Archive for January 14, 2021

ASUS Reveals New Array Of Products At CES 2021

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 14, 2021 by itnerd

ASUS announced a number at items at CES this year. But the ASUS and ROG brand were represented and here’s the highlights.

ASUS ROG announced an exciting lineup of gaming weaponry and technologies at its CES 2021 ROG For Those Who Dare virtual launch event, including: 

  1. ROG Flow X13 gaming laptop with the XG Mobile external GPU: The 13-inch ultraportable gaming laptop powered by up to an AMD Ryzen 9 5980HS mobile processor CPU and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics. The energy efficient CPU helps prolong battery life, giving Flow X13 up to 10 hours of gaming on a full charge. It also comes with a lightweight, 100-watt USB-C PD charger that can charge an empty battery to 60% in just 39 minutes.
  2. Dual-screen ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE: Features the innovative ROG ScreenPad Plus to give gamers the advantage of a secondary screen for more usable onscreen space for gaming and productive tasks. 
  3. ROG Swift PG32UQ: The world’s first 32 -inch HDMI 2.1 gaming monitor and features a 144 Hz IPS panel with a 1ms moving picture response time (MPRT). It has two HDMI 2.1 ports to support up to 4K visuals at up to 120 Hz on the latest gaming consoles.
  4. You can read more in the press release here.

ASUS also introduced a wide variety of new laptops at CES that push the boundaries of design and innovation to deliver ultimate mobile computing experiences. The new line-up includes:

  1. The new ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED and ZenBook Duo 14: feature upgraded ScreenXpert 2 software, which introduces powerful and intuitive new features to streamline workflows.
  2. VivoBook S14 (S435): The lightest 14-inch VivoBook model, it is a powerful companion for discovering, exploring and creating. With the latest 11th Generation Intel Core i7 processor with Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16 GB memory, and Intel Optane Memory H10, VivoBook S14 can handle any workload
  3. Chromebook Flip CX5/C536 (CX5500): A groundbreaking new laptop that expands the capabilities of Chromebooks for cloud entertainment. This is the first 15.6-inch Chromebook Flip to be powered by an 11th Generation Intel Core processor with Intel Iris Xe graphics, and features Wi-Fi 6 connectivity.
  4. ZenBeam Latte L1 projector: ZenBeam Latte L1 projector enables users to take their favorite movies or music on the go. The projector introduces a new cylindrical mug-shaped design, which enhances sound transmission while providing a compact footprint. 
  5. You can read more in the press release here.

Antigena Email & Enterprise Immune System Designated Marsh Cyber Catalysts 2020 Designations

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 14, 2021 by itnerd

Darktrace, the world’s leading cyber AI company, has today announced that two of its core products have been designated Marsh ‘Cyber Catalyst’solutions. The program brings together leading cyber insurers to identify the solutions they believe most effective in reducing cyber risk.

Darktrace’s core AI threat detection technology, the Enterprise Immune System, and its AI-powered email security solution, Antigena Email, received Cyber Catalyst designation for their unique ability to combat the cyber risks facing organizations today, including ransomware and social engineering. Designated solutions can qualify for enhanced terms and conditions on cyber insurance policies offered by insurers participating in the Cyber Catalyst program, such as AXA XL, Allianz, AXIS and Beazley.

Darktrace’s Enterprise Immune System protects against novel cyber-threats by learning the normal ‘patterns of life’ of an organization, and detecting threats as they deviate from these patterns. In their evaluation, the insurers commented: “This is a unique product where machine learning/AI plays a core part in protecting, detecting, and responding to threats… [providing] a force multiplier to the security operations center.”
Darktrace’s Antigena Email is a self-learning technology that stops targeted email campaigns and impersonation attacks that evade traditional email gateways. The insurers commented: “A very novel context-based approach that asks not whether an incoming email is malicious but crucially whether it belongs – clearly valuable for organizations.”

Darktrace is the world’s leading cyber AI company and the creator of Autonomous Response technology. It provides comprehensive, enterprise-wide cyber defense to over 4,000 organizations worldwide, protecting the cloudemail, IoT, traditional networks, endpoints and industrial systems.

A self-learning technology, Darktrace AI autonomously detects, investigates and responds to advanced cyber-threats, including insider threat, remote working risks, ransomware, data loss and supply chain vulnerabilities.

The company has 1,300 employees and 44 office locations, with headquarters in Cambridge, UK and San Francisco. Every 3 seconds, Darktrace AI fights back against a cyber-threat, preventing it from causing damage.

2021 Network Field Report Reveals Widespread Gaps in Basic Network Management Activities: Auvik Networks

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 14, 2021 by itnerd

A new study from Auvik Networks looks in-depth at how in-house IT administrators manage their networks, and how knowledgeable and confident they are in their networks. Auvik, an award-winning provider of cloud-based network management software, released the 2021 Network Field Report, which surveyed IT professionals across North America. 

The objective of the report was to better understand the current state of network management practices, from backing up configurations to maintaining network documentation. The survey, which draws comparisons to a similar study completed by Auvik in 2015, also explores which tasks occupy the majority of an IT pro’s time, how IT pros are evaluated, and how often they outsource network-related tasks and functions. 

The results reveal a significant portion of companies have basic network management deficiencies, including a lack of network visibility, network device configuration backups, proactive network planning, and up-to-date documentation. 

Notably, findings indicate a need for improved network hygiene practices and show a discrepancy between network knowledge and confidence. More than half of IT pros have incomplete knowledge about how their networks are configured, yet 77% of these same people also report a high or very high confidence in their networks. This could indicate a potential mismatch between perception and reality, with IT pros unaware of the weaknesses in their network management practices.

Other key findings include:

  • Network device configuration backups: Only 36% of organizations back up their network device configurations daily or weekly, despite additional data showing that configuration changes are frequent. Newer, small organizations are most at risk of never backing up.
  • IT efficiency and productivity: IT pros are working fewer hours on reactive tasks (48%) than five years ago (59%), but they still spend much of their time on tasks that could be easily automated, including documentation (58%), mapping (55%) and network configuration backup (61%). Software tools can help manage or entirely automate these activities.
  • Project engagement: More than half (52%) of an IT pro’s time is spent on projects they hate or tolerate. Nearly half (45%) say that “not enough time” is the primary reason for not doing the projects that interest them.
  • Success measurement: Cost of IT overall is the main success metric, with 54% of IT pros saying they’re measured against it. In contrast, only 30% of IT pros are evaluated based on uptime/downtime percentage or number of closed tickets. Taken together, these findings could indicate that network stability is less of a focus for organizations than cost reductions.
  • Network planning and research: Nearly half (41%) of organizations spend no time on network planning.
  • Updating network documentation: More than a quarter (27%) of organizations never or rarely update their network documentation despite changes happening frequently at companies of all sizes. 

The Network Field Report 2021 is based on data from IT professionals, including IT managers, IT directors, IT specialists, network managers, and network administrators working in the US and Canada. To download a copy of the free report, visit auvik.com/networkfield21.

Guest Post: Keyfactor Comments On The Mimecast breach

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 14, 2021 by itnerd

Cloud-based email management company Mimecast recently disclosed that a threat actor obtained one of its digital certificates and used it to gain access to some of its clients’ Microsoft 365 accounts.

Chris Hickman, chief security officer at Keyfactor, a leading provider of secure digital identity management solutions, says:

“These attacks are not about FireEye, SolarWinds or Mimecast; the disturbing trend we are seeing is that these breaches are becoming habitual. The threat actors behind the attacks, whether they are using the SolarWinds backdoor or another, are targeting certificates and credentials. They are leveraging cryptographic assets to gain network access and evade security controls. 

The current trendline indicates that parts of the industry are still treating certificates as ‘just certificates’ rather than cryptographic assets that play a more important role in hardening network security. Technology alone cannot prevent breaches like this – companies need to ensure that they have in place the right controls, policies and follow industry best practices in order defend themselves against the evolving thread landscape. Companies need to take a hard look at how they manage and secure digital certificates and cryptographic keys in order to better protect themselves and their customers.

Here are some best practices to mitigate misuse of keys and certificates:

  • Never store code-signing keys on developer workstations, web servers or build servers. Private keys should be kept in a FIPS 140-2 validated HSM
  • Segregate duties between who is authorized to sign code, who can approve the request, and who can monitor and enforce compliance with signing policies.
  • Maintain an active inventory of all certificates, where they are installed, who they were issued from, and who owns them (and your domains). 
  • Control certificate issuance and approval workflows to ensure that every certificate is trusted, compliant with policy, and up-to-date.
  • Test your certificate re-issuance and revocation capabilities to ensure you can respond effectively to a compromise.”

Samsung Announces New S21 Series…. Available For Pre-Order At TELUS

Posted in Commentary with tags , on January 14, 2021 by itnerd

Earlier this morning, Samsung announced the new S21 series via their unpacked event which you can watch here. TELUS is excited to confirm that the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G devices are now available for pre-order at telus.com/galaxyS21. The latest Samsung devices will be available for purchase at telus.com on January 29, 2021.

Customers can get the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G today with the TELUS Easy Payment® device financing, starting at $0 upfront, on the TELUS 5G network. Plus, customers who get the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G device on a minimum two year term will receive two gifts with purchase, including the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro and Samsung Galaxy SmartTag, valued at over $300.

TekSavvy Picks Ciena For Deployment Of New Broadband Infrastructure Through Southwestern Ontario

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 14, 2021 by itnerd

TekSavvy Solutions Inc. today announced an agreement with Ciena to utilize its best-in-class optical solutions as the ISP completes its long-haul transport network between Toronto and Windsor.  TekSavvy’s 600km fibre ring includes 18 new and established points of presence in major markets throughout Southwestern Ontario. 

This agreement will support TekSavvy’s ongoing investments in its LTE and FTTH facilities, as well as its deployment of disaggregated wholesale services across the region. The announcement forms part of TekSavvy’s ambitious 5-year investment plan aimed at improving access to, and competitive choice for, high-speed broadband services. With earmarked capital investment totaling over $250 million, including over $100 million for network infrastructure, TekSavvy intends to connect over 60,000 residences and businesses and to bring competitive choice for fibre internet service to communities in the region. TekSavvy will deploy Ciena’s optical solutions during the first 6 months of 2021. 

TekSavvy is deploying Ciena’s coherent optical flexible grid solution. The solution uses the 6500 Packet-Optical Platform powered by WaveLogic coherent optics that can scale to 400G and beyond.  This will enable TekSavvy’s network to scale for high bandwidth applications using minimal hardware, driving improved network economics.

Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan domain controller will provide end-to-end lifecycle operations that will unify network and service management and online network planning through software-defined control.