Security Perks Of The IoT

Digital Security

In recent months, there have been a number of articles written calling into question the security of the Internet of Things. This is a perfectly valid talking point that was inevitably going to come up as an issue. The whole point of the IoT is to connect devices to one another via WiFi. Given that we already live in an age of increasing concern over digital security and Internet hacking, it follows naturally that the IoT amplifies those concerns. Think of it this way: if you already need to be mindful of securing your home WiFi network against digital threats, you now also have to consider any other devices connected to that network in an IoT setup.

All that is to say that there are some very legitimate security concerns associated with the use of IoT devices. Somewhat lost in this discussion, however, is the fact that there are still many IoT practices that have been put to use in homes and in businesses that are designed to improve security. Fortifying digital networks is an effort unto itself, but a lot of the use of the IoT as it currently exists is in using such networks to make people, products, and locations safer from non-digital threats.

This is perhaps clearest in private homes, where the “smart home” concept we frequently hear about has a lot to do with security. The truth of the matter is that modern home security systems have been pretty advanced for some time now. However, an article at Innovation Enterprise points out that the IoT has taken advanced home security and given us more control over it. The obvious example is that we now have the ability to do so many things remotely, such as turning systems on and locking doors. It’s also mentioned that the IoT systems in place in a home can be used to improve security monitoring. For instance, if your television is hooked up and a burglar attempts to steal it, you can automatically be sent a message that the TV has been unplugged.

A similar monitoring of possessions and property security is taking place through the IoT on a much larger scale in the world of business. A blog post at Networkfleet discusses the various ways in which the IoT is being implemented in fleet management for large companies with shipping divisions, including measuring vehicle diagnostics, automated GPS routing, etc. There are also benefits with regard to the protection of assets. The post also discusses that IoT use in major companies can be as thorough as to involve small sensors equipped with internal antennae on containers of goods and individual pieces of equipment. On a major scale, this gives fleet managers and businesses as a whole an unprecedented perspective not just on where their vehicles and drivers are but on the location and security of individual pieces of inventory.

And finally, we’re also seeing the IoT helping with security in business where office spaces are concerned, rather than simply with regard to inventory. Much of this branch of IoT implementation looks very similar to what we might discuss with regard to home security, but there are specific business-related perks worth mentioning. Inc.’s post on the topic pointed to two in particular: the ability to change locks with ease, and the opportunity to use advanced security cameras. The point regarding locks is actually an important one for office managers and business owners to consider. Basically, if an employee leaves suddenly or is fired, locks don’t have to be changed via a slow repair process; you can just change lock codes through a mobile device connected to digitally controlled locking mechanisms. The security camera concept is more about peace of mind, but it’s still worth noting t
hat IoT-based cameras can send a feed directly to any mobile device, meaning you can have eyes on a business at all times.

Again, there are plenty of security risks associated with the spread of the IoT as well. But the features and practices discussed here are meant to underscore that there are still a lot of major security advancements being made thanks to broader understanding and use of the IoT.

Free cloud computing service helps Canadian small businesses

CANARIE, a vital component of Canada’s digital infrastructure supporting research, education and innovation, today announced that over 600 Canadian startups across a range of industries have taken advantage of its DAIR cloud service.

Cloud computing enables businesses to use virtual computing, network and data storage resources on an as-needed basis, with the flexibility to scale these resources based on their needs at any given time. This means that Canadian businesses can develop, test, and demonstrate new products and services that simulate a range of potential scenarios – like different transaction volumes or geographic variations – while experimenting with a range of development options to determine the optimal method for building and launching their cloud-based products.

“CANARIE’s free cloud computing service helps small and medium-sized businesses become more innovative without incurring additional overhead costs,” says the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism. “The Government of Canada is pleased to support services like DAIR, which makes it easier for Canadian businesses to bring products to market.”

“Cloud technologies are disruptive to the way companies operate, and the faster Canadian businesses can adopt them into their business models, the more competitive they will be on the global stage,” says Randy Jones, Senior Director, Technology Innovation at CANARIE. “With DAIR, startups can experiment and test ideas and approaches in a risk-free environment. Our aim with this service is for Canadian startups to gain the experience and knowledge they need to be in a strong position to succeed when they launch commercially.”

“In addition to ensuring our data stays in Canada, DAIR offers high quality, reliable, scalable, and secure cloud infrastructure that supports our team as we continue to refine our product offering,” says Pat Crosscombe, Founder and CEO of BoardSpace, a developer of document and workflow solutions for boards of directors. “DAIR has been invaluable as we continue to evolve, testing integration with e-commerce platforms and refining our onboarding processes.”

Other innovative Canadian startups taking advantage of the flexibility and power of the DAIR cloud include:

  • Advance Property eXposure’s enterprise software uses smart mobile technology to deliver to first responders, secure, digital information such as building layouts, exits, electrical shutoffs, and building contact information reliably within seconds. Information is critical for situational awareness and their solution helps responders plan their approach while on route and save precious minutes in time-sensitive situations.
  • BOS Forestry develops software solutions to help manage information flow in the forestry industry – from planning the harvest, to cutting and weighing the timber, to tracking its transport to the mill, right through to sending harvest information to relevant government departments.
  • Curatio has created a mobile health platform that connects individuals with chronic health issues to a circle of support, including family, friends, caregivers, and medical professionals, with a goal of better managing ongoing treatment and wellness.
  • EDMS integrates dental clinic data from different dental software programs to help corporate owners manage and interpret data generated from a wide range of clinic systems. EDMS’ common reporting platform supports better decision-making and forward planning.
  • Identos offers a range of security infrastructure solutions for mobile applications. Identos developers were able to collaborate with early customers on product development and evolution in real time by helping these customers test their application prototypes using DAIR.

Any Canadian small or medium-size company (< 500 employees) may apply to use DAIR to develop, test, or demonstrate products.  More information on DAIR, along with a link to apply, may be found at >canarie.ca/cloud.

A range of case studies exploring how Canadian businesses are using the cloud to power product development and accelerate their time to market may be found here: canarie.ca/cloud/case-studies.

Want a quicker view of DAIR? Watch the video here: youtu.be/oye-Er_83lQ

About CANARIE

CANARIE designs and delivers digital infrastructure, and drives its adoption for Canada’s research, education and innovation communities. CANARIE keeps Canada at the forefront of digital research and innovation, fundamental to a vibrant digital economy.

CANARIE evolves the national ultra-high-speed backbone network that enables data-intensive, leading-edge research and big science across Canada and around the world. One million researchers, scientists and students at almost 2,000 Canadian institutions, including universities, colleges, research institutes, hospitals, and government laboratories have access to the CANARIE Network.

CANARIE also leads the development of research software tools that enable researchers to more quickly and easily access research data, tools, and peers. In support of Canada’s ICT sector, CANARIE offers cloud computing resources to startups to accelerate product development, and links a powerful network of public and private sector partners in a Centre of Excellence for Next Generation Networks (CENGN).

Twelve provincial and territorial network partners, together with CANARIE, collectively form Canada’s National Research and Education Network (NREN). This powerful digital infrastructure connects Canadians to national and global data, tools, colleagues, and classrooms that fuel the engine of innovation in today’s digital economy.

Established in 1993, CANARIE is a non-profit corporation, with major investment in its programs and activities provided by the Government of Canada.

For more information, please visit: www.canarie.ca.

DNS is the Achilles heel of the Internet – Test your DNS configuration here

Internet connected nodes

Today at the national meeting of Canada’s Chiefs of Police, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) called on Canada’s law enforcement community to protect their domains and DNS from cyber-attacks.

“The DNS is the Achilles heel of the Internet,” said Jacques Latour, chief technology officer at CIRA. “When your DNS goes down, your website, your web applications, your email, your web services all fail. It can be devastating to an organization.”

Law enforcement agencies, because of their profile in the community, are likely targets for hackers and cyber-criminals.

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The Canadian Internet Registration Authority recommends law enforcement immediately take several steps to secure their Internet infrastructure and prevent outages.

Use an Anycast DNS service: Some legacy web architectures use what is called a unicast DNS. These services offer little redundancy and leave the DNS extremely vulnerable to DDoS attack. Ensure that you have an Anycast DNS solution that can withstand attacks and keep services online.
Confirm the DNS is properly configured and includes a primary and secondary: Redundancy is important when setting up a world-class DNS configuration, and administrators should confirm that their DNS settings are configured correctly. In testing, CIRA found Canada’s DNS availability is startlingly poor, with a lack of redundancy and configuration errors causing 93 per cent of DNS servers in Canada to miss queries over a six month period. For lesser-known websites this may not be an issue, but misconfigurations could leave law enforcement open to attack.
Use a domain locking service: Any .CA domain can be locked with CIRA to prevent unauthorized changes to the domain settings. This prevents malicious actors from redirecting a domain to a new site with damaging information, a common form of cyber-attack. In 2015 the City of Ottawa’s website was redirected to an image of a dancing banana. ISIS sympathizers have also used this tactic to redirect pages to ISIS propaganda.
“As the fist-line of defence against online criminals, we need law enforcement to be leading the way on DNS security,” said Latour. “Safe and secure DNS solutions tend to be exceptionally affordable and simple to deploy. I find it troubling that many police forces do not take these simple steps to protect their online services.”

Additional resources:

Test your DNS configuration: CIRA offers a simple test that you can use to find critical errors in your DNS configuration. You can access the test for free at dnstests.cira.ca.

Get a free trial of CIRA D-Zone Anycast DNS: CIRA offers a made-in-Canada DNS solution that is ideal for Canadian organizations. IT Managers can learn more about this service with a free trial and sign-up at cira.ca.

About CIRA

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) manages the .CA top-level domain on behalf of all Canadians. A Member-based organization, CIRA also develops and implements policies that support Canada’s Internet community, and represents the .CA registry internationally.

 

SOURCE Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)

 

For further information:

or interview requests: Ryan Saxby Hill, Communications manager, CIRA, ryan.hill@cira.ca, 613-316-2397

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Sandvine enhances network security with Symantec

web URL filtering

 Sandvine, a leading provider of intelligent broadband network solutions for fixed and mobile operators, today announced enhancements for its Network Security product, including new integration with Symantec RuleSpace, a web categorization service, and Symantec DeepSight™, a cyber-threat intelligence service. This new integration will enable Communications Service Providers (CSPs) to better protect both their subscribers and their network infrastructure.

Sandvine’s Network Security is a cyber security solution that introduces a layer of intelligence into the network that can recognize and respond to cyber threats as they appear in real time, including outbound spam, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, and botnet command and control communication.

Sandvine’s Network Security will leverage Symantec’s RuleSpace and DeepSight to build upon and enhance this established feature set while enabling CSPs to protect subscribers and their infrastructure in a number of new ways, including:

  • Parental and web controls: help provide subscribers or institutions with the ability to selectively block web content they do not wish to access from over 100 different categories such as adult content or gambling sites
  • Subscriber phishing and malware protection: help prevent subscribers from accessing sites that are known to host phishing and malware attacks
  • Deeper understanding of network attacks: empower CSPs with up-to-date and actionable intelligence about malicious IP addresses conducting attacks, including geo-location and reputation

“Bringing together Sandvine’s carrier-class Network Policy Control capabilities and Symantec’s industry-leading security expertise will allow operators of any size or access technology to protect their networks. The combined solution does not require subscribers to download client software, and is being delivered on Sandvine’s platform which, unlikeother security offerings, is purpose-built to scale to the requirements of modern telecommunications networks,” said Don Bowman, CTO, Sandvine.

“We’re excited to partner with Sandvine and enrich its Network Security product with the intelligence that both RuleSpace and DeepSight provide,” said Sudhir Mehta, Sr. Director of Global Partner Solutions,Symantec. “Protecting the network at the operator level, the way Sandvine’s Network Security does, is one of the best ways to help ensure an operator can implement clean pipes.”

ABOUT SANDVINE
Sandvine’s network policy control solutions add intelligence to fixed, mobile and converged communications service provider networks to enable services that can increase revenue and reduce network costs. Powered by Sandvine’s Policy Engine and SandScript policy language, Sandvine’s networking equipment performs end-to-end policy control functions including traffic classification, and policy decision and enforcement across the data, control and business planes. Sandvine’s products provide actionable business insight, the ability to deploy new subscriber services and tools to optimize traffic while enhancing subscriber Internet quality of experience.

Sandvine’s network policy control solutions are deployed in more than 250 networks in over 90 countries, serving hundreds of millions of data subscribers worldwide, www.sandvine.com.

 

 

 

Sandvine

Find phone, mobile, Internet and TV Service providers in Canada

compare phones in canada

In a dynamic communications marketplace, Canadians have choices in innovative communications service providers. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is helping Canadians find the providers that best meet their needs with a new tool on its website.

Through the new Communication Service Providers in Canada online tool, Canadians will be able to search for phone, mobile, Internet and television services available in their area. Users can also access helpful details such as how different kinds of providers work, and learn about the types of communication technologies they use.

This new online tool includes practical tips to help Canadians make the most of communication services available to them. It also includes facts about switching providers and links to third-party websites that rate and compare the quality and value of communication packages.

The CRTC is unveiling this new online tool 10 days before significant changes come into effect for Canada’s television service providers. Starting March 1, 2016, Canadian TV service providers such as cable and satellite companies must offer a new affordable basic package that costs no more than $25 per month, not including rental equipment. Service providers also must offer either a selection of small channel bundles or give viewers the ability to select individual channels. Service providers must offer both small bundles and pick-and-pay by December 1, 2016.

Quick Facts

  • The new Communication Service Providers in Canada online tool helps Canadians find phone, mobile, Internet and TV services available in their area.
  • Details such as where service providers operate, the technologies they use and practical information including facts about switching service providers are available through this new online tool.
  • Starting March 1, television service providers must offer a new affordable TV package priced no higher than $25 per month, not including rental equipment.
  • Television service providers must also offer either a selection of small channel bundles or the option to pick and pay for individual channels.
  • Anyone can provide information to help update the Communications Service list by logging onto the following web link: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/comm/fourprov.htm

Quote
“During our consultations with Canadians, we have heard repeatedly that consumers crave choice and affordability when it comes to choosing communication services. We listened to what Canadians told us and many of our recent decisions have an important common thread: choice and sustainable competition. We know this is how we can ensure Canadians benefit from a world-class communications system. The new online tool that we are introducing today will help Canadians select service providers that make the most sense for their needs, their budgets and their realities.”

Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO, CRTC

Related Products

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Ask a question or make a complaint

Stay Connected
Follow us on Twitter @CRTCeng
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SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

For further information: Media Relations, (819) 997-9403; General Inquiries, (819) 997-0313, Toll-free 1 (877) 249-CRTC (2782), TTY (819) 994-0423

 

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Government of Canada

Bell & IBM bring new hybrid cloud capabilities to Canadian market

Bell Business Markets and IBM today announced a new partnership to expand the cloud computing services available through Bell Business Cloud. This partnership will give businesses across Canada access to the IBM Cloud via a secure, high-speed private connection from Bell, simplifying the way customers adopt and build out their hybrid clouds.

More and more organizations are looking for a reliable and secure connection to the cloud, that doesn’t rely on sending data over the public Internet. Bell Business Cloud addresses this issue by enabling enterprises to plug into the IBM Cloud, giving them direct access to a wide range of on-demand computing and storage options.

These new services include:

  • Bell Cloud Connect: connecting the largest and most advanced IP network in Canada to IBM Cloud for end-to-end performance, security and reliability
  • Bell Cloud Compute: running on IBM Cloud to offer a secure, scalable, self-serve environment for managed virtual machines that improves operational performance while reducing costs
  • Backup & Restore: providing access to IBM Cloud to protect customer data and applications through a secure backup location as well as ensuring availability of data and applications.

“Bell is an established leader in data hosting and cloud computing, providing customers with exceptional support from an expert nationwide team,” said Tom Little, President, Bell Business Markets. “With businesses of all kinds increasingly relying on cloud services for their mission critical applications, adding IBM Cloud services to Bell Business Cloud provides customers with the seamless integration, security and dependability they expect and require.”

“The world’s appetite for data is increasing and with this comes a greater need for organizations to support cloud workloads. IBM Cloud is the leading platform for data-driven cloud and analytics that enables organizations to open the doors to more responsive and innovative ways of doing business,” said Nevil Knupp, VP of Cloud, IBM Canada. “IBM Cloud supports Bell’s new client offerings to help companies gain more control of their data, improve application performance and efficiencies with enhanced collaboration, centralize IT management, reduce costs and achieve greater efficiencies.”

IBM is equipped with one of the highest performing cloud infrastructures available to offer organizations speed, power, and flexibility, while delivering a high degree of customization, transparency, predictability, and automation. According to analyst findings from Synergy Research around Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, and private cloud, IBM is positioned as a top performer and leader in the private and hybrid cloud space.

IBM Cloud delivers fast, easy and automated access to a public, private and hybrid cloud services that enable companies to lower their overall IT costs while increasing agility and productivity. IBM offers a complete portfolio of cloud services, with over 40 data centers in every major financial market around the world, supporting a wide range of applications including big data, analytics, mobile and cognitive.

As Bell’s Business Cloud ecosystem continues to evolve through new partnerships, customers will benefit from additional solutions, enterprise applications and business tools, with the ability to increasingly acquire their technologies on a utility basis.

Driven by industry-leading innovation and supported by a strong expertise, Bell Business Markets offers a comprehensive portfolio of products and services including data centre solutions, unified communications, security and professional services supporting all the customer’s ICT needs.

Bell’s Business Cloud in partnership with IBM is available across the country to all mid and large businesses. For more information, please visit bell.ca/businesscloud

About Bell
Bell is Canada’s largest communications company, providing a comprehensive and innovative suite of broadband communication services to residential and business customers under the Bell Canada and Bell Aliant brands. Bell Media is Canada’spremier multimedia company. It has assets in television, radio, out of home and digital media, including CTV, Canada’s #1 television network, and the country’s most-watched specialty channels. To learn more, please visit BCE.ca.

The Bell Let’s Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns, like Bell Let’s Talk Day, and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research, and workplace initiatives. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

About IBM
For more information on IBM Cloud visit www.ibm.com/cloud