There is nothing like a good story in the IT world to generate a flurry of online chatter. In recent time weeks the “homeworking ban” proposed by a well known technology company has risen to the top of the corporate discussion agenda.
But this blog is not about the ban as such, but new information about additional insight that validated or supported the merit of “withdrawal of work from home privileges”. It is rumoured that information gained from vpn logs (that record remote connections) highlighted a reduced use of the vpn platform, thus indicating little use of remote connectivity to the corporate network.
If we cast our minds back, IT logs were considered by many to deliver more hassle than value. Rarely was anything of use found within, but they still were key elements to be stored securely and reliably, as part of the backup regime. It’s true, database vendors have always utilised logs to good effect to aid with transaction integrity and recovery, but for the rest of the IT community, logs equalled hassle…
But in the case of the use of log data for evidence to support the “homeworking ban” or the forensic use of log information for analysis after a major security breach, and worse still the use of log information unbeknown to us for malicious intent to launch a security attack – these examples indicate there was always “gold in the hills” but few knew where to look.
System logs pretty much exist for all elements within IT systems, software, hardware, process, you name it, everything has one and often many logs that hold a treasure trove of insight for those clear on how to and what to look for. SIEM (security information and event management) platforms, deemed by many as the perfect tool to reactively and proactively interrogate log data and turn it into true business insight, are moving from desirable (unless PCI compliance forces their use) to mandatory corporate information systems. SIEM solutions are ideal for taking often meaningless IT system data and presenting correlated, relevant business insight.
Many of us lack the time to look in system logs, nor understand what to look for (and equally what to do when we find what we are looking for), so the deployment of a market leading SIEM solution will certainly provide all of the gain with none of the pain (the configuration and deployment headaches of old are long gone).
The moral of this blog, don’t presume because you may not know how or where to look, that the information doesn’t exist. You just need to know what you are looking for (and hope someone skilled isn’t looking before you find it).
Until next time.
BYOD (Bring your own device) is a business outcome that has taken the enterprise IT world by storm. The marketeers have neatly positioned the term to collate the myriad of products and services available to allow a “non IT department owned and managed device” to connect to the corporate environment effectively, securely and reliably. For quite a while the BYOD was term was aligned with forward thinking, dynamic organizations keen to attract and retain generation Z employees and accommodate their “non standard” computing needs. Numerous articles and statistics presented quite a disruptive viewpoint that “tomorrow’s generation” would vote with their feet and avoid “old school” organizations with restrictive end user IT devices & policies. But the story has changed quite dramatically in the last twelve months with the need for “flexible end user device” policies now a major topic for most organizations. BYOD does not describe a product or even a solution but the end state desired by either the organization or the end user. With that in mind as we accelerate through the “tablet” era and for some the “post pc era (somewhat premature for me)”, end users are not only demanding the use of an end point device of their choice (or close to it), they are increasingly circumventing often restrictive IT polices to achieve it for themselves.
A quick scan of the web will highlight many stories chronicled from some of the world’s largest organizations that outline the extraordinarily high number of “stealth” or non company issue Smartphone’s, tablets or laptops found connected within their own environments after a standard audit. With so many “non company issue” end user devices now fundamental to the professional outcome delivered by company employees or end users, a wholesale shutdown is no longer an option – instead a new way that educates and embraces the end user plus delivers a means that the organization can become “end user centric” from a device perspective whilst still retaining control. The plethora of solutions marketed to deliver BYOD outcomes help with the challenge but no one “silver bullet” exists to solve the problem. BYOD interfaces many elements of an organization not least the people (attitudes, device choice, etc), the devices themselves, capital expenditure costs, operational support costs, applications and so on. Seeking a quick fix to resolve BYOD issues is likely to be costly in the long run, so careful planning and leveraging specialist insight will deliver immense value.
As the UK’s leading workplace transformation partner, Computacenter possesses a view second to none of the impact of new IT end point device form factors and operational approaches within the corporate environment. Connectivity and security underpin BYOD success and the Computacenter services portfolio includes solutions from industry leaders including Good Technology, Mobileiron, McAfee, HP, Symantec, Juniper to name a few. More recently the Computacenter networking and security team achieved the lucrative Cisco ISE ATP accreditation to deliver the highly regarded Cisco context aware, access, accounting, authorization platform within enteprise organisations.
BYOD really can deliver a win win for smart organizations. With solutions such a Cisco ISE and companion products, organizations can successfully enable BYOD from a connectivity perspective whilst regaining visibility and control. Compare that to a pre BYOD environment where end users may be activity working to circumvent IT policy and control and with it creating an ever greater security risk than the original policy strived to prevent.
Like it or not for many organizations, BYOD isn’t if, or when, it’s now.
Until next time.
Hello and welcome to my blog. It’s the first time I’ve written a public blog and whilst I’m active on plenty of other social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn I must admit to being slightly apprehensive as to whether this form of communication will turn into an interactive dialogue. I guess you’ll be the judge of that!
As for the role, I am the Business Line Director for our Workplace & Software solutions across Computacenter’s (CC) client base. My primary responsibilities include the strategy, sales, marketing, vendor alignment and implementation of Computacenter’s portfolio of workplace and software based solutions and services. My team work with corporate and government clients to provide advice and guidance across the entire infrastructure including the delivery of solutions to source, transform, optimise and manage their workplace and software technology
Talking of the team, I was really pleased to see their efforts rewarded last week when we scooped four wins at the Adobe Channel Awards. Of the fifteen award categories, they were recognised for their hard work during 2011 with four wins, including Reseller Partner of the Year and Channel Partner of the Year for Acrobat, Creative Suite and Hobbyist Products.
Now I did get a bit of “so what” feedback with comments like “It’s only document viewing software”, but have you stopped to think just how pervasive products like Adobe have become in today’s world? It’s hard to find a corporate web-site that doesn’t provide product information, investor information, manuals, brochures (the list goes on…) all presented in the ubiquitous PDF format. I even submitted my Tax Return in PDF format this year!
These tools are also empowering creative teams, designers and content providers to develop rich interactive apps with creative and engaging content that spans the rapid proliferation of mobile devices and associated browsers. This is why we think we will we continue to see momentum grow for products such as Adobe in the future as they have become an indispensable part of our contemporary workplace today.
I wonder how long it will be before you open your next PDF? My bet is that it’ll be sooner than you think!