Digital Opportunities in Education Simply Too Good to Waste

Tafel mit Aufschrift "What's Next"

What is the current situation?

Compared with other developed countries, Germany’s pupils, teachers, and curricula are lagging far behind in terms of digital education and media skills. The German Minister for Education, Johanna Wanka, has identified two principal reasons for this, which will now be addressed in the new DigitalPakt#D strategy. One the one hand she sees a lack of pedagogic concepts and strategies, and on the other an underdeveloped IT infrastructure. I can agree wholeheartedly with this assessment for many sectors.

Protection Against Ransomware – a Subjective Overview

antivirus. Binary code, technology background

The threat posed by ransomware such as Locky and other malware has been a hot topic on and off in the media for months now. In a number of cases, including some rather more prominent ones, hackers have managed and continue to manage to infect their victims’ files with malware, which encrypts them to the point where they can no longer be used – the files are only made available again once a “ransom” has been paid. The more accesses the user in question has, the higher the damage: if possible, files on servers in the network are also “captured”.

A great deal has already been written on the topic. At this point, I would like – albeit very subjectively – to introduce a couple of approaches for how to protect yourself against such attacks.

How Cloud Service Providers Can Offer Integrated Applications with Real Value for Enterprises

Open-Cloud-Alliance

In this post, I want to help answering the question how cloud and managed service providers can help end user organizations to move faster and more decisively into the cloud. This is of major relevance for the growth of all CSPs and MSPs and a requirement for every provider who wants to be able to compete against the large players like Amazon and Microsoft.

Why bother?

The first question of cause is: Do organizations want to move into the cloud at all? Especially with their internal applications like collaboration software or ERP systems? And as a consequence: Is there an opportunity for service providers at all?

The White House Shows How Open Source Works

Open Source Initiative LogoChoosing Open Source gets you more – a whole lot more. That is especially true for the state, which gains flexibility, independence, added security, and, above all, better synergies within and between different state organizations by actively giving preference to and promoting the use of Open Source software. This avoids double expenditure and counters the risk of incompatibilities; Open Source effectively renders the state more efficient.

What Does it Imply for Support if a Vendor Moves from On-premise to Cloud-based Products?

As many software companies move their products to cloud-based offerings, the question comes up: where is the difference between supporting cloud-based products and supporting on-premise products? Talking to customers and partners over the last couple of months I’ve made some notices which I want to share with you.

The Local Experts for Fast-Growing IT Needs

When reading our success stories, one could conclude that UCS is geared towards mid to large size businesses, school districts and government agencies. While many of these use UCS, and we are proud they trust us with their day-to-day IT operations, a large group of our customers are missing on this listing. These are your mom and pop shop down the road, the 3 person law office around the corner and the small non-profit in the neighborhood.

What makes small business customers distinct from the bigger ones?

After the Sale – A day with Univention’s Professional Services at customer migration

Kevin Dominik KorteOne of the most staggering experiences I had when transferring from our Professional Services team to North American management was that suddenly I got into the first line of contact with the potential customer. Suddenly the filter, which was the German Sales team, was gone and I had to handle all customer questions directly. It was a fascinating experience though, because I suddenly didn’t just have to do the work I was used to but also had to explain what our Consulting Team is usually doing and why the customer has to pay for it.

Will Easy Encryption Fix The Internet?

Rafael Laguna, CEO Open-Xchange AGInternet service providers have some thinking to do when it comes to the topic of encryption. Does encryption help you to build your business or does its complexity drive customers away? There’s an increasing awareness that encryption is hugely important, but very few people are using it regularly because it’s too complex. Why is encryption so important, and what can we do to drive adoption?

Bundestag Hack: Possible Backgrounds and Defense Methods

Bundestag Hack

Here at Univention, we are of course also concerned by the attack on the German parliament’s IT infrastructure, better known as the “Bundestag hack”. To recap: It appears that there were some bogus e-mails there including links to malware. A number of the Windows PCs in the Bundestag’s “Parlakom” network were or may still be infected with the malware, which is alleged to have searched for and copied certain confidential Word documents. According to a report in the Tagesspiegel (German) newspaper, this allowed the hackers to gain “administration rights for the infrastructure”. The attack was conducted as an “advanced persistent threat” or “APT attack” for short: in other words, a complex, multi-phase attack on the German parliament’s “Parlakom” IT network.

How IT systems can be taken over

There are a whole host of “classic” approaches for taking over IT systems, such as the exploitation of security vulnerabilities in the software, the interception or guessing of passwords (brute force attacks) and the cracking of password hashes. These methods are well known and it is comparatively simple to reduce the risk of such attacks’ being successful. The requisite measures are: regular, comprehensive and rapid installation of updates, encryption of sensitive data and network communication using state-of-the-art encryption standards, the use of sufficiently long passwords, logging of failed login attempts and blocking of user accounts with too many failed attempts, the use of salted password hashes (the salt converts two identical passwords into different hashes), iteration of the hash functions (rounds) and changing passwords regularly.

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