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BANKING ON WIRELESS

Correll
Banks may be nervous about employing wireless systems in a highly secure environment. But the recent introduction of hardware based on new wireless standards has moved the goal-posts in terms of performance and physical security. Perry Correll, Director of Product Marketing, Xirrus from leading high performance networking provider Xirrus tells us why.Correll
In the first three months of 2012 alone, IDC* analysts estimate wireless network revenues grew 13.9%, with the enterprise segment alone jumping by 27.2% compared to the same period the previous year. As connectivity, reliability, security and performance continue to improve, more and more companies are choosing wireless over wired networks.
The burgeoning ‘bring-your-own-device’ (BYOD) trend is driving massive growth in this area. As more mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones enter the workplace; the need for more powerful and robust wireless is critical to business success. Employees expect to have the same performance they’ve experienced on the wire networks. Wireless devices, mobile applications, and cloud-access improve worker productivity when deployed correctly.  When it is not deployed correctly, it creates management issues and productivity for the organisation drop.
As mobile data traffic is forecasted to grow at 92% CAGR between 2010 and 2015**, the challenge will be how to harness this huge demand for mobile data and ensure its safe and efficient use in the highly sensitive banking environment.
Wireless Protocols
The wireless local area network (WLAN) protocol, IEEE 802.11, and associated technologies, such as Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), allow secure high-speed wireless network access and mobile access to a network infrastructure. Until the recent development and wide adoption of 802.11b, also known as Wi-Fi, in order to obtain high-speed network access to your local area network (LAN) your network needed to be physically connected to the LAN with some type of wiring.

Recent technology developments using 802.11n and 802.11ac protocols have improved wireless even further. Rather than employing 2.4GHz radio frequency, which shares bandwidth with microwave ovens and Bluetooth devices, wireless networks can now also adopt the 5GHz frequency, vastly improving their performance parameters.

By using up to 24 non-overlapping channels, the 5GHz network can provide up to 8 times the bandwidth compared to 2.4GHz three available channels, with much faster speeds and much less potential for interference.

Potentially, in terms of performance and reliability, 5GHz is a game changer. At Xirrus we have experience in installing wireless networks in more than 1,000 locations, ranging from hospitals, schools, businesses, conference centres and of course banks. This has taught us a number of valuable lessons in terms of the capabilities and optimum performance of wireless networks.
It is crucial to plan, and plan early, for any wireless deployment. A recent Gartner report*** shows enterprises deploying iPads will need 300% more Wi-Fi capacity than they currently have to cope with demand, and by 2015 almost 80% of newly installed wireless networks will be obsolete because of a lack of proper planning.

Performance
Uptake of the latest wireless technology in the enterprise however has not been rapid.  A number of misconceptions have slowed its progress, including concerns over performance, reliability, security and the health impact of wireless transmission.
The fact is that wireless performance need not be an issue, as long as you recognise that it’s not just about bandwidth, but also about the density of users on the system. The 5GHz transmission mitigates network deterioration by distributing the load across multiple radios, and balancing the load across the network. It leads to a substantial improvement in performance levels compared to legacy systems and creates an environment that is as good as, if not better than wired.

Security
Wireless systems have always been scrutinised because anyone with a network capable device can potentially gain access and compromise security. But in reality, a wireless system has as much physical security as a wired network.

In a wired network, all security is contained within the network and as long as only authorised users have access, then communication is secure. The physical security of the system comes from the walls, doors, guards and receptionists that make up your surroundings.

As it is not possible to contain wireless, providing the virtual environment for secure communication is vital.  Strict authentication and encryption protocols provide a safe data environment.  With as many security controls as wired systems, including VPN, firewalls, user segmentation and certifications, wireless is now as secure as wired. In addition, a Mobile Device Management system can recognise tablet, phone, Blackberry, iPad or any other users depending on their device, and isolate them if identified as a threat.

Encryption protocols.
A major benefit of running 802.11n and 802.11ac networks is the increased security achieved using AES encryption compared to the WEP or TKIP protocols available on legacy network hardware, which often runs on the 802.11ag protocol.  This is a critical consideration for security conscious banks that need to ensure their systems are fool proof.

While AES creates a more secure network, it does increase the required encryption power to the core network. Since 802.11n supports approximately six times the data throughput of 802.11ag, there will be a need to encrypt around six times as much traffic. Many existing back-end controllers can’t handle this increase in encryption and some vendors have reported an 80% drop in throughput capacity when upgrading to the latest systems.

To achieve a high-performance network capable of replacing wired switches, a multi-radio, 5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi network will provide the best results. The overall network must be appropriately designed, from the supporting wired network, to wireless device placement, to the Radio Frequency design. Stations should be capable of operating at 5GHz to take full advantage of 802.11 functionality and achieve maximum performance.

Health and Safety
A number of studies into the harmful effects of wireless radiation have raised concerns about their deployment in the working environment. The WHO / International Agency for Research in Cancer classified RF electromagnetic fields as ‘possibly carcinogenic’.

But this report’s primary focus was on the potential impact of cell phones to the side of the head due to pressing the phone against the ear for long periods of time, not on Wi-Fi emissions. Phones generally generate significantly stronger radio energy (up to 20 times more) than 802.11 Wi-Fi devices. Cell-phones are normally in direct contact with the users, while Wi-Fi devices are typically separated from the user.

The UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) has reasserted its position that RF emissions do not pose a public health risk and is safe to use in the workplace.

Summary
The new wave of wireless devices points the way towards a Wi-Fi future.  In general, between 75% and 90% of an organisation’s employees will require mobile connections, and use three or more devices over a cloud-based infrastructure to access these applications.

In short, traditional wireless arrays are failing in the face of an onslaught of devices and application usage. 

With a properly designed 802.11 Wi-Fi network however, IT managers now have the ability to deploy wireless networks that can replace wired networks. With all the correct procedures in place, wireless networks can deliver similar end-user experience but with all the flexibility, security and mobility benefits that wireless brings.

 
*IDC Press Release – May 2012
**Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2010-2015
***Gartner Report: Tim Zimmerman, October 2011
 
 
 
 
 
 

Technology

EaseUS Free Data Recovery Software Recover Lost And Erased Documents

EaseUS Free Data Recovery Software Recover Lost And Erased Documents 1

Have you anytime inadvertently masterminded erased or lost data from your work territory or PC? In case along these lines, by then you ought to appreciate the mistake and free for all such a scene causes. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a free data recovery software that is made to encourage your torture. It has a simple to-utilize interface and is anything but difficult to use.

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EaseUS Free Data Recovery Software Recover Lost And Erased Documents 2

Establishment and Launch

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Examining

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Restoring of records

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Features of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

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Present EaseUS Data Recovery programming to no end and address all your recovery issues. EaseUS Data Recovery stands separated from its possible adversaries as the item is straightforward, progressed with features, and significantly great with all stages.

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EaseUS is, as I would like to think, the best in the business. If you appallingly lost a significant document, EaseUS is your smartest option for recuperating it. I trust that you discovered this EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard survey accommodating as you continued looking for dependable recuperation programming.

 

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Shining a spotlight on operational resilience and cyber-risk in financial services

Shining a spotlight on operational resilience and cyber-risk in financial services 3

By Miles Tappin, VP of EMEA for ThreatConnect, explores why the financial services industry must build a cyber security strategy in 2020

The new digital landscape has welcomed financial institutions with open arms. Emerging technology such as Artificial intelligence (AI), crypto-currencies and big data have shown widespread benefits throughout the years, particularly how they have driven innovation and change. When it comes to retail banking, fintech providers have quickly taken the chance to offer personalised services to ensure they remain relevant to their target market and stand out among their competitors.

This has been particularly evident with Klarna, now Europe’s most valued fintech firm. Providing payment solutions for online storefronts, consumers are now able to shop and pay later with top retailers including the likes of H&M, Ikea and Zara. This is just one example of how easy it has become to successfully and strategically disrupt the payments sector.

With several new players entering the banking scene, traditional financial institutions are making sure that they stay one step ahead and are developing robust digital ecosystems that deliver omnichannel service models. However, this comes at a price. As technological change becomes part and parcel to remaining relevant in the sector, the industry needs to be aware of the cyber security challenges that may present themselves and how to overcome them.

2020: The year for cybercriminals targeting financial services

2020 has become a definitive year for cybersecurity in the financial services industry. Financial institutions are a lucrative target – they hold highly sensitive information and have a mandate to protect the personal information of their customers. It started with an unprecedented attack against Travelex where hackers successfully took some of the currency providers offline for nearly a month. Then came Coronavirus which sparked a new wave of malware and phishing threats. Research from VMware Carbon Black Cloud revealed that threats against financial institutions have surged by 238% since the start of the pandemic.

The renewed interest from cyber criminals comes at a time when regulators are paying close attention to the resilience of the sector. After a string of IT failures and breaches, financial organisations in the UK have been given a mandate from regulators to improve operational resilience. This means ensuring business models can withstand disruptive events from hackers or adversaries and quickly recover to protect the stability of financial systems.

In December 2019, the UK’s financial regulators published a series of consultation papers outlining their proposed approach to achieving greater operational resilience. The proposals suggested that financial institutions will be required to map out the systems and processes that support business services in order to identify any potential vulnerabilities that would pose a risk to the stability of the UK financial system or the firm’s standing.

Working together in tandem

Where cybersecurity used to be a classic back-office concern, it’s now a central part of digital strategies and a key pillar of both reputation and customer retention – financial legislation leaves no room for failure. All financial institutions need to ensure they have full visibility of their systems and can detect any potential threats.

The challenge for financial institutions is making the security tools they have purchased separately work together in tandem. Security teams buy a firewall, an email filter, threat intelligence feeds, antivirus software or enhanced endpoint protection, and whatever else they need individually. Each of them does a good job but they don’t talk to each other and valuable time is lost tending to individual systems that become a burden to run. At the same time, running multiple security systems is expensive. The more systems you have, the more highly skilled staff you need to manage them, and they’re few and far between.

The importance of sharing across communities

To reduce complexity and simplify decision making, financial organisations need to unify processes and technology to harness the security intelligence that comes from across their own security programmes and external sources to drive down risk. However, no financial institution can tackle the problem alone. Experienced threat actors using advanced techniques are constantly targeting the financial sector. The industry needs to come together as a whole to foster a sense of collaboration and data sharing.

Miles Tappin

Miles Tappin

In the same way that financial institutions have introduced open banking to deliver a fairer service to customers, the same needs to apply to security – all parts of the financial ecosystem need to unite and share information to learn from one another and succeed in the fight against adversaries that operate across borders.

By sharing alerts on cyber hazards and risk across financial institutions and with law enforcement, government agencies and other relevant authorities, it’s possible to build industry specific insights into cyber security threats and quickly pivot to gain more information on those specific threats and threat actors. By working together, a picture can be painted on threats coming from all manner of malicious activity, from malware to ransomware, to phishing and software vulnerabilities.

Creating a single source of intelligence

Having the right intelligence is not enough to ensure that intelligence is turned into action. Breaking down information and process silos across security teams allows financial organisation to analyse and act on the most pertinent information. Everyone has access to the risk and threats that matter most, and orchestration and automation of response helps overwhelmed security teams prioritise response plans and improve efficiencies in their security programme.

Integrating internal security tools and technologies, while also connecting to external sources of intelligence, creates a single source of intelligence that feeds operations and enables organisations to direct action against the threats that matter most. The outcomes of those actions further feed intelligence, providing the ability to further refine the efficacy of the entire security lifecycle.

This approach provides a continuous feedback loop for the people, processes and technologies that make up the security programme. It allows financial institutions to keep up with threat actors that have consistently adapted their methods to profit at the expense of the financial industry. Something that won’t stop anytime soon.

While financial services institutions tend to operate with security front of mind, there is still an opportunity to collaborate more within the industry and increase intelligence sharing, so CSOs and CTOs can understand as much as they can about the threats they are facing. For example, what types or variants of malware have been used to steal, delete, or ransom personal identifiable information or IP specific to financial services? What ransomware has been used in attacks against other organisations within the industry? How does this ransomware work and how does it ransom the targeted data? Ultimately, the more you know, the better and quicker you’ll be able to respond to a new threat and remain protected.

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Blackline reveals CEO succession plan

Blackline reveals CEO succession plan 4

By President & COO Marc Huffman appointed CEO as of Jan. 1st, 2021;
Founder Therese Tucker to serve as executive chair

Accounting automation software leader BlackLine, Inc. (Nasdaq: BL) today announced that the board of directors has elected Marc Huffman as chief executive officer, effective January 1st, 2021.  Mr. Huffman currently serves as president and chief operating officer.  Therese Tucker, who has served as CEO since founding BlackLine in 2001, will continue to serve on the company’s board as executive chair.

A seasoned SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) executive with more than 25 years of experience driving growth at successful software companies, Huffman joined BlackLine in early 2018 as chief operating officer.  He was named president in February 2020, leading the company’s worldwide sales, marketing, technology and all customer-facing organizations.  Since Huffman joined, BlackLine has scaled its sales and customer success teams, strategically repositioned its go-to-market plan, completed a global reseller agreement with SAP, established a subsidiary in Japan, and entered into a number of strategic alliances with the world’s leading consulting and advisory firms.

Prior to BlackLine, Huffman served as president of worldwide sales and distribution at NetSuite.  During his 14-year tenure, NetSuite grew from $3 million to $1 billion in annual revenue and became recognized as a global SaaS powerhouse.

“I’ve been so pleased with the leadership Marc has demonstrated over the past two and a half years, most recently driving our response to the COVID-19 pandemic – mitigating disruption to the business and our customers.  Because of Marc’s leadership, skill set, cultural alignment and stellar performance, BlackLine is in a better position to grow and scale than ever before,” said Ms. Tucker.  “I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved at BlackLine and believe Marc is the kind of leader I can trust to take our customer-centric values, vision and growth to the next level.  I am also thrilled that in addition to providing strategic oversight as executive chair, I will now have more time to focus on the areas I love most – product innovation and customer success.”

The announced transition is part of a multi-year succession plan that has involved seeking potential successors, bringing the right person on board, seeing that person excel, and Tucker and Huffman working methodically together over several years to build out the leadership team and strategic growth plan and ensure values were aligned.

“I am ready and excited for this next step.  BlackLine is a special place with a strong culture and I am looking forward to leading the company through its next phase of growth,” said Huffman.  “We’ve got the team, the plan, and now we are focused on execution as we continue to scale the business and make BlackLine an indispensable platform for Finance & Accounting organizations globally.”

Commenting on the CEO and executive chair changes, John Brennan, BlackLine’s chairman of the board, said, “We are excited to announce Marc’s appointment as CEO.  His experience successfully expanding and scaling NetSuite into new strategic and geographical markets is invaluable as BlackLine continues to penetrate what we believe is still an untapped market.  Coupled with his proven track record at BlackLine we are confident that, under Marc’s leadership, the company’s momentum, growth and success will only accelerate.”

Mr. Brennan added, “Therese has been a strong and inspirational leader since she founded BlackLine just over 19 years ago.  Her unwavering determination and commitment to both customers and employees has been the driving force behind the company’s incredible journey from start-up to global market leader.  We look forward to having her serve as executive chair, a position in which she will continue to shape the future of the company she has built from the ground up.”

Upon Tucker’s assumption of the executive chair role, Brennan will serve as the board’s lead outside director.

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