Tag Archives: Internet

My Latest Gartner Research: Enterprise Firewall and Unified Threat Management Products Impact End-User Buying Behavior

This document helps product developers and managers of security providers prepare enterprise firewall and unified threat management products for the impact of digital business, mobile and the Internet of Things on end-user buying behavior….

Gartner Subscribers can access this research by clicking here.


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Five steps for an unbelievably green and water efficient lawn during California’s drought

Keep your lawn green this summer!

The following five steps will allow you to significantly improve your lawn while saving a tremendous amount of water use throughout the year. The following five steps only take about 30 minutes across the entire year in order to properly improve your specific situation. The simple fact is you do not need to kill off your lawn in order to save significant amounts of water and contribute to the efficiency of water use within California.

By implementing these steps I personally experienced more than 30% reduction in my water use while my neighbors stood in awe of how florescent green my lawn was. When I showed my water bill and the savings to my neighbors they were in complete disbelief because they believed they had to kill off their lawn by reducing their water use to all zero but quite in fact this is not necessary. With proper maintenance, a lawn and your entire yard needs only a fraction of a the water necessary to keep it green and beautiful when you are not properly caring for it.

Step 1. Follow the sun (and the weather).

Often, many of us pay attention to the weather in order to select the right clothing for the day. However many of us ignore the fact that our lawns also need you to adjust your care according to the weather and the amount of sun your lawn will receive. So it is important to note what the weather will be like and the temperature ranges that your lawn will be experiencing along with you during the day.

Step 2. Penetrate your soul (leverage an aerator).

aerator

 

This simple little tool can be used to significantly change the absorption rate of water for your lawn. Imagine that you don’t aerate your lawn, without aeration the water sits on the top layer of soil and if you have a hill or sloped lawn it rolls right off only permeating the very top quarter-inch layer of topsoil. The goal for water efficient lawn is to maintain deep penetration of water into the topsoil and the only way to perform this without overwatering is through aeration. Aeration also has other benefits such as delivering nutrients further into the soil towards the roots of your grass. This is the single most effective way to reduce water usage and it only takes five minutes with this tool found at Home Depot at the following URL: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Hound-Dog-Steel-Spike-Aerator-HDP37/202605484

Step 3. Renew your body (sprinkle some seed).

Re-seeding is an essential step to keeping a quality lawn. Over time and age lawn degrades and the blades of grass simply don’t have the same luster as they once had similar to humans and aging. So it is important to re-seed on a regular basis usually in the springtime. grass-seedThere are many types of seed and you should try and match the type of seed that you already have if at all possible so that you can maintain the look the you desire. For me a simple fescue mix from my local Walmart or Home Depot was sufficient to maintain my own grass in the look that I desired.

Step 4. Take some vitamins (fertilize!).

The next stephandheld-spreader after aeration is to ensure that your grass has quality nutrients delivered directly to its roots, just like our bodies need vitamins so to do grasses and other shrubs we plant our yards. A simple $10-$15 fertilizer sprinkled across your lawn is sufficient to provide nutrients for almost 6 months and significantly improve the health of your lawn and provide for a florescent green and healthy color. This step takes only minutes once every six months. Ideally you can spread fertilizer with the same handheld spreader you use for the seed.

Step 5. Adjust your clocks! (water at the right time of day).

The final step in this process is to adjust your watering habits or your watering system to accommodate our newly renovated lawn. An unhealthy lawn without these maintenance techniques requires 2 to 3 times as much water, leading guidance from common Internet sources to claim watering must be 8 to 10 minutes per day in order for the desired look. However I have found that For my environmental conditions in Northern California,  quite honestly a healthfully maintained lawn only needs one third of the amount of water across to the majority of the year with only exceeding this amount in the highest temperature period of the summer months. The best watering times for grass are during the morning hours between 4 and 5 AM allowing sufficient soak time prior to the sun rising and evaporating the moisture. For my use I also run my water in the afternoon at around 5 PM, ideally you do not want a moist soil all night long to avoid bacteria and moss growth during the evening.

This is a photo of my lawn and my bill usage graph with an over 30% reduction (year over year) in my water use. 

my-grass

water-saved

 

 

 


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[ISN] Auto industry gears up to stop hackers

http://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/mark-phelan/2015/02/18/cyber-security-hacking-auto/23571009/ By Mark Phelan Detroit Free Press Auto Critic February 18, 2015 Cars may become tempting targets for hackers looking to wreak havoc, and the auto industry is just beginning to face the challenge of stopping them, a panel of experts said at a conference in suburban Detroit Tuesday. Current vehicles are very vulnerable. A 14-year-old kid armed with a $14 circuit board built from Radio Shack parts cracked a new car’s the security at a hack-a-thon supplier Delphi sponsored last summer, Delphi senior vice president and chief technologist Andrew Brown Jr. told a cyber-security conference sponsored by the Center for Automotive Research. Connected cars that share information with each other and have internet and wi-fi service present automakers with myriad new challenges – and vast opportunities for hackers, Frost & Sullivan research manager Praveen Narayanan said. Cars presenting a tempting target not because hackers want to mess with a single driver, but because the car will be communicating with other vehicles, the infrastructure and finance networks, Anuja Sonalker of Battelle said. […]


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[ISN] PSA: Your crypto apps are useless unless you check them for backdoors

http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/02/psa-your-crypto-apps-are-useless-unless-you-check-them-for-backdoors/ By Dan Goodin Ars Technica Feb 4, 2015 At the beginning of the year, I did something I’ve never done before: I made a new year’s resolution. From here on out, I pledged, I would install only digitally signed software I could verify hadn’t been tampered with by someone sitting between me and the website that made it available for download. It seemed like a modest undertaking, but in practice, it has already cost me a few hours of lost time. With practice, it’s no longer the productivity killer it was. Still, the experience left me smarting. In some cases, the extra time I spent verifying signatures did little or nothing to make me more secure. And too many times, the sites that took the time to provide digital signatures gave little guidance on how to use them. Even worse, in one case, subpar security practices of some software providers undercut the protection that’s supposed to be provided with digitally signed code. And in one extreme case, I installed the Adium instant messaging program with no assurance at all, effectively crossing my fingers that it hadn’t been maliciously modified by state-sponsored spies or criminally motivated hackers. More about those deficiencies later—let’s begin first with an explanation of why digital signatures are necessary and how to go about verifying them. By now, most people are familiar with man-in-the-middle attacks. They’re waged by someone with the ability to monitor traffic passing between an end user and a website—for instance, a hacker sniffing an unsecured Wi-Fi connection or the National Security Agency sniffing the Internet backbone. When the data isn’t encrypted, the attacker can not only read private communications but also replace legitimate software normally available for download with maliciously modified software. If the attack is done correctly, the end user will have no idea what’s happening. Even when Web connections are encrypted with the HTTPS standard, highly skilled hackers still may be able to seed a website with malicious counterfeit downloads. That’s where digital signatures come in. A prime candidate for such an attack is the OTR plugin for the Pidgin instant messenger. It provides the means to encrypt messages so (1) they can’t be read by anyone monitoring the traffic sent between two parties and (2) each party can know for sure that the person on the other end is, in fact, who she claims to be. Fortunately, the OTR installer is provided through an encrypted HTTPS connection, which goes a long way to thwarting would-be man-in-the-middle attackers. But strict security practices require more, especially for software as sensitive as OTR. That’s why the developers included a GPG signature users can check to verify that the executable file hasn’t been altered in any way. […]


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[ISN] BMW patches security flaw that could have allowed hackers to unlock car doors

http://mashable.com/2015/02/03/bmw-connecteddrive-locks/ By Rex Santus Mashable.com 2/3/2015 BMW has mended a security flaw in its ConnectedDrive car connectivity system that affected 2.2 million cars, including Rolls-Royce and Mini cars, the company announced on Friday. It concerned software in the car that would have allowed hackers to open car doors. It highlights a oft-voiced concern around connected home products — sometimes called the Internet of Things — that household items would become vulnerable to malware or hacking. The update happens automatically, as soon as the vehicle connects to BMW’s servers, and includes the addition of HTTPS — the secure version of hypertext transfer protocol — to data transmissions via the ConnectedDrive system. A German automobile group called ADAC discovered the security flaw last year, opting to wait to disclose the discovery until BMW worked out a fix. The flaw has not been used in any attempted cyberattacks, according to both ADAC and BMW. […]


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[ISN] China’s New Rules for Selling Tech to Banks Have US Companies Spooked

http://www.wired.com/2015/01/chinas-new-rules-selling-tech-banks-us-companies-spooked/ By Davey Alba Wired.com 01.29.15 Technology companies that want to sell equipment to Chinese banks will have to submit to extensive audits, turn over source code, and build “back doors” into their hardware and software, according to a copy of the rules obtained by foreign companies already doing billions of dollar worth of business in the country. The new rules were laid out in a 22-page document from Beijing, and are presumably being put in place so that the Chinese government can peek into computer banking systems. Details about the new regulations, which were reported in The New York Times today, are a cause for concern, particularly to Western technology companies. In 2015, the China tech market is expected to account for 43 percent of tech-sector growth worldwide. With these new regulations, foreign companies and business groups worry that authorities may be trying to push them out of the fast-growing market. According to the Times, the groups—which include the US Chamber of Commerce—sent a letter Wednesday to a top-level Communist Party committee, criticizing the new policies that they say essentially amount to protectionism. The new bank rules and the reaction from Western corporations represent the latest development in an ongoing squabble between China and the US over cybersecurity and technology. The US government has held China responsible for a number of cyberattacks on American companies, and continues to be wary that Chinese-made hardware, software and internet services may have some built-in features that allow the Chinese government to snoop on American consumers. Meanwhile, China has used the recent disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden as proof that the US is already doing this kind of spying—and that this is reason enough to get rid of American technology in the country. […]


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[ISN] World’s largest DDoS attack reached 400Gbps, says Arbor Networks

http://www.techworld.com/news/security/worlds-largest-ddos-attack-reached-400gbps-says-arbor-networks-3595715/ By John E Dunn Techworld Jan 27, 2015 Some time in December 2014 an unnamed ISP experienced an NTP reflection DDoS attack that peaked at a router-straining 400Gbps, easily the largest denial of service event in Internet history, Arbor Networks’ 10th Annual Infrastructure Report has revealed. It’s an apparently small detail slipped into the firm’s larger narrative which is probably less important in the grand scheme of things than the fact that super-massive DDoS attacks are now common enough to have turned into dull statistics. Message – large DDoS attacks are here to stay. But what is driving this ballooning traffic? Arbor gets its numbers from Peakflow SP sensors in 330 customers’ premises feeding into the firm’s Atlas system, which it backs up with manual surveys of important ISPs and providers not contributing to this system. […]


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