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How companies will cope with staff streaming Rio

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Riverbed Technology has announced the findings of its global snapshot survey that looked to see how companies would be approaching any potential critical business application and network strain from employees streaming Olympic coverage and accessing associated content online at the office.

The vast majority of companies, 85%, reported that they were likely to more closely monitor the performance of their applications and networks, including Wi-Fi, specifically because of potential strain due to employees accessing Olympic content, with 42% of these same companies being very likely to monitor more closely. Only 2% stated that they were very unlikely to monitor any differently during the Olympics.

“As athletes prepare for the games, IT organisations need to prepare for the significant increase in network traffic that will occur as a result of employees accessing and streaming online content and applications, and the related increase in volatility of that network demand,” said Mike Sargent, Senior Vice President and General Manager, SteelCentral at Riverbed. “It is crucial for companies to shine a spotlight on the current and anticipated end-to-end performance of business critical applications, especially during major events such as the Olympics.  Riverbed delivers that spotlight with our SteelCentral solutions – which provides visibility from the end user device, across the networks, the cloud, the infrastructure, and the apps to help assure great app performance in times of high and volatile network demand.”

Companies expected employees to access Olympic content using the company’s networks, including Wi-Fi, most frequently via their desktops and laptops (48%); followed by smartphones (34%); and then tablets or other non-smartphone devices (18%). At 44%, Brazil was the only country surveyed that believed by a slight margin that most of its employees would access Olympics games coverage at work more from smartphones than desktop or laptop computers, tablets or other non-smartphone devices.

The reason for monitoring employees’ access to Olympic content could potentially be linked to companies being unable to quickly pinpoint and resolve performance issues of critical business applications:  Less than half of the companies surveyed, 43%, were very confident that their organisations could safeguard critical applications during high network traffic events such as the Olympics, while 12% were not confident that their companies could handle the added strain and traffic.

In one of the most revealing statistics, companies were asked if they’ve had an issue, even once, with their networks, including Wi-Fi, specifically because employees were accessing content during a popular event such as the Olympics. The majority of companies responded yes (69%), with 30% of these same companies saying that they have experienced more than one episode of issues. The survey also found that the majority (70%) of companies said they would limit or probably limit employees from accessing Olympic content through company networks, including Wi-Fi, in some way, with 24% saying they will definitely limit content and 46% saying they would probably limit content.

Tips from Riverbed on how companies can alleviate strain on their networks:

·         Implement real-time end-to-end monitoring for visibility into network and applications.

·         Prioritize and optimize company network traffic while reserving bandwidth for business critical applications.

·         Distinguish between company assets and BYOD. Allowing BYOD doesn’t mean that employees can bring any device of their choice and be given unmitigated access to the corporate network.

·         Team spirit is not just for the athletes competing in the Olympics: Bring siloed IT teams together to plan for any high-priority network events during this time.

·         Provide employees TVs for viewing in common areas to ease load on network.

SteelCentral and the Riverbed Application Performance Platform

SteelCentral is the Command Center of Riverbed’s Application Performance Platform, a complete platform that gives CIOs end-to-end application visibility, optimization and control, across the entire enterprise. Riverbed SteelCentral has been recognized as a “Leader” in Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics (NPMD) for two consecutive years and “Visionary” in the Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring (2014). In addition, Riverbed SteelHead has been recognized as a “Leader” in Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization” eight years running

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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Five key biometric facts

Due to their uniqueness, fingerprints are being used more and more to quickly identify and ensure the security of customers. CLAUDE LANGLEY, Regional Sales Manager, for Africa at HID Global Biometrics, outlines five facts about the technology.

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How many times in a day are you expected to identify yourself? From when you arrive at work you are required to sign in, visiting your bank, receiving healthcare services… The list is endless. When a system knows who you are, you are able to do any number common, everyday activities. Your identity is unique and precious. It is also easily stolen and the target of many hackers across the globe. Technology is constantly evolving alongside the criminal element, always looking for ways to protect data and identity. One such solution happens to be biometrics and it is rapidly gaining traction in our increasingly complex modern world.

Reliable, secure and fundamentally YOU, unique biometric traits such as fingerprints are being used by banks, enterprises and consumers to verify identity. Biometric solutions offer significant identity protection because they use unique biological details to ensure an account is only accessed by the account holder, a door only opened by the owner. Here are five things that are little known about this technology…

  • The uncut identity. Your fingerprint is unique to you. Nobody can use a copy of it to impersonate you. Good technology is capable of scanning down into the layers of the fingertip to differentiate unique elements of a person’s fingerprint, this data is then encrypted and used as a key to unlocking whichever physical or virtual door that the biometric system protects.
  • The living proof. No, there is nothing to the stories of fingerprints being used without their owner’s knowledge or permission. Biometric solutions can use specific variables to determine if the finger used to access the system is that of a present, living person.  A copy or a fake cannot be used to access a cutting-edge biometric solution.
  • Easy and convenient. Queues and documents and paperwork may well be a thing of the past should biometrics take a firmer grip of government and banking systems. The process of registering is easy, and access to identity documents and records is yours alone.
  • Security blanket. A thousand passwords and a hundred post-it notes stuck on walls and drawers.  An excel file with a list of sites and applications and their corresponding passwords, all a thing of the past.  Nobody needs to remember their password with biometrics, they only need to show up.
  • Anywhere is cool. Schools, airports, networks, offices, homes, toilets, banks, libraries, governments, border controls, immigration services, call centres, hospitals and even clubs and pubs – knowing “who” matters and biometrics can quickly and conveniently confirm your identity where needed.

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