Articles by Bob Tarzey

February 2, 2016

By Bob Tarzey

U.S. companies that operate in the European Union (EU) need to understand what drives European organizations when it comes to data protection. This applies to both commercial organizations that want to trade in Europe and IT suppliers that need to ensure the messaging around their products and services resound with local concerns.

June 25, 2015

By Bob Tarzey

In the old days, identity and access management (IAM) was a mainly internal affair; employees accessing applications, all safely behind a firewall. OK, perhaps the odd remote user, but they tunnelled in using a VPN and, to all intents and purposes, they were brought inside the firewall. Those days are long gone.

Today the applications can be anywhere and the users can come from anywhere. Quocirca research (Masters of Machines II, June 2015)  shows almost 75% of organizations are now using cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications with a similar number using infrastructure or platform-as-a-service (IaaS/PaaS) to deploy applications that run in 3rd part data centers. As for the users, as another recent Quocirca research report shows (Getting to know you, June 2015), they can be anywhere too.

April 16, 2015

By Bob Tarzey

Anyone who listened to Aleks Krotoski’s 5 short programs on Radio 4 in the UK titled Codes that Changed the World will have been reminded that applications written in COBOL, despite dating from the late 1950s, remain in widespread use.

Although organizations are reliant on these applications they are often impossible to change as the original developers are long gone and the documentation is poor. With the advent of Windows and then web browsers, there was a need to re-present the output of old COBOL applications. This led to the birth of screen-scraping, the reading of output intended for dumb terminals and repurposing it for alternative user interfaces.

April 15, 2015

By Bob Tarzey

Many will be familiar with the term bot, short for web-robot. Bots are essential for effective operation of the web: web-crawlers are a type of bot, automatically trawling sites looking for updates and making sure search engines know about new content. 

To this end, website owners need to allow access to bots, but they can (and should) lay down rules. The standard here is to have a file associated with any web server called robots.txt that the owners of good bots should read and adhere too.

March 26, 2015

By Bob Tarzey

Many insurance companies aspire to sell policies to their customers that will provide financial mitigation against cyber-attacks. That is all well and good, but they need to make sure their own houses are order first.

December 2, 2014

By Bob Tarzey

There are few businesses that are not dependent to some extent on their online presence. Websites are no longer simply a source of information, but a place to transact with customers. 

Often this will mean dealing with regulated personal and financial data and a commensurate investment in security is required. Those that fail to do may lose the trust of customers and face penalties from regulators.

November 3, 2014

By Bob Tarzey

What do Heartbleed, Shellshock and Poodle all have in common? Well apart from being software vulnerabilities discovered in 2014, they were all found in pre-built software components, used by developers to speed-up the development of their own bespoke programs. 

September 3, 2014

By Bob Tarzey

Security products have evolved with the use of the Internet. When web sites were largely static it was enough to tell users which URLs to avoid because the content was undesirable (porn etc.).

July 17, 2014

By Bob Tarzey

There has been plenty of talk about the threat of cyber-attacks on critical national infrastructure (CNI). So what’s the risk, what’s involved in protecting CNI and why, to date, do attacks seem to have been limited?

July 3, 2014

By Bob Tarzey

The encryption vendor SafeNet publishes a Breach Level Index that records actual reported incidents of data loss. Whilst the number of losses attributed to malicious outsiders (58%) exceeds those attributed to malicious insiders (13%), SafeNet claims that insiders account for more than half of the actual information lost.

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