Tag Archives: Enterprise

What Is Changing The Game in Network Security?

Interview with Philippe Courtot, CEO, Qualys

Situation: Companies experiencing security breaches and data theft are regularly in the headlines. Those launching these attacks are increasingly well organized and very creative. What is changing the game in network security and how can you respond?

Advice from Philippe Courtot:

  • The movements from enterprise software to Software as a Service (SaaS), and from mainframes to PCs to mobile devices increase the challenges of protecting enterprise environments. Therefore, a cohesive technology platform is imperative.
  • Companies are sensitive to the possibility of attack at any time. There are three principal attack vectors: breach through web applications, breach through email and browsers, and breach by device. Between PCs, iPhones and Android devices, the PC is the most closely linked to the corporate intranet while often the most vulnerable because users are lax about updating their systems and applications.
  • Attackers often target a company executive or high level administrative assistant to access the user’s profile and passwords.  In one type of attack called spear fishing, the attacker creates emails tailored to the person targeted appearing to come from a colleague or friend. When the target clicks on the email, a small piece of code is inserted in the computer, which can give control to the attacker. Another way to gain control of a computer is through physical access. An attacker can learn about a pending vacation via Facebook or twitter, providing an opportunity for home invasion. Once the attacker has access to the computer, they can plant a control program on the system. When the user returns, the attackers can make fast, brief forays inserting additional code or taking data from the enterprise network. They may use the information themselves, or sell it to others.

Given these new realities, how does a company prevent attack?

  • First, the company must thoroughly analyze and understand their vulnerabilities which are all potential entry points for an attacker. Once vulnerabilities are mapped, work on a schedule to remediate them.
  • Second, you must educate all users about the threats. This is especially critical for any personnel who have access to secure company data.
  • Third, invest in and build additional defenses to shield all remaining vulnerabilities. Make sure that employees are drilled on the defenses and that they are used. One growing trend is the use of two factor authentication, requiring employees to carry token generation devices with them to use in addition to their password. These tokens can be delivered by smart phone.

You can contact Philippe Courtot at pcourtot@qualys.com

Key Words:  Network, Security, Breach, Data, Theft, Response, Mainframe, PC, Mobile, Enterprise, Environment, Criminal, Government, Attack, Vector, Social Network, Email, Browser, Web, Application, Device, Spear Fishing, Executive, Assistant, Profile, Password, Vulnerability, Educate, Defense, ID

How Do You Bridge The Supply Demand Gap?

Interview with Jim Hogan, CEO, SView LLC

Situation: The rapid evolution of mobile devices creates new opportunities to build mobile enterprise application businesses. However for businesses there is no clear path to mobilizing business applications. How do you bridge the gap between supply and demand in mobile enterprise apps?

Advice:

  • There are three legs to the stool of a successful SMB business model: developer platform, go to market strategy, and licensing and maintenance sales strategy. There is a consolidation play available for a small company that can generate traction in all three.
  • As to developer platforms, Microsoft originally got traction for Windows by being maniacal about building great developer relationships. Over time they leveraged this and just got better and better.
    • There are several platforms available that show promise, including Rhomobile, Mobile Nation HQ, and Appcelerator.
    • All are small now – in the $1-20 million revenue range. Their principal challenge is identifying a viable go to market strategy.
    • Another platform that shows promise is IBM’s Eclipse IDE.
  • Next is go to market strategies. Yahoo recently launched a search engine for mobile apps in Yahoo for Mobile. This is important to the creation of a viable market place for apps regardless of platform. If a viable platform developer can do a deal to generate a market for business apps this will go a long way to developing a successful go to market strategy.
  • The third leg, development of a long-term licensing and maintenance sales strategy, will most likely occur through acquisition of a company with the first two pieces. The lead would be an initial developer platform but could spin off to others.
    • Apple has started looking into this play with its iCloud strategy; the challenge for Apple will be making it enterprise-friendly.
    • Who else could do this? RIM and Microsoft both have a long history serving business customers, huge customer bases and  and the marketing capabilities to support mobile business applications. The wild card may be HP – currently the largest hardware purveyor in the enterprise and consumer space, and with the new WebOs platform from their purchase of Palm
  • It will be fascinating to watch how this market develops.

You can contact Jim Hogan at jahogan@jahogan.net

Key Words: Mobile, Device, Enterprise, Application, App, Opportunity, Scalable, B2C, Gap, Supply, Demand, Developer, Platform, Go to Market, Licensing, Maintenance Sales, Rhomobile, Mobile Nation HQ, Appcelerator, Microsoft, Yahoo, RIM, HP, Palm

What Are The Barriers to Companies Moving to The Cloud?

Interview with Jim Kaskade, Global Executive (most recently SVP and General Manger, SIOS Technologies, Inc.)

Situation: Cloud computing as a concept dates back to the 1960s. “Cloud” became a more prominent concept in 1990s as a metaphor for service delivery over the Internet. The technology that makes it a practical reality has advanced significantly. Broad business adoption, however, has varied depending on the deployment architectures used. What are some of the barriers to enterprises “crossing the chasm” and embracing moving to the cloud?

Advice:

  • Definitions: There are three cloud deployment architectures or market segments when defining the opportunities and barriers to entry:
    • Software as a Service – SaaS – represented by distinct B2B applications like Salesforce.com and Google Apps, and B2C applications like Apple’s iCloud.
    • Platform as a Service – PaaS – represented by application platforms targeted at application developers and including Microsoft Azure and Amazon Beanstalk.
    • Infrastructure as a Service – IaaS – represented by on-demand access to low-level IT infrastructure such as virtualized computer, storage, and networking infrastructure.
  • The elephant in the room is that, relative to global IT spend, use of public cloud is in its infancy.
  • Adoption of the cloud varies by business size and IT structure.
  • Start-ups – particularly technology start-ups – use all three segments. The rationale is simple. It is easier and conserves capital to use all three delivery segments as an expense rather than invest in IT infrastructure. Another benefit is time to market.
  • Mid-sized companies  – up to hundreds of employees – have more challenges.
    • They start with SaaS applications to get their feet wet. Primary concerns are availability and security. If they have good, dependable Internet access, barriers to entry can be low.
    • Using a PaaS is also attractive but begins to compete with internal, existing platforms. Mid-sized companies typically have their own IT and developers who may prefer an internal platform. The company’s choices are also limited to a PaaS system that is similar to current development platforms.
    • The barrier to IaaS adoption is the IT staff itself. If the IT staff is savvy, they can maintain and run their internal data center less expensively than IaaS services. The question comes down to whether building and maintaining a “crazy smart” IT group is core to the company’s business model.
  • Enterprise companies – Fortune 100s or even 1,000s – have far greater challenges.
    • Their current IT model already has moved to a mix of 30% in-house and 70% outsourced with partners like CSC and Accenture.
    • Most Enterprise CIOs begin their use of “cloud” with a migration to SaaS. The barriers to PaaS are that their systems are tailored to customer-specific applications and internal infrastructure, limiting PaaS use to small, non-critical applications which require quick, global deployment.
    • The barriers to using IaaS services are similar to PaaS, where CIOs struggle with tradeoffs between agility and issues of cost, security, and availability.
    • The Achilles’ heel of these companies is that 80% of their IT spend is just keeping the lights on.
  • The implications of all this are that the cloud is ideally for small to medium companies, some of which will become large enterprises. If you can succeed with a migration of legacy applications to cloud-based services you will become more nimble in responding to customer’s needs – the biggest upside to cloud services in general.

You can contact Jim Kaskade at jim.kaskade@gmail.com

Key Words: Cloud Computing, Adoption, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, iCloud, Business Size, IT, Structure, Staff, Applications, Cost, Nimble, Availability, Security, Chasm, Start-up, Mid-Size, Enterprise, Outsource, Partner, Data Center, Legacy