Top 5 best data loss prevention software in 2017

We’re collectively creating a massive amount of data on a daily basis. In fact, according to research from tech giant IBM, our devices generate around 2.5 quintillion bytes of the stuff every day.

Businesses are no different. In fact, their need for privacy is probably even greater. Companies collect masses of information, such as customer orders and communication between employees. If this is suddenly leaked onto the internet, or if it gets into the wrong hands the consequences can be severe. At the least it’s a PR disaster waiting to happen, at worst you could break the law

This is why data loss prevention (DLP) is a crucial area for businesses. You’ve likely come across this term before if you’re a business owner or work in technology. Essentially, it refers to a strategy that organisations use to ensure that sensitive information doesn’t end up outside the corporate walls. But the term also extends to software and tools that can be used to control who has access to certain data and how it’s managed, and in this article we’re going to look at some of the very best services out there.

  • Symantec is well-known for its cybersecurity offerings, both in the consumer and business world. Its Data Loss Prevention product helps you monitor and protect valuable business information and assets. With this scalable software suite, you can see where data is stored throughout your business, taking into account cloud, mobile, and multiple endpoints.

    There’s also the ability to see and control how your data is used, regardless if your employees are online or offline. The system puts safeguards in place to ensure data is never leaked or stolen, wherever it’s stored – and that includes a host of cloud apps, with coverage of over 60 of these including popular offerings such as Box, Dropbox, Google Apps, Salesforce and Office 365.

    Trustwave’s DLP solution provides companies with the tools they need to discover, monitor and secure data while complying with internal and external regulations.

    The system has been designed so that it’s ready to be used straight out of the box, offering over 70 predefined policy and risk settings, which you can adjust and turn on (or off) according to your everyday business needs. As well as these, you get a configurable dashboard, so you can easily see where your data is located and put mechanisms in place to protect it.

    Analysis plays a big role in this platform. Trustwave will monitor all web-based documents and attachments that come into your business, including emails, blogs and social media posts. They’re analysed for violations of company governance and compliance. The system will automatically block any violations, keeping your data safe.

    This offering from McAfee (part of Intel Security) is, like some other systems, highly scalable and can be tailored for the needs of your company. The big difference, though, is that it places an emphasis on forensic analysis.

    Indeed, McAfee Total Protection for DLP goes a step further than most by exploring ways that data may have been leaked in the absence of internal compliance rules and regulations. That’s handy for firms that may not have concrete corporate rules in place.

    Another great thing about this solution is that it’s an intelligent system which can identify and prioritise more sensitive data. There’s also location and application tagging, which makes it easier to put data protection strategies in place.

    Check Point’s DLP offering – called the sever sounding Data Loss Prevention Software Blade – combines a variety of different cybersecurity processes to help businesses prevent data from being leaked or sent accidentally to the wrong person. It aims to educate users on the risk of data loss and help them respond to incidents as quickly as possible.

    This is a less complicated system than some of the others listed here, sporting a centralised management console for security policies. There are also a few preconfigured rules, so you don’t have to worry about creating new ones if you don’t have the time or technical knowledge. You can sign up for a free trial of Check Point Data Loss Prevention, too.

    Digital Guardian DLP is one of the broadest data loss prevention systems you can get. It’s been designed to work with Windows, Mac and Linux endpoints, which is perfect if you use a plethora of desktop systems within your firm. As soon as you set it up, it’ll begin tagging and classifying datasets, a process that can otherwise prove time-consuming.

    Flexibility and scalability are strengths of this particular DLP offering. In terms of the former, you can deploy the Digital Guardian platform on-premise, or as a cloud-based system, or indeed a hybrid of both. And when it comes to scaling, a single management server can cover up to 250,000 users, no less. Not that your business is likely to have that many employees, but if you need a system that scales well, then this is obviously worth bearing in mind.

    Digital Guardian also boasts a series of add-ons which can extend the product and offer elements like advanced encryption for better data protection.

          

Top 5 best application performance management (APM) solutions in 2017

It’s safe to say that computers and other IT hardware are critical in business operations. If physical technology is slow or breaks down, then firms can end up missing deadlines and targets, causing a whole heap of trouble. And the same thing goes for software applications – companies need them to work effectively, as they rely on them.

Sometimes, amidst the chaos of huge workloads and strict deadlines, it can be hard to keep an eye on business software – problems can often slip under the radar, and even when they’re undetected only for a short time, they can still affect productivity greatly.

That’s why application performance management (APM) software exists. A major area in the field of IT infrastructure management, these tools can monitor and manage the performance of software deployed within a business. The aim of APM solutions is to detect and diagnose application performance issues as soon as possible, enabling them to be solved more quickly, thus saving money in the long run. Here are some of the best APM offerings out there.

  • Correlsense is a company that offers a number of application performance management technologies, and SharePath is the firm’s leading product, designed for business and IT managers who use complex software on a daily basis.

    The platform provides users with a complete picture of the service and performance levels of key enterprise applications. It can be used with applications split across areas such as mobile, SaaS, cloud, data centre and legacy platforms. SharePath monitors apps in real-time, so you don’t have to worry about issues being missed.

    What’s great about this APM solution is that it analyses all user activity, meaning that issues accidently caused by employees can be addressed straight away. As well as this, there are dashboards that you can share with everyone on your team, and you’re provided with service level reports and alerts. To top it all off, there’s a ‘Lite’ version which is completely free to use (although naturally it’s feature-limited).

    Loupe is an effective, feature-packed application performance management tool. Aimed at enterprises and IT administrators, this solution lets you trace events, performance and other metrics to work out the causes of issues affecting software negatively.

    A good APM solution will help you find problems with apps straight away, and if you’ve got to hunt through a sprawling list of potential issues, then it’s going to be hard to do that. However, Loupe automatically groups log events so you can find and address performance issues with a minimum of fuss.

    The system also gives you a visual understanding of your application usage and offers insights into bottlenecks that can subsequently be tackled. It’s easy to get up and running with this system, as you don’t have to install anything onto your servers – the setup process is very nicely streamlined.

    Plenty of businesses use the cloud along with on-premise systems, and when you have a bunch of different apps – from cloud through hybrid to traditional software installations – monitoring them all can be very difficult. Traverse Monitoring is an APM tool that aims to tackle these sort of scenarios.

    It can automatically discover apps, networks, servers and systems, meaning you don’t have to dedicate time in order to configure things manually. Once it’s set up and running, Traverse will monitor each device and app to determine if there are any issues. If a problem is identified, it’ll fire up a troubleshooting process and try to resolve it before your business is affected.

    You can also back up and restore changes across your applications, and you’re sent predictive analytics concerning their overall performance.

    If you’re a developer or have a team of software engineers working within your company, then it’s obviously quite common to come across performance issues and other bugs. Stackify Retrace is a targeted ‘devAPM’ system, giving development professionals the tools they need to find and address problems effectively.

    The platform alerts developers if any issues and bugs have been found, and it can be used to improve performance levels across test and production servers. Retrace has been designed so that it provides visibility, data and actionable insights into app performance and faults.

    There’s a centralised dashboard that displays code performance and metrics, including errors and logs. Stackify can also be used with most common app stacks, and this is a highly scalable SaaS solution, so it’s easy to install and use.

    Applications Manager from ManageEngine is a tool which does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s being marketed as an enterprise-ready, usable and affordable APM. Businesses are provided with everything they need to ensure critical applications and systems are always in perfect working order.

    This solution can find and address issues involving the end user, applications and important components such as databases, servers, ERP packages, web services, cloud platforms and virtual systems.

    Applications Manager works with a single install and allows you to address issues easily, plus when looking further down the road, it’s highly scalable – indeed, it can scale to up to 50,000 applications.

          

Google Chrome will stop letting sites redirect you against your will in 2018

Pop-up ads were the great scourge of the early internet, but we now face a menace that’s almost equal in annoyance: that of infuriating ads that automatically redirect you to different sites while you’re middle of reading something else. This isn’t just annoying: it also puts you at risk for phishing and malware.

Thankfully, Google will start stuffing its popular Chrome browser with new protections against such nefarious practices over the course of the upcoming winter. The rollout will happen in three parts early next year.

Beginning with the release of Chrome 64, Chrome will stop letting sites automatically redirect to new sites when you haven’t clicked on anything. Google claims this kind of behavior often springs from third-party code embedded in the page and that the page’s author often had nothing to do with it.

Later down the road, Chrome 65 will fix that particularly nasty nonsense when the link you meant to click opens up in a new tab but the parent page redirects to an ad. As Google rightly sees this is as a “circumvention” of Chrome’s pop-up blocker that has gone unpunished for too long.

“Starting in Chrome 65 we’ll also detect this behavior, trigger an infobar and prevent the main tab from being redirected,” says Ryan Schoen, Chrome’s product manager, in the announcement post. “This allows the user to continue directly to their intended destination, while also preserving the context of the page they came from.”

Finally, Google will also start blocking those infuriating page elements that are disguised as download or playback buttons, along with blocking invisible overlays that cause you to go to a different page.

Maintain your focus

Google won’t actually start blocking elements like these until January. That means you have some time to prepare if you’re a page owner.

To assist with this process, today Google released its Abusive Experiences Report that lets you see if your site will be affected by the changes. If any conflicts haven’t been resolved by the time 30 days pass by, though, Chrome will start blocking redirects and the opening of new windows from your site.

It’s but one way Google is trying to clean up the web’s act. Next year looks as though Chrome will deliver a much more comfortable core browsing experience, as Google also plans to implement other changes such as stopping video ads from autoplaying.

      

iPad 2018 could borrow the best features from the iPhone X

Apple is planning to overhaul its iPad for 2018, slicing away bezels along with the TouchID fingerprint sensor. This move follows in step with the iPhone X, which has seen success, both critically and commercially, thanks to its refreshed design, improved performance and future-looking feature set.

Perhaps the biggest change going into Apple’s 2018 flagship tablet is the removal of the TouchID fingerprint sensor. As we’ve seen with the iPhone X, it will be replaced with FaceID as the sole method of logging in via biometrics, according to Bloomberg. To unlock the device, simply look at the front-facing camera and the TrueDepth face-sensing technology will authenticate.

While some will miss the ease and reliability of the fingerprint sensor, opting for FaceID technically allows for a larger screen and smaller bezels. Speaking of screens, this is a potential point of delineation between Apple’s next flagship tablet and its new, nearly all-screen smartphone: it won’t utilize OLED screen technology, but will instead likely stick with a tried-and-true LCD panel.

This is one of the big selling points for the iPhone X over its predecessors, and even though it’s disappointing to hear that it won’t come to next year’s iPad, it’s understandable given that Apple had enough trouble securing enough OLED supply for its phone, let alone much larger contrast-rich screens for this rumored tablet.

Omission aside, we’ll still get to appreciate a larger screen and smaller bezels thanks to the removal of the TouchID sensor.

Other iDifferences

Apple’s tablets have traditionally been a half step more powerful than the most recent iPhone, and the 2018 tablet looks to be no exception. Sources close to its development told Bloomberg that the company is readying a faster version of its A11 Bionic chip, as well as a new graphics processing unit (GPU) for the next iPad, both of which will push it past the iPad Pro.

Additionally, Apple is said to be at work on the next iteration of Apple Pencil stylus, as well as some new use cases on the software end of things to squeeze more utility of it. Hopefully, that work translates in an iPad stylus that doesn’t require being recharged.

      

Australian mobile broadband faster than fixed line speeds

In an attempt to determine how Australia’s broadband performs on a global and domestic scale, Ookla, the company behind one of the most popular online speed tests, collected data from 16.3 million fixed-line broadband speed tests and 436,174 mobile speed tests conducted by 3.6 million Aussies in the second and third quarter of 2017.

After crunching out the numbers, Ookla has revealed that Australia’s mobile broadband is a better performer than fixed-line internet, with the former clocking up average download speeds of 44.2Mbps – an improvement of 21.2% from the same period in 2016.

Fixed-line broadband, however, was nearly half that speed, lagging behind with an average of 24.1Mbps for downloads.

Upload speeds were 14.32Mbps for mobile compared to just 8.48Mbps for fixed line.

And the winner is…

According to Ookla’s report, Australia ranks 5th globally in terms of mean download speeds, squeezing in ahead of Singapore, but just getting beaten by the UAE.

For mobile broadband, Telstra was the best performer, clocking up a speed score – an Ookla metric that combines both download and upload speeds – of 42.28Mbps, with Adelaide coming out on top with the highest speed score for a carrier (Telstra) in a city.

Vodafone wasn’t a bad performer either, but Optus failed to impress.

Optus, however, proved to be the ‘fastest’ provider for fixed-line broadband, with an average download speed of 24.12Mbps, followed by Telstra and TPG.

Ookla predicts that mobile broadband speeds will continue to rise, given how much the top Australian telcos have invested in improving network infrastructure, and noted that Optus in particular could leverage its “3.5GHz spectrum for 5G, which would increase their speeds considerably”.

      

Windows 10’s Near Share is Microsoft’s take on Apple’s AirDrop

There’s a new preview build out for Windows 10, which is the first taste of fresh features that will be included in next year’s first big update (Redstone 4), including Microsoft’s version of Apple’s AirDrop for swiftly and easily sharing files between PCs.

Near Share allows PCs which are near each other to share files (or web links) via Bluetooth, so there’s no need to bother with clunkier solutions like putting the file on a USB stick.

Providing your PC has Bluetooth, of course, you can simply click on the icon for Near Share and select from a list of devices within Bluetooth range to share with. The recipient will be notified of your intended file transfer, and will have to accept it before the move is made.

Edging up

Most of the other new features with this preview build (version 17035, which is now available in the fast ring) pertain to Microsoft’s Edge browser. They include the ability to mute a tab playing audio, which is a fairly standard browser feature, but a welcome one nonetheless.

There are also fresh context menu options when reading ebooks in Edge, and Microsoft has introduced the ability to save out (free) EPUB books from within the browser.

Finally, as well as some miscellaneous minor tweaks, the Microsoft Store has been graced with a ‘Shop Surface’ section, which allows you to purchase Surface devices and accessories directly from within Windows 10. This is no surprise, as it was spotted a couple of weeks back.

Not every Windows tester will be able to access this preview build yet, mind you, as apparently there’s a major bug with AMD processors. So if you have an AMD-powered rig, you’ll be blocked from downloading the build (for your own good). Microsoft is currently working on a fix for this issue.

      

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on how it’s different from Apple and Google

Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella is in the middle of a whirlwind tour across the world for his book “Hit Refresh” which talks about how he is in the process of reinventing the company. Right now he is visiting India, and from giving the keynote at the first edition of the India Today Next Conclave to sharing stage with legendary Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble, Nadella has been on an energetic mission spreading the gospel of this new Microsoft which he terms as being empathetic, and being an innovator which will help people do more.

As he walked into the room along with Anant Maheshwari Microsoft’s India head, Nadella spots my iPad and a colleague’s iPad and cheerfully says, ”You need to get a real computer, my friend.”

This was the very essence of what Nadella is doing with Microsoft. He is quietly confident about the technology his company is inventing and championing and at the same time, he stays humble and true to his own roots.

At being asked a question about his faux pas at Grace Hopper Celebration for women’s event, he immediately admits his mistake and says, “It was a huge learning experience for me because the answer I gave was utter nonsense.” But he goes beyond this and says that he made changes to the compensation structure of his leadership team where they are judged by numeral metrics for improving diversity and compensation of women in Microsoft.

“One of the things we have done — than saying a set of words — we changed the compensation of me and my leadership team where we now have to make numeric progress. I feel there is more to be done. In fact, Melinda Gates joined Microsoft as a computer scientist, the number was at 35 percent and now it has dropped to 17 percent so there is a lot more to do to make computer science attractive,” he said.

Even when it was pointed out that he achieved the zenith at Microsoft despite flunking IIT exams in India and not attending an Ivy League university in the United States, he talked about how it was important to keep learning from mistakes.

“I look at it and say let’s have perspective. What matters more isn’t what you did yesterday but what your posture of learning is tomorrow. That’s where parents and institutional leaders can be elitist and we have to be about identifying kids and giving them the confidence to not be know-it-alls but be learn-it-alls. It is my personal philosophy flunking exams has definitely taught me as long as I’m learning I’m fine. Failure is part and parcel of life, the question is what you going to do about it,” Nadella told me humbly.

Microsoft is different from Apple and Google

But the bigger and pressing questions were surrounded around the fact despite Microsoft’s recent success in the cloud computing business, it was being viewed as an enterprise company, but not a glamorous maker of consumer electronics like Apple, Nadella leans on this monk-like zen and sense of clarity of how Microsoft is a different company than say other tech titans like Apple or Google.

“Whenever we have done things that come naturally to us we’ve been successful. Even if it’s a consumer product it is a tool. I fell in love with Microsoft technology because of what it created.”

“In a way, I don’t want to take away from whatever success Apple or Google are having. We are very different companies. We are not some middleman in the marketplace. We are a tool creator we are not a luxury good manufacturer. That’s not who we are. We are about creating technologies so that others can build,” he states with a sense of monk-like clarity.

Nadella makes one thing crystal clear for Microsoft to win it is not a zero-sum game that Apple, Google or some other technology company has to lose. He is also willing to make hard decisions if there is a clear diction from the market.

“You take a look at what we did with groove and Spotify. Look at the Harmon and Kardon speaker. In some sense, it is a fantastic Cortana speaker but also for Spotify. The last time I checked there were a lot more Spotify people than Groove people. So let us bring the best of what Microsoft has to a Spotify user and create consumer fans. So that’s the approach we want to take,” he says echoing a similar hardiness he displayed when he swiftly jettisoned Nokia’s smartphone business that he had inherited which had already lost the market to Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone.

Microsoft is a different kind of a consumer company

Nadella is quite comfortable with the fact that it doesn’t make phones or widely sold consumer electronics. He feels it is a different type of a consumer-facing company. He cites the example of the Surface hardware unit.

“Even with Surface, we created a premium product and premium brand and basically said you know what every OEM should create a lower priced model. We want to democratise things. I want to us to be proud of what we can do,” he says.

His lieutenant in India Anant Maheshwari weighs in and states that Microsoft has plans to launch the new LTE models of the Surface tablet which have already arrived in China, though their arrival is gated by mass-market demand.

Nadella is also very happy about what Microsoft is doing with mixed reality, a buzzword it uses for virtual reality and even the tools that come included as a part of Windows.

“What we are doing in gaming that’s a consumer for consumer franchise. We have doubled down on it in a big way whether it is Xbox live or mixer, game pass, PC or console gaming,” he says.

He also says that there are 100 million people using the paint application on Windows machines which has been a staple of the operating system for decades. With the latest release of the operating system, he talks about how he’s proud that Microsoft is enabling painters to join the mixed reality bandwagon.

      

Consumers offered more choice on IoT

Vodafone is going a bit IoT-crazy. The company has already launched a new range of IoT products and an accompanying consumer service. Now, the company has tapped into the growing interest in IoT and announced an agreement with TechData to integrate a range of IoT services.

The pan-European deal will allow resellers and systems integrators across Europe to access Vodafone’s value-added IoT services. This, in turn, will enable customers to integrate IoT into their own businesses.

Under the terms of the agreement, Tech Data’s IoT SIM-enabled devices, hardware and software will be able to be combined with Vodafone’s Managed IoT connectivity services for remote monitoring and control of industrial operational applications, mobile asset tracking, fleet management, building security, network access and worldwide device management solutions.

New opportunities

Victor Paradell, vice president, IoT & Analytics Solutions at Tech Data, said: “The agreement is a breakthrough as Tech Data is now able to offer a comprehensive, end-to-end Vodafone IoT connectivity solution across Europe.”

He welcomed the new agreement. “We’re excited to partner with Vodafone and help solution providers grow their businesses with new recurring revenue streams based on connectivity for IoT applications. Interest in IoT is stronger than ever, enterprise investment is increasing, and so is the number of IoT connections.” The rollout of the new service will start in the UK before the end of the year, with other services coming on stream in the new year.

      

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