bva found out today that the rumors are true which we have know for some time. Google will retire Postini, migrate features to Google Apps for all their 26 million users. Google has built the e-mail security and archiving features into two Google Apps products, which it will transition to customers next year. This will be an interesting transition and move over to a new platform.
The Web announced the transition today, saying that it has spent the last year building Postini’s features into Google Apps for Business, a professional suite, and Google Apps Vault, an e-mail archiving and discovery service.
“With this transition to Google Apps, you can receive similar email security, protection, and archiving, but through the more robust Google Apps service,” Google said in a company blog post. “Google Apps also works with mail servers such as Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes, so you don’t need to switch to Gmail.”
How customer services will transition:
Customers receiving information about the transition process at least 60 days before their migration is scheduled to begin. Customers who do not wish to transition to Google Apps will see their Postini service terminated at the end of their contract.
The service currently has about 26 million users. Google acquired Postini for $625 million in 2007.
BVA has found that these types of mobile devises if not provisioned correctly can seriously be a security risk to your network environment. Security policies need to be set forth to ensure security at all levels of access. Apple iPad tablet device as well as the iPhone is slowly becoming a legitimate business tool, your employees will soon have them in hand and invade your business. The reality is that the iPhone changes the playing field for security and really surprised IT consulting companies and their administrators when it got released. The users needs versus wants changed completely where being able to have a Smartphone that just sync’s calendars, contacts, and emails changes drastically. The iPhone hit the scene and next thing we were getting requests for it to be integrated into a businesses mail environment immediately. These requests were coming from owners and directors, decision makers were being demanding about making it work, totally side-stepping the security protocols set forth by years of experience and best practice. The bottom line is that the line between corporate tool and consumer gadget has not just been blurred; it has been completely erased. There have been several studies that have shown that when asked, the iPad and iPhones present the greatest smartphone security risk for IT. It’s a scary thought that you have locked down your environment but since a new gadget gets releases to the market and owners want it, it diminishes the integrity of the system.
There was recently a few contents by security outfits where they had people hack the iPhone in less than 2 minutes and won a cash price. This is a scary thought and quite frankly shows how easy it can be for the non-hacker. Obviously it might take a little longer from a less talented hacker but it can clearly be done. Apple has little intention to make their OS more secure because it’s not the market that they are targeting. Again they are targeting the consumer, not the business enterprise. I am sure there will be a point in time when that day comes but it is not in the near future. If Apple at the very minimum addressed just the enterprise security, supportability requirements, and new hardware level encryption. I want to be very clear that the OS on the iPhone is the same as the iPad as well as its security. Apple targeted the iPad primarily as a media consumption gadget for the residential consumer, not the business community but again we have seen this shift. I am not saying that you should ban the iPhone or iPad but develop policies and procedures that address the rules of engagement for integrating the iPad with your network environment.
As you develop the policies, keep in mind that the iPad is unique and could fall into a few different areas for policies. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
• delivers notebook-like functionality
• smartphone OS platform
• normally placed in the policy bucket for computer usage and security policies, not recommended
• a good policy bucket to consider – smartphone usage and security policies (recommended)
• same smartphone OS was hacked in less than 2 minutes
Make sure that whatever policy selected addresses the most important factor here which is allowing or denying the storage of confidential or sensitive information on the iPad, or how e-mail, instant messaging and other communications conducted through the iPad fit within archiving and compliance requirements.
Some months ago BVA was struggling to get more speed out of a client’s tape backup. We attempted updating firmware, drivers, and changing jobs but it did not yield the result we were expecting. During this time we were also running out of room on the main file share which slowed down the backups even more. One of our team members suggested to the client an archive process where we would move stale data to an external storage device. The client approved the process and we suggested that we could use this storage device to do backups to disk instead of tapes. Long story short, the BVA engineer went looking for a fast interface device with lots of storage that wouldn’t break the bank. An external eSATA device with 4 1TB drives for $600 was found. (http://www.cavalrystorage.com/CADA_SA4.htm)
The box comes with 4 drives, RAID controller, and an eSATA PCI-x card. We had to install the card on the server and just plug it in. The enclosure has its own RAID controller and the manufacturer sends it as RAID 5 so we got 3TB from it. Backups got faster. When other clients ran into a similar problem – low disk space/low budget/LOTS of Mac projects needing backups, I suggested this drive to them. This time however, the same drive was $450 (even cheaper).
I think the drive is a good external solution for non-critical data or data that doesn’t require the speed of Serial Attached SCSI. If everything runs as it should, the interface transfers data at 3Gbps which the same as an internal SATA drive.
Exchange 2010 Email Archiving appears to be Microsoft’s answer to third-party products like Symantec Enterprise Vault and Iron Mountain-Mimosa Systems. Based upon what I see, it’ll be a nice advanced IT solution for clients that use their mail system like a filing cabinet. This is a great way of managing data and controlling data flow within an organization. It requires Exchange Enterprise CALs and is not quite ready for prime time in my humble view (some of the admin functions won’t be added to the Management Console until SP1 for Exchange 2010). But overall it looks great and I suspect we’ll consider it for a lot of clients in the future. Email items from your primary mailbox can be automatically offloaded to a personal Archive through established retention polices, and administrators can also import historical email data from .PST files directly into Exchange. Pretty slick and convenient.
Here is a great link regarding the matter.