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The Sixth Flag Launches a Highly Secure Desktop As A Service for the Enterprise

March 26, 2015 Comments off

Raleigh, N.C. – March 25, 2015 – The Sixth Flag, Inc. (TSF), an emerging new technology firm, today released its web-based, HTML-rendered Desktop-as-a-Service that requires no dedicated hardware. The offering provides a unique solution specifically designed to address the increasing challenges faced by today’s distributed workforce. With nothing more than a browser, users can access their cloud-based corporate desktop, whether from a laptop, PC desktop or tablet.  Because user data is not stored on the local device, loss of a device does not represent compromised sensitive company data.

According to Pete Kofod, co-founder and CEO at TSF, “Our solution targets mobile users, contract, seasonal and temporary personnel as well as select employees that are targeted for corporate espionage.”

“Taken together, those groups of corporate technology users consume disproportionate resources to prevent security breaches and mitigate data risk. When you include the compliance requirements and  capital costs associated with asset management, organizations of all sizes face serious challenges when dealing with the complexities of managing the desktops of a globally distributed work force.”

“The prevailing ‘solutions’ today are limited to one-offs,” Kofod explains. “Corporate technology departments need to be flexible in resource allocation, yet a significant part of the overall budget is the capital outlay towards corporate desktops, forcing IT staff to continuously support one-off solutions for these emerging requirements, which are neither practical nor cost effective.”

Unlike other vendors offering Desktop-as-a-Service solutions, The Sixth Flag is specifically designed to serve the remote enterprise user.   “What we do is pretty straight forward,” Kofod continues. “we offer secure, easy-to-manage desktops to remote users without breaking the bank.”

According to David Kinghorn, co-founder and chief technology officer, by using TSF’s solution, organizations can manage the configuration and software installed on the desktop, including popular office productivity and line of business applications. TSF supports a complete Microsoft-based desktop user experience, including print and file management and more.

“With our offering, all you need is a current web browser,” he says. “This includes all desktops as well as tablets, because we do not rely on any plugin or download.”

At the end of every computing session, all user information is encrypted, stored and the desktop is, in effect, destroyed. Subsequently, every time a user logs in, they receive a fresh desktop with their data and settings intact. Kinghorn points out that any persistent threat that has found its way on to the desktop is deleted along with the desktop at the session’s end.

Exclusive to the TSF offering is a patent-pending “watermark” function. The unique pattern is overlaid on the screen session, discouraging users from leaking sensitive data by photographing or capturing desktop screen shots.  “We received requests for this feature from firms that have been significantly harmed by unauthorized leaks,” says Kofod.

TSF supports Active Directory authentication.  System administrators can implement traditional desktop group policies.  Additionally, the administrators can also restrict uploads/downloads, Internet access, printing, copy and paste, as well as other functions using the TSF administrative console.

In its most restrictive configuration, TSF is comparable to a “clean room” in biotech. What happens on that desktop cannot leave. It can’t be sent via email or saved to cloud-based file storage.

“When high-risk groups collaborate using The Sixth Flag, they are in essence fenced off, without any meaningful drop-off in productivity,” he says. “Even if they pick up malware, it disappears when they sign off.”

No capital investment or long-term commitment is required.  From service costs, to desktop licensing, TSF rolls all those costs into a monthly fee.  For organizations that have seasonal, temporary or contract workers, there is no need to make a long term investment to meet short term requirements.

With today’s increasing demand for “bring your own device” (BYOD) working environments, IT departments face the challenge of maintaining internal controls through a standardized corporate platform. TSF enables full BYOD, eliminating the need to provide and manage end-user physical desktops, while facilitating standardization and significantly reducing capital expenditures on desktop hardware.

“Best of all,” Shane Yocum, Vice President of Business Development notes, “TSF can be deployed for an organization in as little as 20 minutes.  A recent use case is a customer wanting to set up a disaster recovery environment.  There is no way to do that cost effectively using traditional DaaS licensing,” he notes, “but we have a DR licensing model that allows organizations to maintain a Desktop DR environment very economically.”

About The Sixth Flag, Inc.

The Sixth Flag Inc, is a Raleigh, North Carolina-based  Desktop-as-a-Service firm for global teams and organizations in need of Remote Desktop Management solutions.  Launched in 2015, TSF provides a web-based, cost effective and secure throw away desktop for today’s global, mobile teams. Its cloud-based, HTML-rendered Desktop-as-a-Service requires no dedicated hardware, thereby eliminating the need for organizations to spend on capital outlay. With nothing more than a browser, users can access their corporate desktop from anywhere in the world, whether from a laptop, desktop, or tablet.  Because user data is not stored on the local device, loss of a device does not represent compromise of sensitive organizational data. For more information, visit www.thesixthflag.com

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New Dell KACE K1000 Appliance Delivers ‘Anypoint’ Management

January 27, 2015 Comments off

DellRound Rock, Texas – January 27, 2105 – Dell today announced the newest version of its award-winning Dell KACE K1000 Systems Management Appliance, which includes new and enhanced functionality to further transform how organizations discover, configure, secure and manage computers and devices in multi-platform environments. Dell KACE K1000 version 6.3 features first-to-market systems management support of Chromebook, with seamless integration of inventory integrated directly into the K1000’s asset management, reporting and service desk capabilities.

This latest release also gives IT greater insight and control with new agentless inventory of Windows servers and PCs, as well as an option to integrate server monitoring logs and alerts for Windows, Linux and Unix servers. Additionally, enhanced agentless device discovery and asset management of any connected device offer a wealth of actionable data to help customers better manage their “Enterprise of Things.”

The Dell KACE K1000 v6.3 is a major step forward in providing “anypoint” management under a single pane of glass. “With the proliferation of mobile and smart devices connected to corporate networks, it is imperative for organizations to make systems management a top priority,” said David Kloba, vice president and general manager of Endpoint Systems Management for Dell. “We’re redefining systems management by delivering a comprehensive, easy-to-deploy anypoint management solution for hundreds to tens of thousands of computers and devices, helping IT to significantly reduce costs.”

To help organizations address the surge of mobile devices, BYOD and Internet of Things (IoT) in the workplace, Dell Software sponsored a Dimensional Research survey in December 2014. More than 700 IT professionals worldwide assessed the biggest challenges companies face in managing a never-ending onslaught of network-connected devices.

Key findings include:

  • In addition to traditional computing devices, 96 percent of those surveyed had printing devices, 84 percent had mobile devices, 78 percent had telephonic devices and 53 percent had audio-visual devices connected to their networks.
  • Nearly 90 percent of the respondents expect the total number or the total types of devices requiring management to increase in the next three years.
  • More than half of the survey respondents had three or more systems management tools; 67 percent of those polled wanted to use fewer systems.
  • Security, the ability to monitor device/application performance, and asset management were the top three concerns for addressing increased types and numbers of devices.
  • More than 60 percent of the survey participants were sure, or suspected, that there were unknown devices or applications connected to their networks.

 

Securely Manage Anypoint Systems and Devices with Dell KACE Systems Management
The Dell KACE K1000 v6.3 helps customers clear major obstacles caused by the sharp rise in the number and types of devices connected to corporate networks. With Dell KACE, organizations can alleviate security and compliance concerns while replacing multiple point solutions or manual processes with a single appliance that automates and integrates critical systems management functionality.

Benefits of the new Dell KACE K1000 include:

  • Integration of Chromebook data greatly simplifies daily administrative, security and systems management of Chrome devices.
  • Agentless asset management of Windows systems enables companies to easily manage server hardware and software without worrying about agent-based performance concerns.
  • Integrated server log monitoring offers greater oversight without requiring extensive training or special expertise.
  • Greater visibility through enhanced agentless technology produces actionable insights into a broad spectrum of non-computer devices such as printers, projectors, network routers and switches—all from a single console.

The Dell KACE K1000 v6.3 also streamlines patch management with real-time and roll-up status reporting. Additional enhancements include service desk improvements, greater integration with Dell Enterprise Mobility Management via single sign-on, and software asset management extensions for supporting more license types as well as an inventory of applications installed within Microsoft App-V.

Supporting Quotes

Dave Perry, technical operations manager, Denver Museum of Nature and Science
“The newest Dell KACE K1000 allows us to discover, configure, secure and support 600 computers, hundreds of network switches and printers, as well as automatic electronic device and powerful projection systems in our interactive exhibits, immersive classrooms and planetarium. With more than 1.3 million visitors each year, including 2,000 students each day and up to 20 events each week, it’s crucial to provide the highest level of support for Museum and research operations. With Dell KACE, we are more responsive, efficient and effective in managing and maintaining everything connected to the Museum’s network.”

Stephen Carr, chief technology officer, Ventura County Office of Education
“We continually seek new ways to increase both the efficiency and effectiveness of managing network-connected devices across 21 public school districts and a K-12 student population that current exceeds 140,000 students. As many of our smaller school districts are eager to take advantage of economical Chromebook deployments, having a simple solution for managing Chromebooks along with other computer systems and devices enables Ventura County to deliver a higher level of service to our school districts. With Dell KACE, we can best meet the needs of our schools while reducing IT administration.”

Steve Van Ginkel, director of business development, Sterling Computers Corporation
“As an award-winning member of Dell’s PartnerDirect channel program, we are committed to delivering the latest and most innovative solutions to overcome today’s complex IT challenges. With the newest release of the Dell KACE K1000, we can offer unprecedented visibility and control of ever-increasing network-connected devices in a simple, easy-to-use appliance. For our education customers, the ability to incorporate data from the Chromebook management console directly into Dell KACE for integrated inventory, asset, service desk, and reporting will yield significant IT time and cost savings.”

IDC, “Worldwide and U.S. Phone, Tablet, PC and Connected Consumer 2015 Top 10 Projections”
“Google continues to pour resources into its Chromebook efforts, and in 2014, those efforts began to drive real shipment growth, with totals increasing to a forecast of 6 million units for the year (up from 2.6 million units for the full year 2013). In 2015, the company will look to expand its Chromebook footprint, partnering with additional hardware vendors as well as new processor suppliers in an effort to drive hardware prices even lower. As a result, we expect Chromebook vendors to ship more than 9 million units in 2015.”[1]

Pricing and Availability

  • Dell KACE K1000 v6.3 is available as a physical, virtual or hosted appliance. Dell KACE K1000 pricing is $8,900 for the physical or virtual appliance and 100 managed systems – computers or servers. The K1000 as a Service is available for $6.50 per managed computer per month.
  • Existing Dell KACE K1000 customers can upgrade to the latest version at no additional cost. In addition to agentless technology, patching and service desk improvements, customers receive single sign-on capabilities with Dell Enterprise Mobility Management and one server monitoring license.
  • An additional charge of $2,000 supports up to 200 licenses for server monitoring. The license cost for managing Chromebooks and non-computing devices is $1,250 for up to 250 devices.
  • The Dell KACE K1000 is sold direct by Dell and through an extensive network of Dell certified channel partners.

 

About the Survey

  • In December 2014, a global database of IT professionals was emailed an invitation to participate in an online survey on the topic of managing endpoints in changing IT environments.
  • A total of 723 individuals completed the survey. Participants included a variety of stakeholders, including IT executives, managers, front-line IT professionals, and others representing a wide range of company sizes and industry verticals.

 

Dell KACE Delivers Comprehensive Anypoint Systems Management
The award-wining Dell KACE systems management appliances provide comprehensive, easy-to-use and affordable solutions for securing and maintaining critical IT assets. Only Dell ESM delivers endpoint systems management capabilities in an appliance-based architecture that simplifies deployment and ensures fast time to value. Dell KACE also provides best-of-class systems management capabilities as part of Dell’s Enterprise Mobility Managementsolution. For more information, visit www.dell.com/kace.

About Dell
Dell Inc. listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com.

Dell is a trademark of Dell Inc. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.

Embracing BYOD and BYON to Reduce Risks

September 11, 2014 Comments off

SysAidBy Sarah Lahav, CEO, SysAid Technologies

The “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend has received a lot of attention in business circles, but BYON – “bring your own network” – is another security risk IT teams should be working proactively to address. In fact, BYON is a far graver threat to corporate security than BYOD, and the best way to counter the risks associated with BYON is to fully embrace BYOD.

Company IT professionals and security officers are right to be concerned about the risks of BYOD and BYON: Lax security practices such as failure to use strong passwords can put sensitive company data at risk when it is stored on employee devices. And the use of unsecured BYON connections can leave confidential data exposed when employees transmit messages or log in to company portals.

 

But trying to address the risks associated with BYOD and BYON by banning the use of personal devices in the workplace will ultimately prove to be a nonstarter. An increasingly mobile workforce is transforming the way business is conducted, and always-on, always-connected mobile devices are driving the change. In fact, industry analyst Gartner predicts that by 2017, half of employers will stop providing devices to employees altogether and require staff to use their personal devices on the job.

The reason many companies are embracing BYOD is that, in theory, it delivers a win-win: Employees win because they get to use the devices they choose that are increasingly an integral part of their daily lives, and employers win because BYOD expands access to employees and increases job satisfaction. But without robust IT support, neither employees nor employers can achieve a clear win. Instead, employees take chances with company data via BYON connections, leaving employers exposed to more liabilities, which transforms a potential win-win into a lose-lose proposition.

BYOD is inevitable. The IT team’s customers – their employer and its employees – are increasingly demanding the flexibility it delivers. So to address the risks, IT needs to embrace BYOD now, while the trend is evolving, and prepare for emerging technologies like wearables, which will affect enterprise security in the future.

IT departments can counter the threat of BYON by providing WiFi access for employee-owned devices, which gives IT professionals greater control over security. IT departments can provide across-the-board support for social platforms and apps, which will give them a chance to review security protocols. In return for enabling IT to gain greater control over device and network security, employees will receive support, creating a win-win scenario.

In a rapidly evolving technology environment, many IT teams are struggling to keep up, looking for ways to protect their companies and provide the services their customers demand. The BYOD and BYON trends pose daunting challenges for IT, and it’s understandable that the first impulse would be to try to keep the risks at bay by banning the use of personal devices on the job. But these trends aren’t a passing fad: BYOD is a sea-change in IT.

Because the use of personal devices in every facet of life is gaining momentum and will be bolstered by emerging technologies, the time is now for IT organizations to embrace and manage the change. As is often the case in business, identifying what the customer demands and shifting strategies to meet their requirements turns out to be a smart move – for the company, for the customer and for those involved in providing support.

80 Percent of IT Administrators Fear Exposure Through Mobile Devices

June 5, 2014 Comments off

GFI SoftwareDURHAM, N.C., June 4, 2014 – GFI Software™ today announced the findings of an extensive independent research project examining the “Internet of Things” (IoT) and the impact IT administrators expect from the increased volume of internet-enabled and addressable devices on their network. Respondents overwhelmingly cited greater exposure to existing and undiscovered threats, particularly from mobile devices, as among their most pressing concerns about the onward march of the Internet of Things into their organization.

The survey of 202 IT decision makers in U.S. workplaces employing up to 250 people was conducted by Opinion Matters for GFI Software, and revealed that the growing relevance of IoT for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) means growing security threats, greater device management challenges and increased costs for IT management.

Analysts expect the number of devices – or “things” – that will connect to the Internet to grow radically by 2020, with Gartner estimating that 26 billion addressable devices will find a home on a corporate network. This spike in connected devices will create billions of new unsecured endpoints that will in turn produce new vectors of attack designed to either compromise the device or gain access to the infrastructure.

Disruption is a significant concern, as 96.5 percent of IT decision makers surveyed said that IoT would produce at least some negative impacts for their organizations, with more than half (55 percent) saying it will impose new security threats while extending existing threats to a greater number of devices. Furthermore, 30 percent said IoT will result in an increased IT spend, while 26.7 percent expected device management to spiral out of control as a result of the rise of IoT. 14 percent expect that deploying patches across multiple platforms will present a particular challenge.

“The research findings reveal that the Internet of Things will transform business security, as even standard employee devices could present an opportunity for exploitation and pose a real danger to organizations if they are connected to the Internet without proper security protections,” said Sergio, Galindo, general manager, infrastructure business unit at GFI Software. “With billions of devices poised to connect to the Internet, organizations are exposed to billions of insecure new endpoints that can compromise the network. The key takeaway is clear: IT organizations must plan effectively to ensure adequate operating system, firmware and patch support within the new IoT age.”

A Sea-Change for IT Administration

Each new modern innovation requires adaption to new technologies – not only to take advantage of the new opportunities, but also to adjust to the new problems that inevitably arise from it. So it goes with the Internet of Things, as more than three-quarters (78.6 percent) of IT administrators expect their security practices to change as a result of IoT. Among these changes, nearly one-third (30  percent) expect to have to revise policies about connectivity in the workplace to manage this adaption.

Going Mobile: Danger Ahead

The increasingly prominent role wireless devices play in the daily lives of employees results in greater security risks in general for an organization. When it comes to IoT, the risks from mobile devices become particularly acute, according to survey respondents, 81.7 percent of whom indicated that mobile devices create the most potential as a point of exploitation in the IoT age.

Build That Wall

Existing anti-spam, anti-virus and anti-malware infrastructure may not do the job of protecting against the multitude of risks posed by the billions of insecure new endpoints. When asked to rank priority areas of security focus, 45 percent of IT decision makers surveyed pointed to firewalls as their very top priority, while 35.7 percent cited mobile device management. Anti-virus was cited as a top priority by less than a fifth (18.7 percent) of respondents.

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About GFI

GFI Software™ develops quality IT solutions for small to mid-sized businesses with generally up to 1,000 users. GFI® offers two main technology solutions: GFI MAX™, which enables managed service providers (MSPs) to deliver superior services to their customers; and GFI Cloud™, which empowers companies with their own internal IT teams to manage and maintain their networks via the cloud. Serving an expanding customer base of more than 200,000 companies, GFI’s product line also includes collaboration, network security, anti-spam, patch management, faxing, mail archiving and web monitoring. GFI is a channel-focused company with thousands of partners throughout the world. The company has received numerous awards and industry accolades, and is a longtime Microsoft® Gold ISV Partner.

 

Ken Hess’ Topics of Interest

January 17, 2014 Comments off

I am always looking for article ideas and topics from readers, companies, PR folks, friends, and techies. This page is where I post my current needs. I have a variety of venues for articles. I decide where I post the information according to interest, audience, and other factors.

If a topic is posted here, I’m interested in interviews, discussions, podcasts, infographics, ideas, and data related to it. Feel free to contact me via email (ken-at-kenhess-dot-com) or Twitter (@kenhess) to continue the dialog. Please read the complete list of needs and the list of things I’m not looking for.

CURRENT NEEDS:

Internet of Things & Machine to machine communications

  • Users
  • Use cases
  • Case studies
  • Infographics
  • Statistics
  • Perspectives
  • Security
  • Pain Points
  • Successes
  • Clever applications

Security

  • Breaches, thefts, hacks
  • Vulnerabilities
  • Successes
  • Costs and cost data
  • Challenges

Virtualization

  • Special virtualized workloads
  • Interesting applications
  • Challenges
  • New frontiers
  • Cloud applications

Consumerization/BYOD

  • Solutions
  • Challenges
  • Success stories
  • Pain points
  • Productivity Apps
  • Security

Big Data

  • Case studies
  • Statistics
  • Users
  • Alternatives
  • Challenges
  • Solutions

Offshore outsourcing

  • Failures
  • Expose’
  • Non-performance issues
  • Challenges
  • Cost vs. return
  • Scams, deals gone wrong, security problems

Technical Startup Companies

  • Profiles
  • Innovations
  • Technology overview
  • David and Goliath stories
  • Successes

NOT CURRENTLY LOOKING FOR:

Funding information
Partnerships/Strategic Partnerships
Healthcare-related
Fashion-related
Food-related

False Pretense Films

Film Noir with a Modern Twist

I'm Just Trying to Help

Helpful Hints, Tips, Tricks, and Info

5K a Day 2017

Our 2017 fitness goal

The securityNOW Podcast Show

Cybersecurity News and Interviews

LoneStarFreedomPress

Phoenix Republic - The Lone Star Gambit / Sovereign's Journey

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