Tag : secure

Completely secure data transfer on the way?

I recently read an article that talked about the possibility of a completely secure data transfer using quantum entanglement. Essentially what that means in terms of computer data and packets is that the data becomes correlated with each other and shares properties. Hypothetically speaking, if you send 50 packets, all packets could take the same properties of the first packet, therefore making it impossible to see what the total outcome of all 50 packets contains.

Until now, the entanglement was only controllable for up to a second, but a recent advancement at the University of Copenhagen’s Niels Bohr institute have been able to keep this entanglement active for up to an hour. This could enable you to be able to make direct connections between two systems, and when you make a change on one end the other end will know and it can all be transferred directly over the internet.

Scientists are currently working on ways to incorporate this into both networking and the internet. Although this is cutting edge and in my honest opinion pretty cool, it may be some time before this would ever reach a PC near you.

Secure Email Encryption – Zixmail

BVA gets several requests month in and month out for a good way to send secure emails.  There is really no way to answer this with a cheap method.  There are a few great solutions out there though they can be a little costly but here recently we found a method that is pretty cheap and very reliable.  ZixCorp Email Encryption Services is a solution tool that can protect your sensitive mail data.  ZixMail is the name of their product and it basically provides desktop email encryption that includes automated key management and delivery to anyone, anywhere through a secure web portal. It can be used with any corporate or web-based email system, and optional plug-ins are available for full integration with Microsoft Outlook.

ZixMail makes it easy to securely send and receive confidential information. Encrypted messages are delivered using your existing email address, and a single ZixMail client can support multiple email addresses. ZixMail also provides time stamping and authentication for irrefutable proof of delivery and receipt.

If your recipient is not a ZixCorp customer, not an issue…ZixMail automatically sends your email to ZixPort, a secure messaging portal that can be used to deliver secure email to any address.  The majority of your clients are strong Microsoft environments and this solution works great with it. ZixCorp provides a special ZixMail plug-in so you can send and receive encrypted email without ever leaving Outlook. The plug-in integrates the ZixMail functionality directly into Outlook’s toolbar. The simple click of a button is all it takes to encrypt or decrypt a message.

Automated Key Management
ZixMail takes care of the most complicated aspect of using email encryption – key management. With ZixMail, all key management is handled through ZixDirectorySM, ZixCorp’s hosted public key repository. Tens of millions of members are included in ZixDirectory, allowing ZixMail users to automatically send and receive encrypted emails from other ZixMail or ZixGateway customers. No key set-up or exchange is necessary.

Windows Intune – Optimistic View

BVA has been in the cloud for sometime.  Obviously being in the cloud means alot of different things to alot of different people.  Everyone seems to have their own spin on the term.  For some time now we have wondered if Microsoft would come out with System Center for the cloud (BPOS). The overall BPOS solution has been fairly stable and successful yet there have been a few pitfalls but have worked through them with support.

As its core, Windows Intune is a cloud-based version of the desktop management capabilities customers could previously get by deploying Microsoft System Center technologies. For those that do not know that Microsoft System Center, it’s basically a bunch of older product put together via a large suite of applications.  That being said the applications contributed are valid and great products.  It’s basically the old SMS desktop management system and basically MOM.  These are tried and tested application that BVA has deployed for several years, yet all required their own on-premise servers.  Therefore, Window Intune, rather than hosting a System Center server on-premises and managing desktops from the server, administrators using Windows Intune load a client onto the desktops.  Administrators can access, via a browser, the management software and tools in the cloud and manage and secure those desktops through the cloud. In addition to the product features, the monthly subscription will include upgrade rights to Windows 7 Enterprise for every covered desktop and an option to buy the otherwise hard-to-get Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP).

When the first limited beta of Windows Intune arrived in April, Microsoft described it almost exclusively as a midmarket IT-focused offering, with a slightly lower-end core audience than the System Center suite of products reaches. Core capabilities of Windows Intune include the ability to centrally manage the deployment of updates and service packs to PCs, to manage protection of PCs through the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine, to receive alerts that help administrators proactively monitor PCs, provide remote assistance, track hardware and software inventory, and set security policies.  For users familiar with Microsoft’s other product families, Windows Intune combines a Web-based management console with the desktop malware protection and reporting of the Microsoft Forefront Protection Suite and the update management, inventory and software deployment of Microsoft System Center Configuration manager 2007 or Microsoft System Center Essentials. Windows Intune also has the operating system distribution capabilities of Configuration Manager.

After reviewing all the facts it seems that this will be a great offering for our client base.  We are going to try this out at a client next month and we are looking forward to really seeing the real-world applications and cost savings.  I think it is fair to say that I am a little apprehensive about the security associated in imaging desktops through the cloud, but time will tell.  As a collective unit, BVA is staying positive with the security and ease of use.