single image or a standard operating environment. It is the aggregation of all devices, applications and services required by users, securely managed and unified by common access and identity management, enabling IT to extend a dynamic experience to their users.” 1

This is essentially confirming that the days of rooms full of physical servers are gone. They have been replaced with virtual environments customized to house a company’s increased flow of data. Your company’s digital workspace should enable your employees and customers to accomplish work anytime, anywhere across smartphones, tablets, laptops, PCs, and virtual workstations.  Additionally, if your company has data that is legally required to remain on premise and inside your company’s firewalls, then a private cloud is the way to maintain compliance.

In 2016, 62 percent of executives deemed it a business priority to transform to a virtual environment. 2 Reasoning focused on improved team productivity, streamlined business processes, and significant cost reduction in supporting their mobile workforces. A 150 percent average ROI on adoption of virtual environments has been reported across the board.

1,263 IT decision makers, IT influencers, and business decision makers worldwide were surveyed to examine the progress of global organizations transitioning from the client-server era to the mobile-cloud era. The survey comprised of a blind market sample and used a 30-minute Web-based questionnaire. The participants represented a broad range of industries, titles, and company sizes.

Getting your virtual environment up-and-running, and doing it quickly, can come with its own set of challenges. When you choose ITG as your technology provider, you can be assured that your solution will be quickly installed utilizing the most efficient hardware. We will provision cloud services using a single interface and will provide the ability to auto-scale as demand from your growing business increases. You can be confident in the outcome knowing that our security and customer service are second to none in the industry.

Email info@itgcoporation.com to get started today.

 1,2 The State of the Digital Workspace, Vmware, December 2016