Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Exercising Cybersecurity

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I had some epiphanies over the weekend.

Perhaps that’s because this was the first weekend I can remember being here at home in Austin for a full weekend.

It was also a humbling one. 

I desperately wanted to get in some exercise, but it was simply too hot outside.  Not being one for going to a gym, I resorted to my Time Warner digital cable channel, Exercise on Demand.  The last jazzercise I remember hearing about was Jane Fonda’s workout tapes.  It was never really my thing, jazzercise.

But after the workout I received from the two nice but athletically militant ladies against the Brooklyn backdrop, I’m not saying another denigrating thing about TV jazzercise.

I got out to a couple of movies as well.  “Predators” was one.  I don’t have much good to say about that one, except that Adrien Brody should change agents.

Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” was the other, of which I have lots of great things to say.  Only, my small and feeble brain is still trying to extrapolate and piece all the narrative pieces of that tapestry together, so I’m not quite sure what to say except to say I might have to see it again to be able to really grok the whole enchilada.

In fact, I may even have to sleep on it some more to even begin to realize the big picture, but I did get the gist of storyline, which was how Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Cobb had perfected a means by which to break into people’s dreams, with the goal to plant ideas and change outcomes in the real world.

In the meantime, I did some more exercise this AM, and one of the stories I heard on NPR while jogging around Austin’s steamy Town Lake this AM had to do with the U.S. not having enough cyberwarriors in training.

Though breaking into people’s dreams may be a thing of the future or of Hollywood, breaking into computer systems happens thousands of times a day. 

Which is why it was good to see IBM introduce a security appliance late last week that helps clients more easily adopt an IT infrastructure that is secure by design, rather than one that is insecure by accident!

Businesses today are facing a growing number of external security challenges, such as targeted attacks, worms, bots, intrusion attempts and phishing scams. 

And to my earlier point, the average company’s IT infrastructure is attacked 60,000 times per day. Network threats target vulnerabilities in systems, workstations and applications and can have a crippling financial effect, disrupting business processes and causing loss of confidential and proprietary information.

Recognizing these increasing threats, IBM is introducing a new security network intrusion prevention system (IPS) that consolidates intrusion prevention with data and web application security into a single, optimized appliance for faster, more accurate security protection.  The hardware appliance comes preloaded and preconfigured with IBM security software and extends the capabilities of the IBM X-Force research team to deliver high-performance network security at lower costs.

Unlike certain competitive solutions, the new IBM Security Network Intrusion Prevention System helps organizations take a more holistic approach to security, eliminating the need for multiple point solutions.  

Through a unified platform, clients can manage a variety of network security capabilities, such as automated Virtual Patch technology that can sense and block network threats, client-side application protection, data security, web application protection and application control.  By combining these capabilities into a single platform, IBM is making it easier for organizations to manage and help secure their networks.  

Emergency patching of security flaws requires unscheduled system downtime and can leave enterprises vulnerable until every system, workstation and application is patched. Despite the critical nature of these vulnerabilities that open the door to attacks, the 2009 IBM X-Force Trend and Risk Report reported that 52 percent of vulnerabilities had no vendor-supplied patch by year’s end.

For example, more than two years before the well publicized Conficker threat was discovered, IBM X-Force research identified the potential risk to enterprises from this type of threat and issued Virtual Patch protection, giving clients preemptive protection of their systems and workstations.

For the top 61 security threats in 2009, IBM X-Force delivered the necessary protection an average of 340 days before the vulnerability was publicly disclosed.

The new solution is built upon Virtual Patch technology and powered by IBM X-Force research, giving customers direct access to the latest security updates they need to block threats even before the vendor-supplied patches are applied.

Enterprises can deploy and manage IBM Security Network IPS on their own, or rely on expertise from IBM Managed Security Services to help reduce the cost of running their security operations.

IBM’s approach to security helps customers manage risk from end-to-end, across all five security focus areas: data and information; application and process; people and identity; network, server and end point; and physical infrastructure.

Visit here to view IBM’s portfolio of workload optimized systems and appliances.

Written by turbotodd

July 19, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Posted in cybersecurity

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