Information Technology Security Concerns

August 2, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Posted in E-Business, Internet security, security, SNS Team, software development, Uncategorized, Webpage security, Website design | Leave a comment
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Security concerns remain in the forefront of Information Technology  issues.  Recent news stories again emphasize the importance of consulting with expert professionals.  Suppliers of E-commerce solutions for business and consumers need to be aware of the ongoing security issues and concerns.

First true SCADA-specific malware detected

Scott McPherson    July 22, 2010

2 comments

// <!–[CDATA[// Back in 1999, when I ran then-governor Jeb Bush’s statewide Y2K awareness and remediation effort, I first happened to learn about SCADA systems. What is SCADA, you ask? SCADA stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition. SCADA systems basically are remotely-activated and remotely-operated devices that perform certain specialized functions. SCADA systems are used, for example, to monitor, open and close freshwater pumps; operate wastewater pumping systems; perform routine functions in power plants; perform functions in manufacturing plants, refineries, and other facilities; and monitor the next-generation electric “smart grid” that is becoming so popular these days.–>

In short, SCADA systems have become a vital component of the nation’s critical infrastructure, since so many SCADA functions deal with water, power, and heavy manufacturing processes. This, naturally, makes them an ideal target for terrorists and naughty nation-states.

The first SCADA devices were radio-controlled, which minimized but did not eliminate their vulnerabilities. Back during Y2K remediation, we worried that the “embedded systems” within those SCADA devices would fail come 1/1/2000. They did not, which was a decidedly good thing.

But today’s SCADA systems are almost all connected to some version of an internet, whether it be a private, sealed IP network or the greater Internet itself.

FBI says mastermind of botnet nabbed

Slovenian accused of creating code that infected some 12 million computers

by LOLITA C. BALDOR

updated 7/27/2010 10:08:07 PM ET

WASHINGTON — International authorities have arrested a computer hacker believed responsible for creating the malicious computer code that infected as many as 12 million computers, invading major banks and corporations around the world, FBI officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

A 23-year-old Slovenian known as Iserdo was snagged in Maribor, Slovenia, after a lengthy investigation by Slovenian Criminal Police there along with FBI and Spanish authorities.

His arrest comes about five months after Spanish police broke up the massive cyber scam, arresting three of the alleged ringleaders who operated the so-called Mariposa botnet, stealing credit cards and online banking credentials. The botnet — a network of infected computers — appeared in December 2008 and infected more than half of the Fortune 1,000 companies and at least 40 major banks.

Botnets are networks of infected PCs that have been hijacked from their owners, often without their knowledge, and put into the control of criminals.

Jeffrey Troy, the FBI’s deputy assistant director for the cyber division, said Tuesday that Iserdo’s arrest is a major break in the investigation. He said it will take the alleged cyber mastermind off the street and prevent him from updating the malicious software code or somehow regaining control of computers that are still infected.

Software developers and website designers must closely scrutinize security features prior to implementation.  Major Information Technology companies are working to solve security issues.

By Frank Ohlhorst

July 28, 2010
Computerworld – Just a few short years ago, all a PC needed for protection was a basic antivirus program to guard against any malware that arrived via an e-mail attachment, embedded in a shareware application or piggy-backed on a floppy disk.

These days, however, the threat landscape has changed drastically. Now PC users have to cope not only with viruses, but also with spyware, spam, infected Web sites, adware, key loggers, phishing schemes and much, much more. It’s enough to make your head spin.

Information technology experts recognize the importance to consumers and E-commerce clients of preventing security breaches while developing software or  web page design.  Dedicated experts work diligently to continually supply updated solutions for the ever-changing security issues of our global community.

Karen Arnold

SNS System

Web Analytics for E-Business

July 16, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Posted in Analytics, E-Business, SEO Services, SNS Team, Website design | 6 Comments
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Compiling statistics and evaluating each web-page visit is essential due to enormous competition for E-Business.  Each visitor is a potential customer.  Every business needs a way to acquire the data, arrange the information in clear terms, and create customized reports.

Many options are available and numerous product variables affect the choice to obtain maximum results.  Building a web-page is a complicated project.  Every consideration must be given to search engine ratings.  Google offers a web-site monitoring product called Google Analytics:

Google Analytics is the enterprise-class web analytics solution that gives you rich insights into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness. Powerful, flexible and easy-to-use features now let you see and analyze your traffic data in an entirely new way. With Google Analytics, you’re more prepared to write better-targeted ads, strengthen your marketing initiatives and create higher converting websites.

“Will using Google Analytics have a negative effect on my ranking? In short, the answer is no, especially now that we’ve launched the asynch tracking code.

The “search” is on for the best product to evaluate each visitor to the website and provide the complete, essential facts every E-business requires to make critical marketing decisions.

Please leave your comments and observations.

Karen Arnold

SNS System

Debate on Content Management Systems

July 8, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Posted in Clients, Our Services, SEO Services, SNS Team | 6 Comments
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Decisions, decisions….  Our lives are full of them.

Currently the debate to decide which CMS  (Content Management System) to use is at the forefront of e-business management.  The competition for search engine ratings is the driving force … “Game On.”

From my point of view,  it appears Drupal is the leading favorite in CMS website design.

Drupal is an open-source platform and content management system for building dynamic websites. Drupal offers a broad range of features for developing a variety of websites; from personal or corporate websites to community portals (such as discussion forums and social networking websites) to complex web applications (such as e-commerce and intranet applications). The Drupal CMS enables web editors to easily publish and manage content appearing on the websites.

Practical experiments using various CMS are ongoing. It will be interesting to observe the results. The following is a quote from one such study:

Drupal vs Joomla: Which CMS is Best?

The Results: Drupal Users Love Drupal, Joomla Users Love Joomla

Drupal users list the highest client satisfaction with Drupal, and Joomla users list the highest satisfaction of their clients with Joomla. Drupal developers feel that Drupal is easier for developers to learn, and Joomla users feel that Joomla is easier to learn. After all, if you already chose Drupal or Joomla, there was probably a reason you chose it at the time.

Drupal Better for Extensibility and Large Sites

Once you get down to slightly less biased issues, it gets more interesting. Drupal users rate their CMS higher than Joomla users rated theirs in areas such as documentation (especially core and module documentation) and bugs (core and modules). Drupal users apparently feel that their add-ons integrate better with the core, and their framework makes it easier to extend their CMS’s capabilities. Drupal users also rated Drupal higher than Joomla users rated Joomla for their support of multimedia, social networking, SSL, forums, event calendars, blogging, document management, SSL, internationalization, user management and permission features (a huge gap of 40%), ease of external integration, the ease of developing large, complex web sites, and the quality of add-ons for enhancing functionality.

E-commerce clients are switching to Drupal. Clients are migrating because of the marketing and SEO features available with Drupal.

The SNS System team members are experts with the many exceptional features of Drupal:

Cost Effective: Drupal is an open source application which provides a cost-effective solution for the customers.

Support Community: Drupal has a strong online support and developer community. Enhancements and updates are available at regular intervals.

Customizable:  The modular architecture of Drupal simplifies adding new features/functionalities to develop custom solutions to meet individual requirements.

Which CMS is the industry leader?  We each have to decide and the result of our decision will be in dollar signs.

Please leave your comments and observations.

Karen Arnold
SNS System

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