Tag Archives: FTP

Survey analyses employee habits within business systems

A study has found that many workers are content with the functionality of IT systems available at work, although this does not stop many transferring data via FTP or USB drive so that they can work at home.

The new report, published by 360 IT, found that 90 per cent of employees are convinced that the current standard of their IT at work is more than adequate and certainly helps to improve the levels of productivity.

The respondents were asked about what type of IT products they would ideally like to see in their place of work and 72 per cent said that they were simply looking for an IT infrastructure which worked smoothly and was easy to use. A third were looking for collaboration tools and under a tenth sought cutting edge devices which would allow them to impress clients and co-workers.

A little over half of all respondents said that they would like to work with alternatives to desktop computers in the future, with most picking laptops, a smaller percentage picking smartphones and one per cent choosing iPads as their ideal working platform.

360 IT’s Denise Plumpton said that employees wanted the powerful hardware of a laptop, along with its convenient portability more than smartphones, which are typically less well equipped and versatile because of their restricted size.

Respondents were asked whether or not they breached company policy relating to data security and 56 per cent claimed that they never stepped out of line in this respect. Twenty-seven per cent said that they harnessed webmail accounts or FPT transfers, to make files available for home working, while a quarter said that they regularly transfer files to and from their place of work on a USB storage device.

Plumpton pointed out that a tiny proportion of those questioned claimed that there were absolutely no internal rules relating to data handling and loss prevention, although she was sceptical about whether or not those who claimed to abide by their rules were actually being honest.

Plumpton said that businesses would need to look hard at their data protection policies and check whether employees were sticking to them or circumventing them to make their lives easier, without realising the associated risks of data loss or theft.

Zeus botnet 2.0 targeting UK users

Businesses and individuals are at risk of serious data loss and security breaches as a result of a new botnet running on the Zeus 2.0 platform that is gunning for internet users based in the UK, according to security vendor Trusteer.

The main aim of the botnet is apparently to harvest data that will allow cybercriminals to defraud victims of their financial assets and although the attack is set to target banking logins, it will steal other data indiscriminately, which means its potential for disruption and damage is huge.

Trusteer’s CEO Mickey Boodaei said that the botnet was primed to steal credit card details and online banking access codes, but also warned that it would harvest personal data relating to employment and business location, allowing the cybercriminals to launch attacks against businesses and gain access to internal systems.

Mr Boodaei said that the botnet was only being exploited in the UK, which means that it is likely to wreak havoc if allowed to spread domestically. It will steal cookies and passwords to FTP and VPN services, meaning that those who are impacted by it may leave themselves and their employers totally exposed.

Trusteer’s Amit Klein said that firms and individuals should be most concerned about the fact that the botnet can harvest much more than banking login details, as the wealth of information being targeted could put the cybercriminals in a great position of power.

Not only is the botnet sophisticated in its function, but it is also incredibly easy for its operators to draw specific pieces of data out of the mass that is set to be harvested. Its integrated search engine echoes the usability of mainstream sites like Google, according to Mr Boodaei and so the criminals will be able to target individuals or specific businesses with relative ease.

Trusteer discovered this Zeus 2.0 botnet variant during an in-depth investigation that has taken more than half a year and it believes that although the Zeus 2.0 platform is in use elsewhere, this is one of the few examples that relies completely on it.

Report urges scrapping of physical data transfers

A study has concluded that the safest way in which to avoid data loss and theft is to outlaw the use of portable media and storage devices in the transfer of data.

Data protection firm Cyber-Ark found that sensitive information and private data is being sent by post or courier service in large quantities by nearly a fifth of all UK businesses.

Over the last few years there have been many high profile incidents of data loss caused by the misplacing of portable storage devices whilst in transit, but it seems that this has not stopped many firms from continuing to rely on this fundamentally insecure method of data transfer.

19 per cent of respondents stated that they persist in putting their trust in courier services when significant volumes of data are to be transported.

Two years ago a similar survey found that only four per cent of businesses used the standard Royal Mail postal service for similar data transfer exercises. However, this figure has risen rather than fallen, in the intervening period, with 11 per cent of respondents now saying that they post sensitive data.

Interestingly the number of private data transfers carried out via email has fallen over the same two year period, down from 35 per cent to 16 per cent. 28 per cent use online services to backup and transfer files, whilst the majority also utilise File Transfer Protocol (FTP) for some transfers.

Cyber-Ark said that no matter what the chosen method, the transfer of data between businesses was always going to be at risk of compromise. It cites the fact that even encrypted FTP sessions will still have a central FTP server as a weak link.

Cyber-Ark’s Mark Fullbrook said that even web services were not adequately secure for the purposes of transferring highly sensitive data. Mr Fullbrook believes that this is because these services were not specifically created with corporate level security in mind and, as a result, the security levels are far from satisfactory.

It is clear that the majority of UK businesses have completely removed physical data transfer from their daily operations, but as long as a small proportion continue to rely upon couriers and the postal service there is always a chance of damaging data loss.

Reliable and secure storage and retrieval solutions

With the advent of computers, the web and wireless technology, data storage has become a critical issue in all business organizations, no matter what size they are. Many businesses, all over the world, are looking for reliable measures to update and access their data on a daily basis. This naturally demands infallible data backup devices.

Loss of data because of system failure or human error can have disastrous consequences. In case such a disaster strikes and you are not ready with a contingency plan, the lapse is bound to impact your business and in some cases can mean the end of the business. However, there is now little to worry on this count since businesses have now found the benefits of online data backup systems.

Work out what is most vital for you and your business in terms of data storage backup. You should consider the following aspects in the selection of the storage and retrieving solutions:

1. How reliable is the data backup device you plan to use?
2. Is the data backup device well guarded against unauthorized access?
3. Which backup files you would prefer to store on-site, at home and which ones you would like to transfer to a remote location like an FTP server, for greater security?

Online data back up means your data is safe and secure, kept off site and can be restored in just a few minutes.

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