The Pipeline

Word up; Without a trace

Word up
During an emergency such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack, it’s essential to quickly disseminate information to authorities and first responders. Emergency notification service providers fill this role by sending messages to the appropriate parties’ cellular phones, pagers, handheld devices or satellite phones.

Many providers send alerts only via e-mail messages, which can be problematic if the system experiences glitches or delays — as any e-mail user knows can happen often. Providers that use only e-mail messages cannot offer receipt confirmation or priority message delivery.

Send Word Now, an emergency notification service provider, recently announced premium global Short Message Service capabilities that provide a reliable new method of communication to supplement the company’s e-mail capabilities.

“We’ve been dependent on e-mail, but that’s not as reliable as SMS,” said Michael Sher, the company’s co-founder and executive vice president.

Sher explained that SMS messages go directly to the carrier instead of through a server, and that makes them less prone to failure.

“We can get a message to any cell phone that has a signal anywhere in the world,” he said. “It’s a much more reliable and efficient way to get a message to the phone.”

During a crisis, phone lines can get clogged because too many people are trying to use them at once. SMS is not subject to those bottlenecks. In addition, SMS uses less bandwidth than voice calls.

Without a trace
Tracking the location of a lost or stolen computer is no longer enough. Thieves have plenty of time to access and copy valuable data before authorities can apprehend them, even if they are able to pinpoint the computer’s location fairly quickly.

The new Computrace Data Protection service from Absolute Software helps remedy this problem by remotely deleting data. The service can delete files, folders and an entire operating system. Here’s how it works: When users discover a loss or theft, they contact Absolute Software’s monitoring center to report it. Then they specify what they would like deleted by choosing individual files or directories, all of the data on the machine, or the operating system.

An important aspect of the deletion process is that it takes place silently to prevent detection. For added protection, the Computrace agent can survive accidental or deliberate attempts to remove or disable it.

When Computrace finishes deleting the data, it records an audit log detailing the process. The log becomes part of the customer’s account and can aid with policy and regulatory compliance.

Computrace Data Protection is priced based on volume and service terms. A three-year subscription costs $79.95. Customers can buy the service through Gateway, Hewlett-Packard or directly from Absolute.

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