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HGST achieves success in deploying one million helium filled hard drives!

HGST, a subsidiary of Western Digital has succeeded in deploying one million helium filled hard drives in its customer premises. Hence, with this achievement the company has also succeeded in achieving a milestone of becoming the only manufacturer with drives field-proven and rated for 2.5 million hours MTBF.

According to some storage industry analysts, Helium filled drives are poised to become the mainstream choice for data center applications where storage density, reliability and power efficiency are paramount. HGST has achieved immense success in shipping its second generation HelioSeal platform drives across cloud and mainstream data center applications.

HGST’s path to true TCO

With the market acceptance from the largest cloud service providers, internet giants, OEMs and business around the world, including Netflix, Huawei, StoneFly, Inc, HP, Starline, Buffalo, DDN and Racktop, the HelioSeal platform represents innovation in high-capacity hard drives technology and reliability, while lowering true TCO.

While there are a number of ways to increase HDD capacity, the HelioSeal platform is a simple technology to offer reliability as well as a long-term path for delivering higher capacity storage on a typical 3.5-inch HDD form factor. It also offers conducive environment in the drive which cut down power and drive temperature at the same time. All this equates to best storage density, terabyte-per-system weight, terabyte/square foot and low watt/TB for enterprise and cloud data centers.

Since introducing the technology in 2013, HGST has been increasing volume production to enable an expanding set of customers to enjoy the benefits of its helium-filled technology.

Now in its second generation, the HelioSeal platform is gaining broader customer support and the company is increasing production of its Ultrastar He8, 8TB drives – the highest capacity available in the market that delivers performance for all capacity-optimized applications.

HelioSeal technology allows this to be accomplished at standard 7,200rpm performance with low power while competitive air based products typically reduce rpm and performance to achieve lower power.

In near future, HGST is planning to come up with high capacity drives by combining two technologies- Shingled Magnetic Recording and HelioSeal technology. The additive nature of these two technologies, combined with the economies of scale provided by increased helium-drive manufacturing capacity, will enhance WDs business unit’s TCO advantage.

It has to be notified that HGST has already announced that by 2017, it will only start offering Helium filled drives rather than traditional air-filled drives.

Bankrupt company wants to sell off user data to make-up losses. Is this valid?

Bankrupt company RadioShack wants to sell its user data to make up for the losses. This ridiculous decision was taken by the management and will most probably be implemented in 3Q of this year.

After filing for bankruptcy in early February this year, RadioShack is currently making its way through the painful process of figuring out how creditors will be paid back– auctioning off real estate and trademarks.

In order to come out of this agony, the company has decided to sell more than 13 million e-mail addresses and 65 million customer names and physical addresses-as well as potential data about customers shopping habits. Conversely, it is still unclear how much the data could be worth to a buyer.

The electronics retail company which was founded in 1921 is currently seeking legal assistance for selling the data of its patriots.

And as expected this move is drawing protests from consumer advocates and raising potentially disturbing questions about how data about shoppers is handled.

FYI, RadioShack was a pioneer in collecting user data from the year 1995. And it was the first company that routinely asked for phone numbers.

Wonder, what will happen to the privacy policy it offered at that time; as it promised that it wouldn’t sell or rent the data to third parties.

According to Bloomberg News, Hilco Streambank–a company serving as an intermediary for RadioShack in the bankruptcy process, listed the retailer’s customer database as among the assets for sale.

So, this doesn’t directly prove that that RadioShack is interested in raising funds through the personal data of its customers. At the same time, it doesn’t cut down the claims made by the news source that the bankrupt electronics retailer is seeing its user data as a source to reclaim some funds meant for the payback.

The potential sale of customer information is among the aspects being challenged, prompting complaints from the state of Texas and AT&T.

AT&T is arguing that some of the data that RadioShack is trying to sell actually belongs to the mobile phone giant. AT&T worked with the retailer to market some of its phones and should not be able to auction off the information about those sales, the company says. The data should be destroyed, AT&T says, otherwise it may fall into the hands of its competitors.

The Texas challenge is broader: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is arguing that the sale would violate a state law that prohibits companies from selling data in ways that violate the company’s own privacy policies.  Tennessee’s Department of Commerce and Insurance joined in on that objection earlier this week.

As per the privacy policy prevailing under the federal government’s rule, any company involved in a merger, acquisition or asset sale should continue to safeguard the confidentiality of its users. The policy further says that users must and should be notified before their personal information ends up in new hands.

However, there is no credible rule in this regards for those companies which have ended up in bankruptcy.

So, will this vacillating rule give the privilege to RadioShack to sell of its user data?…….Only time could answer to this question.

In the meantime, please share your mind on this topic in the comments section below.

Data Breach can cost organizations an average of $7.6 million loss

Data Breach is nothing but an incident where business sensitive data from an organization is stolen or used by an individual or a group in an unauthorized way. And data breaches may involve personal health information, personally identifiable information, trade secrets or intellectual property.

Furthermore can you imagine how much loss a data breach can cause to an organization?

The 2014 Ponemon Global study reveals that data breaches cost organizations an average loss of $7.6 million every year. Additionally, it also states that there was a 10.4 % net increase in breaches in the past year. It has to be notified over here that the recent Sony Data Breach has pushed the organization into $171 million loss.

To make the organizations understand about cyber risks in a better way, it is important to analyze the study with a proper framework. It can be done by taking into consideration the size of a business, industry it is into, geography and regulatory environment and such.

Large organizations in the retail, healthcare, financial and hospitality sectors have suffered significant privacy and security incidents. However, certain industry data suggests that the cost per incident, for these industries, may actually be decreasing due to implementation of improved risk management practices.

According to another survey conducted by AONs Global Risk Insight Platform, 80 percent of data breach losses result in less than $1 million in costs and damages.

  • Legal defense- $698,797
  • Crisis Services- $366,484
  • Legal Settlement: $558,520
  • Business interruption: $639,462
  • Event Management: $725,000

It is important to note that the average insurance payout is approximately $3 million. This is typically because loss of brand reputation and future lost sales after the business interruption is fixed are generally not covered by insurance.

Recently, after the Sony data breach incident, companies in retail, finance, healthcare and hospitality verticals realized the value of having a privacy and security insurance in place and took steps towards it. Even still, less than 10 percent of smaller entities – those classified as generating less than $100 million in annual revenue – actually purchase privacy and security insurance even though risk and exposures continue to increase as technology swiftly advances.

How to avoid an enterprise data breach?

  • Conduct pre-breach education and planning- All those companies which are into media and entertainment should always ensure that they have a proper planning in order to respond to a breach. The key is to educate not only the IT employees, but from board to the basement.
  • Keep an Incident Response Plan in place- An incident response plan outlines responsibilities, procedures, and related skills at high level if a breach occurs. It’s imperative to keep a response plan new, as technology and the cybercrime landscape persist to evolve. The plan should reflect on issues at an enterprise-wide level, not just IT security. This embraces policies as well as procedures, employee training and the allocation of liability in contracts with the insured’s partners, vendors as well as supply chain.  The plan should clearly identify cross-departmental tasks.
  • Create a breach business continuity plan- If an incident response plan is in place, then it automatically offers a way for business continuity planning. Actually, organizations which have business continuity plans in place for weather related troubles, will work in most cases of cyber instances that bring operations to a halt.
  • Getting a Cyber Insurance policy will be wise- By conducting an evaluation to verify the potential need for additional coverage will prove as a good move initially. This will surely encourage an open dialogue about prospects to shore up systems plus procedures. It can also assist in identifying holes in processes, protocols as well as gaps in insurance coverage that potentially could be crammed with cyber insurance.

Finally, the conclusion is that they are a range of potential losses resulting from a data breach and the only way to avoid them is to be diligent and be aware of your enterprise’s exposures and risks, taking the proper steps to prepare and help protect your company’s business objective.

Apple allows trade in of Android Blackberry and Windows Phone handsets!

Apple, Inc is offering a trade-in program where users can exchange their old Android, Windows or Blackberry handsets to receive a gift card to be exclusively used at Apple stores. The American multinational is offering this trade-in program in US, UK, Canada, France, Germany and Italy via its iPhone Reuse and Recycling program.

The move is likely part of a larger effort to increase conversion rates from non-Apple smart phones to the iPhone and increase hardware sales.

In a recent update made on the Apple website related to the company earnings, CEO Tim Cook said that his company saw more Android users switch to iOS after the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

In the year 2013, the Cupertino giant started a trade-in program to encourage Apple fans to swap their old iPhones for store credit towards the newer one. Now the company has decided to expand this offer to other platform phones with a clause. It is giving credit for the current value of the older device provided users purchase a new model on the same day as the trade.

The iPhone, iPod and iPad maker has made it clear in its recent announcement that the trade-in program will not be offered online and so customers need to walk into their nearest Apple Store.

Time Stamping and Digital Watermarking importance in Video Surveillance!

Security cameras usage has increased these days, as it is now being treated as a sure shot means to deter and detect crime in time. Individuals and companies located all over the world are using the video evidence obtained from the cameras to detect crime and perpetrators. As a result, while using a security camera, it becomes imperative to take all necessary measures so that the video evidence proves legitimate in the eyes of court.

Time Stamping and Digital Watermarking are two such features which can prove handy when surveillance footage is used as evidence in the court of law. In order to prove your point in court, the presented evidence must be accurate. Remember many a times videos obtained from surveillance systems are thrown away by court because they did not show time and date in a lawful way.

Therefore in such scenarios remember time stamp must be in sync with other sources

Time stamping is not something difficult. Most of the DVRs/NVRs/ Video servers/Video Management Systems offer data and time feature by default. You need to just go to the settings and enable the time stamp to get the time and date appeared on the live as well as recorded footage. Additionally, for court use, the time stamp must also be in sync with other sources i.e

  1. A cell phone or wall clock that appear in the recorded video
  2. Another system that caught the event on tape
  3. A POS system that has been incorporated into the surveillance system

Only when there is harmony of the time shown on everything appearing in the video, does evidence produced in the court treated as valid. That means, when the produced video meets these standards, it is treated as non-tampered evidence and can stand in court.

Note- The time displayed may vary in 1 or 2 minutes to the time stamp of the video footage to validate the evidence. Not more than that.

Daylight Savings and Time settings

In countries where daylight saving is applicable, one should always pay attention to the daylight savings feature in their recording and storage appliances. Similarly, correct time zone is another must-have thing for the video to be considered valid. In DVRs, the problem is that the video surveillance manager must manually customize the much needed time zone. If the DVR has a network card and if it can be connected to the internet, then the DVR will automatically sync its time server, and you are free from doing manual time setting.

Note- Keep the CMOS battery condition always up.

Time stamping benefits in video surveillance-

Time stamping is essential to convict criminals in the following situations-

  • Residential break-ins
  • retail shoplifting
  • credit card theft
  • Physical assault

Digital watermarking use-

In the court of law, attorneys try their best to prove their clients as innocent or as law abiding individuals. Therefore, in order to prove that their clients are innocent, some legal practitioners try to tamper with the electronic data which is going to be presented as video evidence. A decade ago, there was a possibility of tampering the time stamp on the videos obtained from a DVR. Subsequently, it was clear to the court authority that digital stamps can be modified with slight technical skills. Hence, they started asking to prove the genuineness of the digital records.

Now in video surveillance world, it is easy to prove him or her genuine in front of court in a video recording. This can be done by using digital watermarking on the surveillance videos. It is quite similar to paper watermarks used for electronic data. It does not become obvious at the video and remain invisible. To reveal the watermark you need a specific reading program.

A digital watermark gives an assurance that the image belong to the given DVR and not taken off from another source.

However, digital watermarking is possible only with high-end DVRs and a few DVR capture cards.

DNF Security offers lighting Fast Storage expansion in the following way!

DNF Security a pioneer in offering storage equipment mission critical surveillance environments offers lighting fast storage expansion with the help of storage virtualization. So, if you are running out of space, instead of deleting your old files, you can rely on DNF Security Storage Concentrator software which facilitates a smart way to expand storage. All you have to do is to purchase DNF Security equipment and when the need arises to expand your storage to 1 Terabyte or 100 Terabytes and it can be even be done remotely with virtualization technology. First, let’s review the old way of adding storage to an existing NVR or Video Server-

  1. Check to see if you have space available to add another disk.
  2. Determine the physical size of the drive and capacity needed.
  3. Determine what type of cable system is used.
  4. Buy a new hard drive
  5. Set up a static- free environment
  6. Unpack hard drive and accessories
  7. Set the jumpers on the drive
  8. Unplug all the cords from the back of the NVR
  9. Mount the drive and connect
  10. Boot up the computer in Bios made
  11. Verify the drive is detected by the bios
  12. Reboot the NVR to Windows
  13. Format the drive
  14. Create volumes
  15. Assign the next available drive letter
  16. n….your done!

Now, to see how you expand the DNF Security way click on the following link DNF Security is a leading manufacturer of dependable, mission-critical video surveillance solutions. Each DNF Security video solution is designed to handle the most complex video surveillance and physical security environments. The company which is a subsidiary of Dynamic Network Factory offers a comprehensive range of products that provide enhanced storage protection, redundancy, high availability, and superior scalability in each cost-effective configuration. Our video hardware platforms take the guesswork out of video surveillance.

Get ready for server upgrades worth more than $10 billion!

Microsoft Corporation estimates that over 380,000 computer servers are vulnerable as the software support ends in July this year. The Redmond giant is planning to drop support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14th, 2015 and so a server upgrade worth more than $10 billion is expected in next 2-3 years.

In fact, according to Treasury Board Secretariat, the fed governments computing equipment and infrastructure renewal estimates that they are 8,000 fed servers running the soon-to-be-decommissioned software. The Ontario based Canadian Secretariat admitted that it’s not in a position to move away from those servers before July and has had to hammer out a special support deal with Microsoft to continue receiving security patches for those machines.

But to get the support of security patches, the Fed needs to shell out heavy amount. Without them, glitches in the software remain unfixed and any vulnerability that may be discovered by hackers is left open for exploits. However, the Canadian Secretariat can avail special discounts from Microsoft, if the latter plans to consider their severity of the support needed.

According to the estimated columned by Microsoft, more than 80,000 servers at all levels of government in Canada run the soon-to-be obsolete software. Another 80,000 servers belong to “large enterprise” businesses that Microsoft wouldn’t identify. As many as 230,000 small- and medium sized-businesses could also be affected.

Globally, researcher Insight has reported that more than 23.8 million copies of Windows Server 2003 are running on servers around the world.

Thus, the race for server upgrades will intensify in coming days which could be worth more than $10 million USD.

At the heart of the issue is a rash of data breaches in 2014, including high profile leaks such as that at Home Depot in which credit and debit card information was stolen from 56 million people across Canada and the U.S. Millions of unprotected computer servers would make such thefts even easier.

And the best way to avoid last minute rush is CEOs should be asking their CIOs (chief information officers) whether they are prepared for it.

If in case, you aren’t sure what to do with your current infrastructure and planning to seek assistance, then Dynamic Network Factory can help you in this process. Dynamic Network Factory, Inc. (DNF) is a privately held company based in Hayward, California. It offers a variety of products and solutions, ranging from network attached storage, direct attached storage and IP SAN. DNF leverages industry expertise to offer services and consulting to assist companies in scaling and optimizing their mission-critical, high-performance IT equipment.

DNF started in 1998, and refined its strategy and began to focus on the hardware group of storage solutions. In 2006, DNF acquired of StoneFly,Inc an iSCSI storage pioneer and developer of complete, turnkey IP SAN solutions.

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