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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

Team Coco’s John edges Hicks to win GCF’s 70-miler

first_imgTEAM Coco’s Jamal John edged Team United’s Andrew Hicks across the finish line to win the Guyana Cycling Federation’s (GCF) 70-mile points race last Sunday.John’s time for the event attracted a mere 18 starters outside the Ocean View International Hotel, East Coast Demerara. The cyclists proceeded to Mahaicony before turning back to finish at the same location. John’s time was two hours 37 minutes 10 seconds.This was John’s second win in as many starts for the GCF’s 2017 season. His first was last month when he won a 75-miler in three hours 20 minutes 23 seconds. That event started on Homestretch Avenue in Georgetown, proceeded to Loo Creek on the Soesdyke/Linden Highway before turning back to finish at the place of origin.With the two victories to his name, John heads the points table with 30 points.Hicks earned 12 points for finishing second on Sunday and his teammate Raphael Leung placed third for 10 points.According to the GCF, the points accumulated will play a major role in the selection of local cyclists to represent Guyana at Regional and International levels when the time arises for such selection process.Veteran cyclist Junior Niles continued his fine form but had to settle for fourth place in the 70-mile race.The other top six places were occupied by Briton John, Leer Nunes, Dwayne Gibbs Jr, Jason Cameron, Eric Sankar and Everal Mundy respectively.last_img read more