Nearly everyone’s going to work from home

US Army - Wikimedia CommonsIDC released a forecast which estimated that by 202 nearly three quarters of people with jobs in the United States will be mobile workers.

Right now, there are 96.2 million mobile workers in the USA, but that figure is set to rise to 105.4 million by 2020.

A whole heap of things are accelerating the trend including cheaper smartphones and tablets, the acceptance by employers of bring your own devices (BYOD), biometric readers, voice control, near field communications (NFC) and augmented reality.

IDC said 69.1 percent of the enterprises it surveyed saw a reduction in costs through implementing BYOD programmes.

Healthcare workers are the biggest segment of the mobile workforce, followed by manufacturing and construction. In fact, non office based mobile workers make up two thirds of the total mobile worker population.

Bryan Bassett, a research analyst at IDC said that mobility has become synonymous with productivity both inside and outside the workplace.

HP turns to cyber defence

HP logoHewlett Packard said it has introduced security products and services and claimed it has a new approach to the problem.

It said that organisations across the globe spent $77 billion on cyber security last year, and, at the same time, successful attacks increased by 25 percent.

HP’s products and services are focused not only on securing the perimeter of enterprise IT systems, but protecting data that sits in the cloud of unknowing.

The firm said it has made an agreement with security analytics company Securonix which uses behavioural data generated by people within an enterprise to detect threats.

It has also introduced a cloud access security protection system that it claims provides “borderless” protection of data. It’s teamed up Adallom to bring this to HP customers.

HP also said it providing “Fortify on Demand” – a mobile application reputation database which helps enterprises manage Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies.

Dell snaps up data protection specialist

Grey Tin box maker Michael  Dell has written a cheque for data protection outift Credant , as part of a cunning plan to expand his enterprise security portfolio.

Credant’s technology allows customers to protect and encrypt corporate data, securing information sent from endpoints to storage, servers or into the cloud.   The Texan firm, founded in 2001, currently secures more than two million endpoints for customers across a number of verticals, and will add to Dell’s growing enterprise security offerings.  

It is expected that Credant will provide benefits to Dell customers such as simplified security management, faster provisioning of services and “military-grade” protection and encryption.

According to a statement from Dell, the acquisition will help the company to address demands from corporate customers around bring your own device (BYOD), with Credant technology securing data across multiple operating systems.

Dell, which has already snapped up a number of security related companies such as SonicWall this year, did not reveal the financials details of the acquisition.

Jeff Clarke, president of Dell’s End User Computing Solutions division, said that the services offered by Credant will allow enterprise users to cope with the rise in mobility.

“In today’s work environment data is always in-flight – from work being done on a local PC, being sent via email, stored on a USB drive and saved in the cloud,” Clarke said. “Each one of those experiences represents a potential security risk.

He added: “The Credant assets will complement and extend current Dell device security features to make Dell Latitude, OptiPlex and Precision PCs some of the world’s most secure. And when combined with the change in compute behaviors and data in-flight, Dell can now offer a differentiated security proposition based on its own Intellectual Property.”

In other acquisition news, Cisco has agreed to buy BroadHop, a provider of policy control and service management technology for carrier networks.

Fujitsu shows off U772 LifeBook – a business targeted Ultrabook

Fujitsu is readying the release of the LifeBook U772, its business-targeted Ivy Bridge Ultrabook.

Fujitsu told us that the spec limitations of Ultrabooks has been too “consumer orientated”, but the firm is now able to create more strictly business focused machines thanks to Ivy Bridge.  

This will help drive BYOD trends, Fujitsu claimed to TechEye, as the machines are “much more secure” for business use than other models.  Fujitsu said that this will make life easier for IT managers concerned about using laptops in the workplace, with the machine designed specifically for business to business users.  

The U772 is the first Ultrabook to feature port replicator docking connectivity, so that business users can easily access a multitude of connections as required.  

In addition to this there are also two USB 3.0 slots, one USB 2.0, full sized HDMI, space for an ethernet adaptor and SD card.  The machine weighs in at 1.4KG with solid magnesium housing, according to the limited specifications Fujitsu was offering. 


The release date is in line with Ivy Bridge, but a spokesperson said the company is ready to release the machine immediately – as soon as Intel gives the nod.

Fujitsu was also showing off its U572 product, aimed at SMBs, which was debuted at Cebit.

BYOD to join mile high club

It is happening in the workplace, and it appears that BYOD could soon reach into the sky.

In-flight entertainment usually takes the form of a small rectangle housed in the back airplane seats. In the past, it used to consist of a crap Adam Sandler film and annoyingly minute cans of lager. But analysts are expecting a boom in the use of personal devices on planes.

Long haul flights these days offer a wide range of films, music and games to stave off the pressing desire to open a window for a quick cigarette.

While wireless connectivity is common on planes, airlines have been missing a trick by wiring up screens to display in-flight entertainment.

Trials have been underway to do away with the seat-back screen, and IMS Research analysts believe that wireless services will become the norm.

With an installed-base of 80 last year, it is predicted that this will rise to 9,000 by 2021.
It would certainly make sense for airlines.   With financial constraints biting into many firms, the ability to get rid of costly wiring would in turn reduce aircraft weight and reduce fuel costs.

Furthermore, airlines such as Ryanair, always on the lookout for a new way to fleece its customers, would be able to create inflight entertainment services that could rake in extra cash.

For passengers it would mean the ease of access to music and video or games on their own devices.

Bring-your-own-device has certainly proved very popular in offices down here on terra firma, and it looks like the trend is set to continue up in the sky too.

“There are a number of factors that are driving the growth in wireless IFE,” IMS Research analyst Rose Yin told TechEye.

“The popularity of mobile devices is definitely one of the crucial factors. For instance, with more and more passengers carrying a wi-fi enabled device on board  such as tablets or smartphones, airlines have been looking at solutions that would utilise those devices.” 

One of the further advantages of wireless inflight entertainment is that the need for actual net connections is reduced.  

With a high cost for passengers and relatively low speeds, hardware and installation costs have meant that airlines are reticent to actually offer internet services despite increases in passengers using mobile devices.

“However, wireless IFE does not necessarily need connectivity, making it much cheaper and quicker to retrofit onto existing aircrafts,” Yin said. “Also, if all inflight entertainment can be streamed wirelessly to passenger’s devices, then it potentially removes the need for traditional wired seat-back IFE systems, which could mean a significant weight savings, in some instances, over a ton, and leading to fuel savings – one of the biggest cost savings.”

There are problems, however. Not all passengers will have a tablet or smartphone with them, but the real sticking point at the moment is the ability to stream to large numbers of users.

“At the moment, one of the biggest concerns airlines are facing is actually the ability to stream content at a high quality to enough devices at one time,” Yin said.  “Although most suppliers claim that their systems have solved the bandwidth issue, many airlines are still not convinced.”

“For example, an airline might fear that if 100 passengers all stream video at the same time wirelessly, many would experience quality issues.

“So, airlines who don’t want to charge passengers will probably be more concerned on the bandwidth issue than the number of devices passengers carry, whilst those who hope to charge might fear the uptake might be low for years to come.” 

The ability to use a variety of platforms could cause headaches too, with some systems only supporting one OS.

But if airlines can get it right then wireless inflight entertainment could soon become the norm.

IBM warns enterprise security to carefully consider the cloud

IBM has finished its X-Force 2011 Trend and Risk Report, which has identified that the web is becoming suprisingly safer in terms of security vulnerabilities, spam and exploits. The downside is this is forcing cyber criminals to think outside the box to really wreak havoc.

Over the course of 2011, there was a 30 percent drop in the availability of exploit code compared to the average throughout the last four years. Software developers are to thank, according to IBM, for making the appropriate architecture and procedural changes which are necessary to stump hackers. At the same time, software vendors have been waking up to the fact that leaving public vulnerabilities unpatched is regarded as a phenomenally bad idea. IBM said that while some vulnerabilities are never patched, the percentage of those has been decreasing – down to 36 percent in 2011 from 43 percent in 2010.

XSS vulnerabilities were down in 2011 but they do still appear in approximately 40 percent of the applications IBM looks at. That is quite remarkable, IBM suggests, because it is a high level for a problem which is “well understood and able to be addressed.”

The bad news: malicious attackers are not resting on their laurels as more traditional methods are mostly quashed by the industry. Attackers are, IBM says, becoming increasingly savvy.

Although SQL injections were down 46 percent for 2011, cyber criminals have been making another attack increasingly popular: shell command injection, which means attackers can execute commands directly on the web server, were up as much as three times during the year.

It also looks like the phenomenal amount of press into password protection still have not made people take notice. “Dave1” or “654321” are easy enough for automated password guessing which became more popular as well. There was a “large spike” in this kind of password guessing, particularly in the second half of the year.

As newer trends continue to proliferate so too do the risks involved. Some CIOs and IT managers in the enterprise are worrying about Bring Your Own Device – a trend which shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. Without the right protection in place, businesses run the risk of letting exploits slip through the net – a big deal because publicly released mobile exploits rose 19 percent in 2011. Social media also became more of an obvious candidate for threats. IBM said its X-Force report noticed a massive increase in phishing emails for social media networks. Pressingly, there are other, more sophisticated attacks taking place. As social media users freely submit so much information about themselves to the web, they are opening themselves up for “pre-attack intelligence gathering” in both public and private sector networks.

Cloud has become firmly rooted as every-day terminology and moved from, according to IBM, an emerging technology to mainstream status still experiencing huge growth way into 2013. IBM suggests that organisations should think long and hard about which of their workloads go to which provider, and recommends that highly sensitive data stay in-house.

Liability in the cloud remains a troubling point of focus for many businesses. IBM says it encourages businesses to look very carefully at Service Level Agreements. IBM security cloud strategist Ryan Berg said in a statement: “Depending upon the type of cloud deployment, most, if not all, of the technology is outside of the  customer’s control. They should focus on information security requirements of the data destined for the cloud, and through due diligence, make certain their cloud provider has the capability to adequately secure the workload.”

Killing prominent botnets has also helped significantly reduce the number of spam traffic. IBM noted that spam in 2011 was down by roughly half the volume of 2010. We can also thank better spam filtering technology.