Archive for the Commentary Category

The Germans Say That Huawei Worked With Chinese Intelligence…. Huawei Says Nein!

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 29, 2020 by itnerd

Just a day after getting a win, Huawei is back in the news for all the wrong reasons. The German government is in possession of evidence that Huawei, the leading maker of telecoms network equipment, has collaborated with Chinese intelligence, the Handelsblatt daily reported on Wednesday. Something that the teclo gear maker denies:

Huawei [HWT.UL], the leading maker of telecoms network equipment, denied a newspaper report on Wednesday that alleged the German government was in possession of evidence that it had cooperated with Chinese intelligence.

“Huawei Technologies has never, and will never, do anything to compromise the security of networks and data of its customers,” the Chinese company said in response to the report in the Handelsblatt business daily.

“The Handelsblatt article repeats old, unfounded allegations without providing any concrete evidence whatsoever.”

This is what Handelsblatt said:

The Handelsblatt report cited a confidential foreign ministry document that intelligence shared by U.S. officials represented a “smoking gun” that meant Chinese companies were unsafe partners for building next-generation 5G mobile networks.

“At the end of 2019, intelligence was passed to us by the U.S., according to which Huawei is proven to have been cooperating with China’s security authorities,” the newspaper cited the document as saying.

This is sure to muddy the waters further. Is Huawei an agent for Chinese intelligence? Are the issues with Huawei overblown? At this point it isn’t clear and the only thing that will make it clear are facts. Something that seems to be in short supply at the moment when it comes to Huawei.

iland Opens New Data Center Facility In Toronto

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 29, 2020 by itnerd

iland, an industry-leading provider of secure application and data protection cloud services built on proven VMware technology, today announced a new cloud region in Canada with the opening of its new data center facility in Toronto, Ontario, joining nine other cloud regions in Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington, D.C., London, Manchester, Amsterdam, Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney.

The new iland cloud region provides access to the company’s full suite of secure cloud services built on iland’s Secure Cloud Platform, including Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Backup as a Service (BaaS), and backup services for Office 365, in addition to Cloud Object Storage available later in the year.  The Toronto facility is iland’s first cloud region in Canada with plans for an additional Canadian location later this year.

With this new cloud region, iland is offering additional opportunities to its existing North American channel partners and is actively engaging new partners in the region, especially those with customers using VMware and Veeam solutions.

Secure Inside and Out

Expansion into Canada provides unmatched cloud services to customers in North America, while meeting the stringent demands of Canadian data security and privacy regulations. The new 242,000 square-foot facility includes security officers working 24 hours a day, seven days a week; provides numerous physical security measures; and it meets the certification requirements of ISO 9001, ISO 27001, CSA STAR and BS 10012.

Designed Green

iland’s new cloud region is designed green to meet environmental demands of Canadian consumers and regulations, earning it a Gold level for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The building includes granular-temperature and optimized-lighting controls, a rainwater capture irrigation system, cold aisle containment and high-efficiency-Turbocor chillers.

The opening of iland’s 10th cloud region is the first major announcement of this year, coming off a highly successful 2019, which included the following accomplishments:

iland is a global cloud service provider of secure and compliant hosting for infrastructure (IaaS), disaster recovery (DRaaS) and backup as a service (BaaS). They are recognized by industry analysts as a leader in disaster recovery. The award-winning iland Secure Cloud Console natively combines deep layered security, predictive analytics and compliance to deliver unmatched visibility and ease of management for all of iland’s cloud services. Headquartered in Houston, Texas and London, UK, iland delivers cloud services from its cloud regions throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Learn more at www.iland.com.

Fourth Annual NOVIPRO Survey Reveals Canadian Businesses Are Not Taking Cybersecurity Risks Seriously

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 28, 2020 by itnerd

Results from the fourth annual NOVIPRO/Leger IT Portrait of Canadian Business survey questions whether Canadian businesses are taking the responsibility for their data seriously. In 2019, cyber attacks affected more than one third of companies (37%), up from 28% the year prior. Yet, instead of taking a proactive stance against a possible breach, surprisingly, most companies are opting for a wait-and-see approach, potentially jeopardizing the safety of their data, clients and business altogether.

The survey showed that less than half of all Canadian companies surveyed (48%) took steps to review their data protection plans last year. The financial industry has been the hardest hit with security issues, however just 58 percent of those businesses have undertaken a review. Results also found that only 38 percent of companies surveyed would alert clients to a cyber-attack event, down from nearly half (49%) in the year prior.

Respondents Recognize a Need for Improvement

While three out of four companies (76%) believe they have a solid knowledge of new North American and European data management regulations, less than half of all companies feel they are well protected against data loss (46%), intrusions (44%), and viruses (45%).

An encouraging sign from the survey is that respondents pegged security solutions as their top tech investment priority (42%), up from the second spot last year and ahead of infrastructure (40%) and business (37%) solutions. “We must see the protection of informational assets as a strategic investment contributing to the achievement of the strategic objectives of the company,” says Alina Dulipovici, associate professor in the Department of Information Technologies of HEC Montréal. “More action is also needed to enable employees and even business partners to become strong links in the information asset protection chain by raising awareness of security risks.”

Friendly Fire

When asked about the sources of IT threats, the survey revealed businesses need to focus internally more than externally. Thirty-six percent of respondents pointed to partners, suppliers, and clients as threats; 32 percent cited internal resources (employees); and only 30 percent blame external threats that have no connection to the company.

Greater Importance on IT, AI and the Cloud

Increased investment in security is essential as Canadian companies are placing more importance on IT services than ever before. Today, IT is seen less as an investment (47%/28%, 2016/2019) and more as a strategic partner (21%/41%, 2016/2019) in success*.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been gradually gaining traction to where, today, 92% of businesses feel they have a solid grasp of AI solutions. Companies investing in AI are leveraging it to boost productivity (51%), cut operating costs (38%), replace manual tasks (36%), decipher market trends (32%) and improve the customer experience (31%), which fell from number two in 2018 to last.

With regards to Cloud computing, close to 50 percent of companies feel the technology has enabled them to be more efficient than ever, and one in three (33%) agree the future is in the Cloud, but say they are not yet ready to take the plunge. As in 2019, one in three companies (33%) say that Cloud computing is not a viable solution due to the costs involved. The other reasons given are the lack of support (31%), unproven reliability (29%), lack of security (27%), and inadequate performance (25%). That said, business confidence in Cloud computing has increased significantly. Among companies where Cloud computing is not a solution, only one in four (27%) deem the technology unsecure compared to 43% in 2018.

About the 2019 NOVIPRO/Léger Survey

This fourth portrait was conducted from September 23 to October 23, 2019 among 496 respondents (300 IT decision-makers and 196 from other sectors) from Canadian companies. Most respondents are men (70%) working full time (96%) in a medium-sized business (100 to 499 employees – 43%) or a large company (500 or more employees – 55%).

TekSavvy Brings Cable Internet Service to Consumers in New Brunswick and Newfoundland

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 28, 2020 by itnerd

TekSavvy today announced the launch of its cable internet services in select regions of New Brunswick and Newfoundland.

This expansion of services into New Brunswick and Newfoundland includes the communities of Fredericton, Moncton, Corner Brook, Gander St. John’s NF, Saint John NB and many others. Consumers can go to www.teksavvy.com, enter their address and see what internet packages they can order.

With the launch of cable internet service, TekSavvy allows consumers to connect to higher download speeds at fair prices without long-term commitments. TekSavvy cable internet service starts at $53.95 per month with speeds of 75 Mbps and 150 Mbps with unlimited monthly usage.

New Brunswick availability: Bathurst, Campbellton, Chamcook, Edmundston, Fredericton, Miramichi, Moncton, Pokemouche, Saint John and Woodstock.

Newfoundland availability: Corner Brook, Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor, Notre Dame and St. John’s.

To learn more about TekSavvy and to see what internet packages consumers qualify for, please visit www.teksavvy.com.

 

Cisco Announces Major Upgrades To Webex & More

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 28, 2020 by itnerd

Cisco Live 2020 Barcelona opens today, and runs through January 31, at Fira de Barcelona in Spain, bringing together nearly 20,000 customers, partners, IT professionals and visionaries. The event is designed to help customers realize the full realm of opportunities open to them, and give them the cutting-edge knowledge, skills, and technologies to make it happen.

Throughout the week, innovations across Cisco’s cybersecurity, networking and collaboration portfolios, as well as within its DevNet program will be unveiled – all designed to help businesses scale, stay secure, and drive digitization. Keynote presentations from Cisco’s President of Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia (EMEAR) region, Wendy Mars, and the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Networking and Security Business, David Goeckeler, as well as other Cisco business leaders, will showcase the company’s strategy to help partners and customers seize new business opportunities in the era of digital transformation.

News highlights include:

  • Accelerating Applications in a Hybrid Multicloud World : Cisco’s new multi-domain architecture offering brings together AppDynamics and Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer to deliver full visibility within the application, network and data center, both on-prem and in the cloud. Cisco HyperFlex Application Platform delivers an integrated container-as-a-service platform that simplifies provisioning and ongoing operations for Kubernetes across cloud, data center, and edge.
  • Comprehensive Security Architecture for Industrial IoT : Organizations need complete visibility into the most disparate of network environments in order to secure their industrial edge, lower the risk of cyber threats, and optimize industrial processes. Cisco’s new IoT security architecture provides enhanced visibility across both IT and OT environments, protecting industrial processes and enabling the collection and extraction of data from the IoT edge so organizations can increase efficiencies to make better business decisions and accelerate digitization projects.
  • Revolutionizing Customer and Agent Experiences with New Contact Center Enhancements : The world’s best brands earn customer loyalty over years, even decades – only to lose it in a few seconds if the customer experience is not stellar. While customer needs and expectations have changed, the ways in which companies respond have not kept pace. Today, Cisco announced three developments that fundamentally transform the customer experience with contact centers, for the better: an AI infusion, a new customer experience solution, and a new cloud contact center product.
  • Better and More Engaged Meetings Through AI Innovations New AI-powered voice intelligence capabilities to Webex Meetings turns talk into action, turning Webex meetings into a digital treasure trove. Additionally, Cisco continues its commitment to security and data privacy by enabling customers with the ability to choose whether their Webex Teams data will be stored in Europe or the United States. The company also announced the new Cisco Webex Room USB, an entry-level video device offering smaller organizations collaboration without compromise.

Conference highlights include:

  • Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility: Cisco will outline its social impact agenda, supporting the company’s commitment to accelerate global problem solving through technology and expertise. Cisco is proud to partner with o3e to improve access to education, medical and other essential services for refugees and the homeless. At “Build a Bike” located in The Park area, volunteers can help build 50 bikes which will be donated to homeless and refugee programs in Barcelona. The initiative aligns with Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility priorities and the goal to positively impact 1 billion people by 2025.
  • DevNet Zone : Attendees will get hands-on experience with APIs, develop coding skills in the coding lab, and learn more about Cisco’s new DevNet certifications (launching February 2020). DevNet is Cisco’s software developer resource community aimed at helping developers and network engineers innovate using Cisco technologies and platforms.
  • World of Solutions and Cisco Showcase : Attendees are invited to explore the latest innovations from Cisco and its ecosystem partners in this experiential space where over 130 exhibitors will be demonstrating their products and solutions.
  • Innovation Talks : Cisco executives will discuss the latest innovations in solutions and services and great best practices.
  • Walk-in Labs : Designed to provide a one-of-a-kind, hands-on experience on a variety of Cisco products and solutions, attendees can work on pre-designed scenarios, explore features, and access training.
  • Cisco Customer Experience (CX) : Attendees can experience the “Digital Heartbeat” of Cisco Live, Cisco CX, to learn about Cisco’s lifecycle approach to performing and transforming toward better business outcomes.
  • Technical Solutions Clinics : Experts from the Cisco CX Global Center will be on-hand to troubleshoot any implementation, application, and integration issues.
  • Network Operations Center (NOC) : Visit the NOC, in partnership with NetApp, to speak with engineers and solutions experts to discuss how Cisco rapidly builds and centrally manages a secure Cisco Enterprise Network.
  • Capture the Flag: Learn new technologies and get hands-on experience by playing the “Capture the Flag” game, designed to solve demanding challenges. Try your hand at ethical hacking of networks and systems, design and investigate the Software Defined Campus and WAN networks and enhance cloud skills learning and exploring Cisco’s Meraki platform.
  • Cisco Investments Village : Meet eight of the most prominent start-ups in the industry and learn about their unique technology solutions and how they are changing the realm of what’s possible.

There is a Live stream that is available for a front row seat at Cisco Live 2020, Barcelona

UK To Allow Huawei Gear On Their 5G Networks…. Is Canada Next?

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 28, 2020 by itnerd

Today it was announced that the UK would allow gear from Chinese telco gear maker Huawei onto their 5G network. From the CBC:

Britain will allow Chinese telecom giant Huawei a limited role in building its 5G networks, the government said on Tuesday.

It said high-risk vendors would be excluded from the sensitive core of networks, and there would be a 35 per cent cap on their involvement in the non-sensitive parts.

The U.K. faced opposing pressures from the United States and China on the eve of Brexit.

The United States had wanted U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ban Huawei completely, arguing that Beijing could use the company’s equipment to steal Western secrets. Huawei has denied any involvement in espionage. 

Beijing had warned that blocking the company would hurt Chinese investment.

You can bet that US president Donald Trump will ratchet up the Twitter machine to complain about this. For fun I checked his Twitter feed and saw nothing related to this. That may be due to the fact that he has impeachment other issues at the moment. But you know the Tweetstorm is coming.

That begs the question. What about Canada? A decision on Huawei participating in Canada’s 5G network has been pending for a while now. Now that the UK has jumped aboard the Huawei train, does that mean that Canada will be next? Or will they toe the line that the US wants them to toe? It will be interesting to see which way they go.

Pure Storage Canada Survey Has Canadians Chime In On Data Privacy & Trust In A Digital World

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 27, 2020 by itnerd

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada reported in November that well over 28 million Canadians were affected by a data breach.

This Tuesday is worldwide Data Privacy Day, which is set to raise awareness around technology and privacy rights, including best practices for safeguarding personal information.

People and their machines generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day. In the last two years alone, 90 per cent of the world’s data has been created.

A new survey, conducted by Pure Storage Canada, takes the pulse of 1,500 Canadians on their concerns on the issue of data, how it’s stored and managed, and how it affects privacy.

The poll revealed that nine-in-10 Canadians (92%) are most concerned about data privacy, while eight-in-10 (78%) are generally concerned about the storing and managing of data.

From government and startups to large enterprises, organizations have to confront this challenge in all they do with their data and their customers – truly becoming stewards of its protection.

It is critical to earn the trust of citizens, customers and partners by embracing this holistically – and making data privacy a responsibility throughout all systems and processes around data management.

Pure Storage Canada are releasing the results over the next couple weeks so stay tuned for more results. From December 12-16, 2019, an online survey was conducted among a representative sample of 1,500 Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, the sample plan would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.