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Why is Security Important to OEMs?

first_imgAs more aspects of our lives move online, the potential rewards for cyber criminals get larger, their methods become more sophisticated, and it’s up to the good guys to find new ways to stop them. As the saying goes, there’s no point locking the stable door after the horse has bolted!OEM security is differentMost articles I’ve seen focus on security failures where in-house IT has been compromised but in the case of OEMs, the situation is somewhat different. As an OEM, your appliances will most likely be installed at your end customers’ data center.  You cannot afford for your device to be the weak point, the unlocked door through which hackers gain entry. It’s a bit like minding your own kids versus taking care of your neighbor’s family. Securing your own data assets is one thing but being accountable for your customer’s data is a horse of a different color.Freedom to innovate and flexibility to customizeOf course, Dell EMC OEM appliances offer standard security features you will find with many other suppliers like chassis intrusion detection, signed firmware updates and trusted platform module (TPM) but in my experience, OEM customers need more.They require a hardware platform that gives them the freedom to innovate while providing the flexibility to customize that hardware and make it part of a secure solution. Sounds great but how does this actually work in practice? Rather than talk theoretically, let me share a real-life example.Protecting appliances in the open internetOne of our biggest OEM customers provides their appliances to ISPs. These are exposed to the open internet — they don’t sit safe behind firewalls — and so they’re more exposed than pretty much any device you’ll come across. Understandably, this customer has a healthy level of paranoia about the level of inherent security of its devices, which is one reason it chooses Dell EMC OEM PowerEdge servers, powered by Intel Xeon processors.The customer uses our OEM Identity Module to configure a raft of security settings that lock its devices down from top to bottom. To explain, the Dell EMC OEM Identity Module sits outside the server’s operating system and stores personalized settings like custom splash screens, but also lets you blacklist bootable device categories, prevent malicious code injections, and disable server management features that you either don’t want to use, or which could represent a security risk. This means nobody can walk up to your appliance, insert a USB stick, and run a rootkit virus, for example.Configuration optionsIn short, rather than a house with all the doors and windows open, we’re talking about a house with all the doors and windows locked, and an easy way for you to configure which ones you open and who you let in.With Dell EMC OEM Identity Module, you can also configure it so that if, for whatever reason, someone decides to reset the BIOS on your device using the jumper plug, it will reset to your factory settings, not Dell EMC’s. Our OEM Identity Module payload is signed, meaning you can trust that there won’t be malicious code injections in your customizations.Security should never be a barrier to innovationThis all sounds great from a security perspective, but doesn’t adding layers of security also add complexity, effort, and cost to developing an appliance?  The answer is an empathic no. My mantra is that while security is all-important, it should never be a barrier to invention.Time-saving and secureUsing Dell EMC OEM Identity Module actually saves customers time, because it offers a canned interface to apply settings. With other vendors, you’d typically need to write a custom BIOS. This means that whenever the BIOS gets updated, your custom code would need to be posted to the new version.The nice thing about our approach is that the Dell EMC OEM Identity Module sits outside the BIOS and goes on working as firmware updates are applied, meaning quicker time to market, more availability once deployed, and more secure end customers. Music to your ears, right?All these features come courtesy of our dedicated security teams who are an integral part of the product development process. The bottom line is that security can no longer be thought of as an add-on, but rather as integral to the development and design process.We take your security very seriously. I’d love to hear your comments and answer your questions. Please join our LinkedIn OEM Showcase page to connect, and be sure to join us at Dell EMC World, May 8-11 2017 in Las Vegas.last_img read more

NJ backs coach … After 3 players are dismissed from training squad

first_imgCommunications director of Netball Jamaica (NJ), Wayne Lewis, has strongly supported the move by the Sunshine Girls coaching staff to dismiss three members of the team on Wednesday night. Goal attack Shanice Beckford and centre court players, Khadijah Williams and Nicole Dixon, were given marching orders for what has been deemed inappropriate behaviour. Lewis told The Gleaner that the management of NJ have are in full support of the decision of coach Jermaine Allison-McCracken to expel the trio from the team. “I am in full support of this, and other selectors that I have spoken to have similar views. They know that the girls have been giving problems and so the coach is free to make her decision,” said Lewis. Lewis, however, chided the media for its coverage of the issue. He said nothing unusual had taken place. “I don’t know that this is a big story because these things happen all the time,” Lewis said. Beckford told The Gleaner that she was shown the door by Allison-McCracken after she refused to restart a drill in training on Wednesday. “She told me to start over what I was doing and I said I can’t start over and so I dropped my weight and then she said you need to leave and don’t come back,” Beckford said. “She was raising her voice and I don’t like when people raise their voices at me, and she has been doing that from the first day she met us. I even told the manager to talk to her about it,” Beckford said. She added: “For me, she has been very disrespectful. She does not show us (players) any respect because from the first day this lady met us, she is going to tell us that the Scotland team can come and beat us now,” said Beckford. Williams said she has always carried out her functions in training and, therefore, she was surprised by Allison-McCracken’s decision to send her home. “She asked me if I will have exams all week next week and I said yes and she then said since I am not coming next week, then don’t come back until after the series against Barbados,” said Williams. “I am very surprised by this. I have always done my best because I am a person who can’t swim and since she has been coaching us, we have been in the pool a lot,” Williams said. Beckford and Williams have been members of the Sunshine Girls team for more than five years, while Dixon is one of the country’s rising stars. Englishwoman Allison-McCracken was appointed head coach of the Sunshine Girls in March. She has vowed to take number-four ranked Jamaica to the top of the ladder in world netball. The Sunshine Girls are currently preparing to host Barbados in a three-Test series. MEDIA CRITICISEDlast_img read more