Beware the Overly-Helpful Software Morphing into the Unwanted Personal Shopper…

Integral House, Mill Lane
Alton, Hampshire
GU34 2QG
GB
Phone: 01420 540700

Children – you’ve go to love them…often happily ignorant to their parent’s data security malaise…

I caught up with my brother-in-law just before Christmas exchanging news and stories about our respective families when he sheepishly provided me with the topic for this blog.

My young nephew had decided that he would help his daddy by providing him with a comprehensive list for Father Christmas.  Using his young initiative, together with his daddy’s iPad, he created a wonderful list based on the product photographs from the website of a well-known online retailer.

Within a few hours, my brother-in-law was the bewildered recipient of an order confirmation email that had pinged into his inbox.  To his absolute horror, and unbeknown to him, he had successfully purchased over £250 worth of toys.

After a fairly heated telephone exchange between himself and the retailer’s customer service department, the order was cancelled and he directed his attention to his online account.  The penny dropped when, upon seeing his daddy using the iPad, his son asked to show him the list he’d made for Father Christmas.

Some months earlier, courtesy of the very helpful browser software, my brother-in-law had decided it would be quicker and easier to allow it to save his usernames and passwords.  The result?  Far too quick and far too easy for his son to inadvertently purchase everything on his Christmas wish list!

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So, people, if you’re going to take the easy route and save usernames and passwords through your browser, ensure that your device is password protected.  Either that or prevent it from becoming your child’s latest play thing – keep it out of reach!

Think data security.  Think data protection.  What is YOUR security profile?

 

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Industry Observer Mutterings…A Word to the Wise: “Accept” at Your Peril!

The latest mutterings from the Industry Observer illustrate how easy it is to mistakenly download malware.
Integral House, Mill Lane
Alton, Hampshire
GU34 2QG
GB
Phone: 01420 540700
Happy New Year!  A little late perhaps, but this is my first muttering in 2014 albeit towards the end of the month.

So, I had to laugh…

A good friend of mine runs a niche IT security business selling laptop locks – the nature of his work dictates he often brings his laptop home in the evenings to do some extra work.

Having just migrated from a Blackberry to an iPhone, he wanted to be able to upload music to his iPhone.  His wife, an avid iMac user and Apple disciple, offered to download iTunes onto his PC laptop thereby facilitating his request.

Google provided the search platform and she clicked on the link to download.  Appreciating the download process would be different from that of her Mac, she merrily clicked through accepting all of the Terms and Conditions.

And thus it began…

All manner of animated gizmos whizzed around his desktop, timers started counting down, search boxes began popping up and horror and realisation crept over her face.

Malware. 

What had she done?  The Google link had said iTunes!

Her husband had a plethora of high profile contacts in his Outlook – were they all going to be infected?  Was this terminal?  What were the implications and ramifications?  She felt sick.

They immediately disconnected from the wi-fi and shut the down the laptop.  He contacted one of his engineers and, the next day, the laptop was quarantined and cleaned.

Luckily for them, the malware was fairly tame and more of an annoyance than a real threat…but a harsh lesson had been learnt.

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So, people, take strides to protect and maintain your online health:

-       thoroughly check any software before you download it
-       read the Terms & Conditions before accepting them
-       adopt an online strategy of presuming guilty before innocent.

Think data security.  Think data protection.  What is YOUR security profile?

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What to look for in a Data Protection Specialist…

Considerations when choosing your Data Protection Specialist - are they security cleared by HM Government? Can they offer on premise, cloud and hybrid delivery. Read on to discover the perfect checklist...
Integral House, Mill Lane
Alton, Surrey
GU34 2QG
GB
Phone: 012420 540700

Data protection, as the name suggests, is all about mitigating risks associated with data in situ, data on the move and data shared.

A strong contender will always provide a solution tailor made to each individual organisation, positioning technology value that will positively influence the business and which yields a strong Return on Investment.

This can only truly be achieved through blending in-depth consultancy, the ability to architect and deliver the recommended solutions, and world class technical support services.

The data protection specialist of choice will need to demonstrate longevity within a fast paced highly volatile industry and have a clear vision for the future placing priority on long term on-going relationships.

➢ Do they have long standing relationships and accreditations with the core vendor technologies? Can they truly meet the requirements of your specific organisation?

➢ Can they offer solutions on premise, via the cloud or even a hybrid of the two providing them with the flexibility to meet the demands of your existing IT infrastructure and your budget considerations?

➢ Once they have access to your data can they be trusted?

➢ Are their IT professionals security cleared by HM Government?

The Ultimate Data Protection Specialist Checklist:

Data protection is ultimately concerned with protecting digital assets, safeguarding your corporate reputation and keeping your business afloat.  Before you hand your reputation over to a third party, make sure that third party ticks the right boxes and ask yourself the following:

  1. Can they protect data:
    In situ?
    In transit?
    Being shared?
  2. Is their approach both consultative and evidential?
  3. Can they deliver:
    Consultancy
    Architecture
    Technology
    Services
    Training
  4. Can they differentiate through experience and knowledge?
  5. Are they security cleared?
  6. Are they Prince 2 accredited?
  7. Can they deliver:
    On premise
    As a service via the Cloud
    A hybrid of the two
  8. Do they have a long trading history?
  9. Do they have vendor technology accreditations?
  10. Do they have a clear vision and strategy for the future?
  11. Do they go out of their way to make dealing with them as easy as possible?

For a Data Protection Specialist that ticks all the right boxes, contact Gradian on 01420 540700.

 

 

 

 

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New Symantec Encryption “Catalyst” Release Supports Windows 8

Brand: Symantec Encryption
Manufacturer: Symantec

Symantec have announced Symantec Encryption 10.3.1/3.3.1 “Catalyst” Release.  Amongst its claims this new release supports Windows 8, provides increased Linux platform support and has improved security.

 Microsoft Windows 8 Support:

Microsoft Windows 8 Pro Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise BIOS/UEFI
32-bit 64-bit  32-bit  64-bit
Symantec Encryption Desktop      x      x       x       x  Both
Drive Encryption      x      x       x       x  Both
Desktop Email Encryption      x      x       x       x  Both
File Share Encryption      x      x       x       x  Both
Utilities (PGP Virtual Disk, PGP Zip, PGP Shredder)      x      x       x       x  Both

Additional Compatibilities:

-       Microsoft Outlook 2013 – Symantec Encryption Desktop (32-bit & 64-bit)
-       Microsoft Office 365 Cloud server – Symantec Desktop Email Encryption (when using a supported email client).
-       Mac OS – Symantec Drive Encryption & Desktop Email Encryption on OS X 10.8.3 and 10.8.4
-       Linux – Symantec Drive Encryption on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.9, 6.3 & 6.4 (both 32-bit and 64-bit) & Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (32-bit and 64-bit)

Security:

To increase server and client security, security & audit fixes are also included plus open-source and third-party package updates.

Release Notes:

Symantec Encryption Desktop 10.3.1 for Windows Release Notes
Symantec Encryption Desktop 10.3.1 for Mac OS X Release Notes
Symantec Drive Encryption 10.3.1 for Linux Release Notes
Symantec Encryption Management Server 3.3.1 Release Notes
Symantec Encryption Command Line 10.3.1 Release Notes

For further information, or to upgrade your existing software call Gradian on 01420 540700.

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Industry Observer Mutterings…Seniority Doesn’t Imply Immunity!

The latest mutterings from Gradian's Industry Observer surrounding the perceived immunity top executives feel they have in relation to data security.
Integral House, Mill Lane
Alton, Hampshire
GU34 2QG
GB
Phone: 01420 540700

I haven’t written for a while as I’ve been working offsite on a fairly comprehensive customer migration project.  Not surprisingly I witnessed my fair share of avoidable data security nightmares…

However I’m pleased to say that, on the whole, this particular organisation took the security of their data fairly seriously, blending together technical controls, policies and processes.

Until, that is, all hell broke lose one Monday morning…

Considering themselves “above the law” a couple of senior executives had decided that they could be trusted with the security of their own data and hadn’t bothered to encrypt their USB data sticks.  One such senior exec had managed to leave his unencrypted data stick on the train on the way into work.  Whilst any data can become a liability in the wrong hands, this stick contained sensitive information in relation to the imminent floatation of the company.

An extensive and rigorous strategy of “damage limitation” ensued whilst I kept my head down and continued with the work I’d been assigned to do.  It is a classic situation and, sadly, one I’ve encountered too many times before.

So all you senior execs out there: data encryption does not concern itself with questioning your trustworthy nature…it acknowledges that you are human, and where there are humans there exists human error.  Taking suitable precautionary measures is not a sign of weakness and mistrust but rather a measure of how valuable your data is to you and how seriously you take your corporate responsibility…

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So, people, just because you have experience and seniority under your belt, it doesn’t mean that you’re immune to human error.  Take heed!

Think data security.  Think data protection.  What is YOUR security profile?

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Avoid Financial Penalties, Use Laptop Disk Encryption

Gradian provides laptop disk encryption to sole traders, small to medium businesses and larger enterprises. Avoid financial penalties and contact Gradian today.
Integral House, Mill Lane
Alton, Hampshire
GU26 2QG
GB
Phone: 01420 540700

In the wake of yet another ICO fine, ignorance still surrounds the issue of laptop disk encryption.  Considering that encryption can commence inside of 10 minutes, at the touch of a button and for a fraction of traditional costs, there’s nowhere to hide…

This latest financial penalty illustrates how every organisation, large or small, can fall foul of data protection legislation.  Imposed upon a Wembley-based sole trader, the £5000 fine was due to the theft of a laptop from a vehicle stationary at traffic lights in London.  Whilst the laptop was password protected, the hard drive wasn’t encrypted resulting in the loss of significantly sensitive customer data.

Stephen Eckersley, ICO Head of Enforcement comments:

“We have continued to warn organisations of all sizes that they must encrypt any personal data stored on portable devices…”

He continues:

“…if the hard drive had been encrypted the business owner would not have left all of their customers open to the threat of identity theft and would not be facing a £5000 penalty following a serious breach of the Data Protection Act.”

Purchasing and deploying Laptop disk encryption doesn’t have to be an expensive or lengthy process.  Using Gradian’s over-the-air delivery of Symantec’s PGP Drive Encryption means that your laptop can start the encryption process within 10 minutes.  For businesses of 25 users and above there are strict SLA’s surrounding deployment bringing with it huge advantages in terms of assurances and peace of mind.  From a financial viewpoint, this unique laptop disk encryption cloud delivery offers significant cost savings by removing the traditional deployment costs associated with hardware and overheads.

For sole traders and smaller businesses with less than 25 users, there is now also a laptop disk encryption solution available.  Gradian recently announced their presence on e-bay and this smaller demographic are advised to purchase directly from their e-bay shop.

Don’t leave your business open and vulnerable to preventable financial penalties.  To close the door firmly on data loss and to avoid data security breaches, contact Gradian on 01420 540700.  For smaller users, please visit the Gradian E-bay shop.

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Gradian Launches Laptop Encryption to the Consumer on ebay

Gradian Systems launches Symantec PGP Drive Encryption to the consumer on ebay
Integral House, Mill Lane
Alton, Hampshire
GU34 2QG
GB
Phone: +44 (0)1420 540700
Symantec Gradian Cloud Logo

Following the success of their corporate laptop disk encryption service, Gradian are dipping their toe into the consumer market.

Launching the same annual subscription licence to the public, Gradian made their first ebay sale earlier this week and are looking to expand their online consumer business in the coming months.

Founder & Managing Director, Damian Acklam, outlines the reasoning behind their entry into this new consumer marketplace:

“It seemed the next logical step given the feedback we’ve been getting from existing users of our laptop disk encryption service.  Apart from the quality of the Symantec PGP software itself, our customers repeatedly cite the speed of our deployment and ease of enrolment as the unique advantage we have in facilitating user experience.

The Symantec brand is a household name, if we can get the message across that the value we add is solely within our unique delivery and that we haven’t modified the product then the consumer is in a win:win situation.  They not only have the peace of mind of buying a trusted product but also benefit from a unique over the air deployment method.“

The speed and ease of the laptop disk encryption service satisfies many “peace of mind” consumer use-cases:

1) Family photographs and valuable memories are secure from predators.

2) Passwords and bank details are firmly locked down.

3) Confidential data is 100% secure.

4) Privacy is guaranteed.

Importantly, Gradian don’t hold any consumer data in their cloud.  The customer is provided with a deployment password and user name to download the PGP desktop.  From there they create their own unique password and recovery security questions, details of which don’t leave their device.  In the event of the user forgetting all their access details, Gradian can easily generate a whole disk recovery token to unlock the disk against the original deployment password.

Now there is a consumer solution to that nagging fear of leaving your laptop on the train and a degree of smugness in the knowledge that the “master thief” isn’t going to get into your files.  You and your family can finally sleep easy at night and Gradian will be in touch when your annual subscription licence is due for renewal ensuring continuous peace of mind.

To locate the new Gradian shop, click on the ebay logo below:

357999-new-ebay-logo

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Symantec’s Article on Gradian’s Success…

Symantec's article on Gradian Systems' successful delivery of PGP whole disk encryption as a managed service.
Integral House, Mill Lane
Alton, Hampshire
GU34 2QG
GB
Phone: 01420 540700

Gradian are delighted to be featured in Symantec’s partner success story.

Focusing on the success that Gradian has with the pioneering delivery of Symantec’s PGP whole disk encryption technology, the article affirms Gradian’s solution as the only SaaS-based disk encryption service available anywhere.

In an interview with the Managing Director, Damian Acklam, Symantec report that Gradian’s unique cloud based encryption delivery is transforming the way in which organisations approach full disk encryption and data security.

To read the full article click here or on the image below.

Gradian's Success Story as told by Symantec

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Gradian Launch New Website: www.proofpoint-gradian.co.uk

Gradian launches new website www.proofpoint-gradian.co.uk dealing with outbound email protection and intelligent archiving.
Integral House, Mill Lane
Alton, Hampshire
GU34 2QG
GB
Phone: 01420 540700

Based on the positive feedback we’ve had from our sales team and customers alike, we’ve recently launched a sister website to this one.

www.proofpoint-gradian.co.uk has been developed, in partnership with Proofpoint, and introduces the best of breed technology solution for both outbound email protection and intelligent archiving.

Click here for more details or visit our new site www.proofpoint-gradian.co.uk

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Gradian Announces New Customer Referral Scheme

Gradian pledge funds to Kidney Research UK with their new Customer Referral Programme
Integral House
Alton, Hampshire
GU34 2QG
GB
Phone: 01420 540 7000

smallcustref

Gradian Systems are delighted to announce their new Customer Referral Programme enabling Kidney Research UK to benefit on the back of their “word of mouth” recommendations.

Click here for more information….or visit www.justgiving.com/gradian-systems

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