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The Question Of Obedience Towards IT Security Practices

The Question Of Obedience Towards IT Security Practices

Enforcing Security Policies

To comply with global industrial standards, businesses are often required to set up internal security policies. These policies aim to regulate and make transparent the use of digital equipment, networks, and devices for work and pleasure. On some level, the policies are in place to ensure that the organisation has access to certain private, employee domains and devices, while equally encouraging employee dependance on the organisation (and presumed security provider). However, all of this boils down to a common IT issue: the question of enforcing the security practices and policies in place. The basic, underlying issue here is the question of relevance in reference to internal conceptions or external threats, to maximise the probability of obedience and narrow down the chance that one may choose to overlook the standards in place.

Compliance Mechanics


Classic organisational obedience theories have been built upon various other theories studying the role of fear in ensuring compliance to the policies imposed by an organisation (sovereign in that context). On the other hand, Johnston and colleagues have argued that, in the context of Information Security Policy (ISP) compliance, there are various components to be added and taken into account in order to construct a coherent theory on the ISP compliance mechanics.

The conventional “Fear Appeal Theory” is based on four elements that the subjects were aware of, and thus encouraged behaviors which ensured compliance of the security policy. This theory suggests that if the subject becomes and stays conscious of the severity of a threat, and that it will likely be triggered and have an efficient response, that it will lead to a maximum intent to comply with the policies in place. However, as one can see, this theory is based on violence and animality; in populistic terms it is the same as saying, “do as we say, or we will hit you hard enough so that any reasonable person would make sure not to make the same mistake in order to avoid the punishment.”

Fear Appeal Framework


Johnston et al argue that the fear appeal framework for the ISP requires more elements, namely related to the rhetorics set up to support conventional elements. This ensures that the intention to comply with security policies is clearly communicated with the proper rhetoric to build up the conceptions of both formal and informal certainty and severity of the sanctions. The division of the informal and formal is relevant here, as to highlight the sanctions on the level of immediate peers, rather than just organisational punishment (social pressure). In this, the authors are in line with the current development of governance models from organisational enforcement towards the persuasion by mere social pressure and attachment to the immediate peers.

However, on the fundamental level, can end up supporting the coercive and violent means, and fail to consider the changing organisational settings. They take for granted the workforce as an industrial resource, and thus validate this type of governance for particular organisations, including inducing fear and stress in people. One should heavily consider the concept of organisational security policies in this context and ask if it adapts and is suitable for modern organisations and conceptions of humanity. This type of fear based theory lacks consideration of the effects of these types intrusive mechanisms on an individuals creativity and character development. As such, this type of practice aims – in the old fashion way – to secure the organisation and its governance, rather than provide any security for the people.

Sources: MIS Quarterly Vol. 39 No. 1, pp. 113-134, Johnston et al./Leveraging Threats through Sanctioning Rhetoric

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

By Kristo Helasvuo

The Five Imperatives For Digital Business

The Five Imperatives For Digital Business

VMworld 2015 – The Imperatives For Digital Business

Pat Gelsinger’s Keynote

CEO Pat Gelsinger’s keynote at VMworld 2015 focused on the future of computing and VMware’s vision of the future. Introductory themes covered the oft-heard topics of ubiquitous connectivity, the simplification of heterogeneous enterprise landscapes that VMware is working towards, and maintaining safe and secure systems on the established backbone while moving forward with the new style of DevOps for new classes of applications.

The Five Imperatives For Digital Business

The keynote was concluded with five “must do’s” for progressive business and IT leaders:

  1. Asymmetry in Business

Gelsinger insisted that businesses have to embrace new models of mobile cloud technology, and noted that vertical industries such as technology, health, education, custom manufacturing, and insurance will change in the near future.

  1. Entering The Professional Era of Cloud

The need for a unified hybrid cloud was highlighted. Gelsinger stated, “It’s not about the big beating the small, it’s the fast beating the slow. So, the most strategic way forward in this space is creating hybrid applications.”

  1. Security Challenge of Protecting People, Apps, and Data

Gelsinger believes businesses have been spending too much money on products that don’t solve security challenges and suggested that only the cost of security breaches has increased more than the cost of security spend. He added, “Some say security should be built in and not bolted on – it’s nonsense. We didn’t have a place to bolt it in. We were just patching it on. We need to put an end to that thinking and now architect in security. It lets us be twice as secure for half the cost.

  1. IT Innovation: Proactive Technology

Businesses need to become proactive instead of reactive, changing the human experience. Applications, Big Data, and analytics can build dynamic technology to help predict almost anything, and that which we find invasive today may be crucial in the future.

  1. Tech-driven Change Reshapes the S&P 500

His final imperative described the decrease in S&P 500 companies, claiming 40% of S&P companies won’t exist in the coming years. Gelsinger stated, “You must break out to stay relevant in this future. Rattle the cage, be the entrepreneur and innovator for your business. It is time to lead the change.”

Diginomica notes, however, that VMware is not responding to future problems in a manner that is likely to be mutually satisfactory to IT, DevOps, and the business. Though their hybrid solutions and unified infrastructures are good in theory, they are only small steps in the right direction, and some industry analysts don’t believe that the view of VMware as the bridge between cloud and on site is correct.

VMware and Elliot Management

There has been much speculation regarding the fate of VMware at the hands of Elliot Management, but no announcement regarding the matter was made. Conjecture was voiced over who will buy who and who will lead, and rumors of leaked Re/code and “tiger team” were heard, but the future of VMware remains a mystery.

Industry Outlook

John Furrier, Stu Miniman, Dave Vellante and Brian Gracely of theCUBE (SiliconANGLE Media team) discussed VMworld 2015, and Farrier believes opportunities for startups are expansive. Miniman believes good innovations have been unveiled, Gracely notes that the industry is slowing make the right moves in the area of DevOps, and Vellante states that the industry can make use of another storage company. Furrier says of VMworld 2015, “VMware was flexing its muscles. The show proved this it is a proud company going to the next level, no matter who is running it.”

By Jennifer Klostermann

Big Data Breaches And What’s Being Done To Mitigate The Problem

Big Data Breaches And What’s Being Done To Mitigate The Problem

Big Data Breaches And What’s Being Done

It’s clearly evident that big data brings a vast amount of positive aspects to both businesses and consumers. However, it’s important to realize what huge data breaches can mean for both parties. Recent disasters such as the Sony Email data breach, Target’s customer information breach, Ashley Madison’s leaked information, and the IRS internal database breach are clear indicators that more needs to be done to protect information stored on the cloud.

The entities that suffer the most from volatile data breaches in recent years are the healthcare industry and financial services industry, being that hackers have dictated that this is the most valuable information to obtain. According to Data Science Central, data breach has now reached up to $154 per record of stolen data, and this could add up to millions for the businesses using big data to run everyday operations. Thankfully there are three enterprise data protection and recovery companies aiming to mitigate the damage that big data breaches and leaks produce when they occur.

Big Data Collaboration 


ChaletTech has been around since 2008 and specializes in big audits for large enterprise businesses to monitor user accountability, data security, and data analytics. For ChaletTech, they believe that a breach is inevitable and will occur at some point in time for many, so knowing where and how it happened is crucial towards securing this data in the future.

BigObject Analytics is a relatively new database that specializes in transforming data delivery from 100x up to 1000x times faster than traditional methods of data extraction. It performs best with structured, hierarchal data or star schema.

ProphetStor, a definitive leader in software-designed storage (SDS), scales and distributes customized software storage technologies that manage and simplify data services. Big data takes extensive knowledge of cloud computing platforms to be able to both protect and store efficiently. My analyzing successful deployments, ProphetStore is able to create a customized, highly protected solution for virtually any industry.

What’s Being Done

Recently, these three companies have affiliated with each other to demonstrate what they’re doing in 2015 to prevent data breach, mitigate damage and loss when breaches occur, as well as return the environment back to it’s original form prior to data loss. All three companies are doing thorough database monitoring, exception analysis based on event occurrence, and system restore checkpoints. A recent demo conducted by all three companies showed how integrated their systems are to each other. If a suspicious event occurs within storage, Chalet ADS will investigate and flag an exception. This flagging will trigger BigObject and ProphetStor into action. ProphetStor will snap an image of the database and trace back to the image if necessary. BigObject initiates a CrossLink Analysis, which compares database servers and users based on the original exception and establishes potential risks and behavior trends. The demo showed viewers how data is being analyzed across multiple dimensions and timespans within a very short span of time. It then becomes up to the companies data security team to take the insights gained from these services to investigate problems such as potential breaches and to be able to make a decision based on them.

By Keith Baird

Opera Software Partnership Reaches 5 Million Readers In Africa via Mobile Phones

Opera Software Partnership Reaches 5 Million Readers In Africa via Mobile Phones

Worldreader and Opera Software Partnership

Public Literacy Categories Include Health, Sports, and Love Across 25,000 Book Titles

Worldreader, a global nonprofit dedicated to improving literacy in the developing world through digital books, today announces a new partnership with Opera Software that has provided 5 million readers in Africa access to 25,000 free digital book titles, via their mobile phones. The nonprofit aims to reach 10 million readers with its digital library by the end of 2015.


Mobile Phones in the Developing World

Mobile phones are becoming ubiquitous throughout Africa. For many people, it’s their only window to the connected world as mobile internet infrastructure and coverage is growing fast and driving the cost of data down. These mobile phones are affordable, easy to keep charged, and widely available.

We want to make sure the entire world has access to the books they need and want,” says Elizabeth Hensick Wood, Managing Director for Worldreader, Europe. “Through this partnership, Opera and Worldreader aim to reach millions of people every month, across 34 African countries, through the cell phones they already have.”

For the millions of people in Africa who already use the Opera Mini browser, this makes reading on a mobile phone as easy as making a call,” says Richard Monday, VP Africa, Opera Software. “We’ve placed the Worldreader icon in a coveted space on the Opera Mini speed-dial; right next to the Wikipedia button, because we believe access to reading, and access to knowledge go hand-in-hand. We hope access to these tools will help make our world more connected, empowered, and educated.”


The Impact of Reading in the Developing World

According to a 2014 joint study from Worldreader and UNESCO female readers in the developing world read up to six times more than men, and once women start reading on their phones, they are generally more engaged than men. During one three-month period, women spent an average of 207 minutes per month reading on their phones, compared to just 33 minutes for men. “These findings suggest that making digital books available on mobile phones can help women enormously,” says Wood. “Women can now access information on health, safety, career; topics traditionally unavailable to them.” To see the full report, visit: 2014 joint study from Worldreader and UNESCO

To date, the Worldreader Opera partnership has reached 5 million people in 34 countries across Africa. On a global scale, Worldreader has reached over 6 million readers, adding about 1 million new readers each month through Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The most popular literary categories among these new readers are Love, Sports, Education, and Health.

Making Books Accessible


Since its founding in 2010, Worldreader has observed hundreds of libraries in the developing world which are often closed, under-funded, or lacking in relevant book titles. These conditions often leave would-be-readers with limited access to books and information that they would find useful or relatable. Some libraries were found to have an over-abundance of titles limited to very narrow subjects, or books that no longer contained up-to-date information. Sometimes the books were too worn-out to be used.

While more affluent parts of the world may view digital reading as a luxury, we see it as a necessity in the developing world, where physical books are often non-existent,” says Wood.

The Worldreader Opera partnership provides 25,000 of the best titles from Worldreader’s book publishing partners. The titles were selected to be fresh, relevant, sought-after titles that readers around the globe want to read. Worldreader also selected a variety of titles that may not be widespread but will have particular relevance and significance to many countries in Africa. Titles include works such as Tale of Tamari by Shimmer Chinodya, This Place I Call Home by Meg Vandermerwe, Blossoms of the Savannah by Henry R. ole Kulet, and Asare Konadu’s A Woman in Her Prime.

Reading is a human right that one billion people can’t yet enjoy,” says David Risher, CEO and Co-Founder of Worldreader. “Worldreader and Opera are working together to make sure that books–and the power within them–are available to every single person on the planet to help them reach their full potential.”

To read free books on your mobile phone, visit

About Worldreader

Worldreader is a global nonprofit bringing digital books children and their families, empowering them to read, think, and grow in order to improve their lives and their world. In its first five years, Worldreader has reached 5.6 million readers in 69 countries with a digital library of 28,500 local and international e-books via e-readers and mobile phones, and aims to reach 10 million readers with its digital library by the end of 2015 and 15 million readers by 2018. For more information on Worldreader, visit:

About Opera Software ASA

Opera enables more than 350 million internet consumers worldwide to connect with the content and services that matter most to them. Opera also helps publishers monetize their content through advertising and advertisers reach the audiences that build value for their businesses, capitalizing on a global consumer audience reach that exceeds 1 billion. Opera is a trademark of Opera Software ASA.

VMworld 2015 Kicks Off To Lots Of Excitement

VMworld 2015 Kicks Off To Lots Of Excitement

VMworld 2015

VMware’s five-day event has kicked off at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, with VMware “in the midst of a massive transition.” Says Dave Vellante, co-founder and co-CEO of SiliconANGLE Media, “You don’t hear VMware talking about (the ecosystem) anymore. Instead, we’ve seen a navigation through that ecosystem play, and now we see VMware grabbing networking and storage. With all this Federation talk coming back together, maybe EMC is thinking of taking a more Oracle-like approach – so there’s going to be an interesting undercurrent to VMworld this year.”

Day one of the 12th annual VMworld has set a new record for the number of attendees, suggesting that interest in virtualization continues to grow. The conference was kicked off with several announcements, from the new “intelligent automation engine” for efficient use of data center equipment to new open source tools.

vCloud Air Enhancements

VMware has announced various vCloud Air enhancements, now allowing companies to test and run disaster recovery plans in vCloud Air’s new Site Recovery Manager Air. Disaster recovery on vCloud Air is based on usage, instead of being part of a subscription. Additionally, the first new product cominIT out of VMware and Google’s reseller relationship, vCloud Air Object Storage, has been introduced.

Grid 2.0

And NVidia has announced the launch of the latest version of its desktop virtualization technology, Grid 2.0, which allows companies to remotely deploy graphics-heavy applications. Servers with Nvidia Grid boards allow the use of virtualization software such as VMware vSphere 6 and Horizon 6 and Citrix’s XenApp, XenServer, and XenDesktop to share the GPUs power with Grid 2.0, and this new release doubles previous capacity, managing up to 128 users per server. Moreover, Grid now supports Linux OS as well as Windows OS, and the technology is able to run on blade servers in addition to rack servers.

Integrated OpenStack 2.0

The launch of VMware Integrated OpenStack 2.0 has also been announced, the second release of the company’s distribution of the OpenStack open source cloud software. Based on OpenStack Kilo, the new version will become widely available by the end of September. Customers will be able to upgrade from Icehouse (V1.0) to Kilo (V2.0) and roll back if necessary in, according to VMware product line manager Arvind Soni, “a more operationally efficient manner.”



Two new products for companies to build and run applications inside of containers, Photon Platform and vSphere Integrated Containers, are also being discussed. Containers provide an alternative to virtual machines, and VMware believes this new technology underlies many existing technologies including Google-led Kubernetes, Docker’s Swarm, CoreOS’ Rocket, Mesosphere-led Apache Mesos, and Cloud Foundry. These can all integrate with vSphere Integrated Containers.

Container Specific Storage Provision

VMware has teamed up with startup ClusterHQ to develop a storage driver allowing ClusterHQ’s Flocker open source software to play with VMware’s vSphere server virtualization software. This lets companies provision storage not only for virtual machines but for specific containers, with storage software such as vSphere Virtual Volumes and Virtual SAN.


A new suite of software including several existing VMware tools for managing data center resources, EVO SDDC, was also debuted and includes a new “automation engine” as well as open source hardware management software. Existing tools handle storage, server, and network virtualization and include Virtual SAN, vSphere, vRealize Operations, and NSX. With server virtualization being the foundation of VMware, the company is now also making the other, less widely utilized, pieces a standard.

For more news of this year’s VMworld, take a look at the General Session Replay. The event continues to provide in-depth training and hands-on experience, product research and analysis, and networking opportunities for industry experts. And check out IT Process Automation and VMware for a discussion of managing virtual tasks with a central administration tool.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Wearable Tech News: Google Android Wear Now Works With iPhone

Wearable Tech News: Google Android Wear Now Works With iPhone

When you wear something every day, you want to be sure it really works for you. That’s why Android Wear offers countless design choices, so you can find the watch that fits your style. Want a round watch with a more classic look? Feel like a new watch band? How about changing things up every day with watch faces from artists and designers? With Android Wear you can do all of that. And now, Android Wear watches work with iPhones.

Android Wear for iOS is rolling out today. Just pair your iPhone (iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, or 6 Plus running iOS 8.2+) with an Android Wear watch to bring simple and helpful information right to your wrist…

Read Article: Google

Security Hosting Company FireHost Is Now Called Armor

Security Hosting Company FireHost Is Now Called Armor

FireHost Is Now Armor, the Leader in Active Cyber Defense Focused on True Outcomes for Customers

Armor delivers dwell times 100 times shorter than the 205-day industry average

RICHARDSON, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A history of spending on security tools, followed by subsequent breaches, has proven that traditional cybersecurity approaches have been ineffective against disrupting and neutralizing cyberattacks. To deliver the best possible security outcomes to customers, FireHost is expanding its vision and offerings under a new banner: Armor.

Through years of protecting customers through the FireHost Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Armor repeatedly witnessed a critical industry problem. The typical security vendor remains one-dimensional: they sell on the premise that their specific tool is enough to protect customer environments. Unfortunately, most vendors offer little more than the latest tool — not true security outcomes. The result was end customers left to defend themselves and own all associated risk.

Armor’s investment and commitment, focused on threat intelligence, advanced technologies, industry-leading techniques and talented professionals, are carefully crafted to bring customers these outcomes. Armor now will extend much of the security and benefits of the FireHost VPC — regardless of the underlying infrastructure — to a variety of environments.

Central to Armor’s expansion is Armor Anywhere, which delivers a proven cybersecurity solution to both public and private clouds, and customer-owned IT. It currently includes two products — CORE and CORE+ — that help organizations balance internal VM security, cost-effectiveness and cloud accessibility.

The industry-leading FireHost VPC is now known as Armor Complete — a fully integrated secure managed cloud, which delivers security, support and high-performance infrastructure via a single solution. Easily exceeding the strictest compliance requirements like PCI, HIPAA and HITRUST, Armor Complete continues its reputation as the world’s most secure managed cloud.

Armor delivers customers true security outcomes. Not just tools. Armor reduces the risk and complexity associated with managing cyberthreats. And it’s through this approach that Armor’s new promise was born: between you and the threat.

Key Highlights

  • FireHost is now Armor, an industry-leading active cyber defense company
  • Armor is delivering a unique vision and a new cybersecurity paradigm: true outcomes, not security tools
  • Armor is refining the foundation of its security strategy to include three integrated core components: intelligence, defense and control
  • Enhanced solution offerings include Armor Complete (VPC and Private Cloud) and Armor Anywhere (CORE and CORE+), which work in concert to deliver the trio of security components
  • Armor delivers dwell times that are 100 times shorter than the industry average of approximately 205 days
  • Armor’s secure and managed cloud infrastructure is still central to how it delivers many security controls, management and threat intelligence
  • The technology and delivery of existing managed cloud infrastructure, security and support remains unchanged
  • Armor continues to exceed compliance requirements for the collection, storage and transmission of sensitive data, allowing customers to achieve easy outcomes for PCI, HIPAA and other industry and government compliance requirements


Chris Drake, Founder & CEO | Armor

For too long the industry stood idle watching the manifestation of a wide-scale cybersecurity problem that forced organizations to procure, integrate and manage point solutions in-house in an attempt to defend themselves from cyberattacks. This approach is expensive and grossly ineffective. The announcement of Armor is in direct response to today’s threat landscape and the logical evolution for our company to stand between our customers and the threats that seek to disrupt their businesses.”

Tarun Upaday, CTO | hCentive

A determined focus on customer outcomes is a welcomed movement. As a security-conscious organization, we improve our security posture by collaborating with the industry’s foremost cybersecurity experts. The fact that Armor is asking to share more of our risk and responsibilities is a testament to their leadership, solutions and dedication to delivering truly valuable security outcomes for our business.”

Michael Suby, VP of Research, Stratecast | Frost & Sullivan

“Enterprises are facing a growing challenge of sifting through myriad choices on where to host their workloads and how to effectively secure them. This is forcing them to elevate their security expertise. However, for many this is unattainable due to the shortage in information security talent, constantly evolving cyberthreats and an unsustainable number of security technologies that they have in place now but cannot manage reliably. Armor solves this dilemma by providing robust, holistic security solutions that span private and public clouds and private data centers. For enterprises, they can choose their workload-hosting locations without uncertainty on how they will secure them.”

Geoff Waters, Vice President, Service Provider Channel | VMware

Pushing the envelope — in both technology and problem-solving — requires a great amount of vision, instinct and determination. As one of our vCloud Air Network partners, Armor understands what’s required to better protect end customers in the cloud. Their innovative spirit also led Armor to adopt VMware NSX network virtualization as the underlying platform for delivering security that is inherent to the infrastructure. As a valued Service Provider partner, we’re pleased they selected VMworld 2015 to unveil the future of their business.”

About Armor

The leader in active cyber defense, Armor offers customer-centric security outcomes for retail and eCommerce enterprises, healthcare organizations, payment leaders and financial institutions. Armor protects highly sensitive data for the most security-conscious companies in the world. With its proven cybersecurity approach and proprietary cloud infrastructure built specifically for security, compliance and performance, responsible businesses choose Armor to reduce their risk. For more information, visit or call 1-844-682-2858.


NSA Planning For Quantum Resistant Algorithms To Protect National Security Systems

NSA Planning For Quantum Resistant Algorithms To Protect National Security Systems

NSA Planning For Quantum Resistant Algorithms

The National Security Agency (NSA) has announced that it plans to introduce methods of cryptology that will make quantum computers secure. Acknowledging that quantum computers are likely to become a reality in the not too distant future, they say they are committed to the transition and are doing everything they can to ensure Information Assurance products remain protected with integrated cryptography in the meantime.

Although currently just a computer concept, futurists do seem to be set on making the idea a reality. Essentially what will happen is that qubits that hold three “states” (on, off, or on and off) at the same time, will replace the binary states of 1 and 0 (bits) that are used now. But as a research study undertaken by IBM points out, this potential increase in power is an open invitation for increased vulnerabilities. So while the NSA works on cryptology methods, the team at IBM is working on its own error detection protocol to overcome inevitable problems.


Clearly the NSA recognizes a lack of security to be a looming problem that is likely to rear its ugly head if and when computer buffs take the proverbial quantum leap. This is why they are taking action now and not risking what could be huge cyber attacks later on.

According to information on the NSA website that was most recently updated a week ago, their ultimate goal is to guard against possible security issues when quantum computers eventually see the light of day. However, until the new quantum resistant algorithms have been developed, they will continue to rely on the Suite B cryptographic algorithms that are currently used by the agency to protect both classified and unclassified data in National Security Systems (NSS). With this in mind they have developed a program for the current transition phase that ranges from protection for “top secret” data using advanced encryption standards, to a variety of “up to top secret” data protection using a variety of asymmetric algorithms for specific functions.

The NSA has also established a classified program that will enable various commercial products to be used in what they call “layered solutions” that will protect classified NSS data. One thing they emphasize is that until the new quantum-resistant cryptography suite has been developed, it is absolutely essential for their partners and other vendors to continue using the current Suite B algorithms. But, for those who haven’t invested in the Suite B algorithms, the NSA has urged their customers to rather “prepare for the upcoming quantum resistant algorithm transition.”

IBM Research

IBM engineers have confirmed that the conceptual quantum systems are definitely going to be “susceptible to error.” This in itself is likely to slow the progress of the new computers. Nevertheless they have been working on a way to detect two error types at the same time, to improve security. Even though it is largely theoretical, the IBM team has said that the outlook is optimistic, and is likely to lead to “large-scale fault-tolerant quantum computing.”

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

By Penny Swift

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