Vehicle VPNs, Part Two: Business World Implications

In recent years, remote access security has become a major focus of IT departments in businesses small and large. The rapid growth in the use of smartphones and tablet computers, the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend and an increasing number of companies allowing employees to work from home have all but assured this. VPNs, as such, have become widely popular as a means of securing those data tunnels between end devices and internal corporate networks. But now, there’s another endpoint that requires the attention of IT managers: cars. Actually, to be more specific, “connected cars.” In a previous blog post, we discussed the continuing evolution of connected cars and how vehicle VPNs can help prevent critical security breaches. The vulnerabilities we covered focused on travel safety and machine-to-machine (M2M) concerns in people’s homes. Today, we’ll take a look at the more business-oriented issues at play and their implications on the corporate world. The Basics of Remote Access Let’s start with the same basic principle that applies to remote access everywhere: a corporate network is only as secure as the device and communications channel used to access it. VPNs have long been used to secure communications between laptops and private company networks across many industries. In most cases, employees were using company-issued laptops. In the last five years, however, we’ve seen a paradigm shift where more and more people are using personal laptops as well as smartphones and tablet computers to work from outside the office. BYOD certainly created a few headaches for IT departments when it came to security, but the benefits were too substantial to ignore — flexibility, improved access...

5 Ways to Keep Your Data Secure While Traveling to Interop NY

By Patrick Oliver Graf, General Manager, Americas of NCP engineering When people travel, securing their data is often the last thing on their minds. However, the fact is that mobile devices, and the data contained within them, are extremely vulnerable to security breaches. By connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots in-between flights at airports and working on potentially unsecure wireless connections in places such as coffee shops, travelers leave themselves and their sensitive data open to attacks. Fortunately, there are several effective methods that Interop attendees can use to keep their devices and data secure as they travel to the Big Apple. 1.       Employ Strong Passwords A 2012 study by Joseph Bonneau of Cambridge University showed that password-cracking software is so efficient that using a cracking dictionary based on the 1,000 most common passwords would crack 8 percent of users’ passwords. Because modern hackers use cracking dictionaries that are based on a specific language and common password combinations, having a long password by itself isn’t enough. To ensure that your password isn’t compromised, choose one that is at least eight characters long, with upper- and lower-case letters, numeric and special characters. Choose uncommon words that are unlikely to be included in cracking dictionaries. 2.       Avoid Unencrypted Connections Yes, connecting to that free coffee shop Wi-Fi is tempting. It costs nothing, it’s in a comfortable location, and as you look around, you see that other conference-goers are connected to it and working away. However, it’s important to remember that public connections often require no authentication or password to log into, meaning that they’re completely open for anyone to access them, including hackers....

February Feature of the Month: Integrated Support for 3G / LTE Cards, Part Two

This is Part Two of our February Feature of the Month series. Last week, we honored the all-new Access Point Name (APN) feature in NCP’s entry and enterprise IPsec VPN clients. Enterprises today are facing significant challenges related to remote computing due to their increasingly fragmented geographies. For instance, companies are not only contending with how to enable automated roaming between their solutions on premises and remote hotspots, but they are also responsible for making sure this seamless roaming is secure for employees working off-site. To meet these industry needs, NCP engineering has enhanced its client suite to support integrated 3G cards, which ensure secure network connections for mobile workers when used in conjunction with the NCP Secure Enterprise VPN Server. NCP has combined 3G / 4G and VPN connection setup into a single, graphical user interface, simplifying the installation and deployment processes for both IT personnel and individual users. Additionally, the NCP Secure Enterprise Client allows devices to automatically transition between a variety of communication mediums, including Wi-Fi, xDSL, LAN, ISDN and WWAN, making it easy for users to connect to their corporate networks from any location. Since the solution dynamically redirects the VPN tunnel without disrupting mobile computing sessions, employees are guaranteed uninterrupted connections to their networks. Beyond that, for enhanced protection, the solution automatically recognizes secure and insecure networks to connect to while users are roaming. With its Friendly Net Detection feature, the IPsec VPN client then activates the appropriate firewall and security policies without the end user needing to lift a finger. Want to learn more about the NCP Secure Enterprise Client’s integrated support of 3G...