Powerful process schedule

VisualCron is a powerful program that allows users to automate a variety of computer functions. The program's many options are well-organized, making it easy to set up and run even complex tasks.

VisualCron's interface is attractive and intuitive. Users create a new job and then customize everything about it: what task or tasks it performs, what triggers it, what conditions it runs under, and how users are notified. Users move through a tabbed window for each job, choosing the proper settings. All of the jobs are listed neatly on the program's main screen, with other options displayed … Read more

Data breaches cost $6.6 million on average, survey finds

It costs $6.6 million on average when an organization suffers a data breach, and more than $200 per compromised record, according to a survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute that's due to be released on Monday.

The report, sponsored by PGP Corp., examined the costs incurred by 43 organizations that experienced a data breach. Breaches ranged as high as 113,000 records and the average total cost per company ranged from more than $613,000 per breach to nearly $32 million.

Most of the cost is due to lost business, which averaged nearly $4.6 million, the report … Read more

To encrypt or not? That is the question

Even before someone hacked Sarah Palin's Yahoo Mail account I had been wondering whatever happened to encryption.

Encryption -- the science of rendering plain text unreadable by anyone but the intended reader -- made a splash in the mid-1990s. At the time the U.S. government was investigating human rights activist Phil Zimmermann for allegedly violating the Arms Export Control Act by distributing his PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) e-mail encryption software. The government eventually relaxed the restrictions and PGP was no longer programa non grata.

Nearly a decade has passed and it struck me recently that encryption still hasn'… Read more

PGP, IBM help Bletchley Park raise funds

A campaign will be launched on Tuesday to ask U.S. tech companies to help save Bletchley Park, whose wartime work helped lay the foundations of modern computing and crytography.

The fund-raising campaign will be led by cryptography provider PGP, together with IBM and other technology firms. Phil Dunkelberger, chief executive of PGP, told ZDNet UK in a video interview that the group of companies would be making donations to repair the buildings at Bletchley Park, including the National Museum of Computing, and would be calling for other organizations to get involved.

"We're calling attention (to the fact … Read more

The Real Deal 123: Encryption

Tom and Rafe give the basics on encryption and examples of how to use it in the real world. Listen now: Download today's podcast History

Coded messages date back to Roman Times and probably existed before.

Sticklers may prefer encyphering an decyphering. reserve decrypt for decoding a message you don't have the key for.

What it means

Types of Encryption


Each computer has a secrte key by which it encrypts and decrypts the data. Only another computer that knows what key was used can decrypt. Problem with key distribution

-Public key - introduced by Whitfield Diffie and … Read more

Homeland Security: We can seize laptops for an indefinite period

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has concocted a remarkable new policy: It reserves the right to seize for an indefinite period of time laptops taken across the border.

A pair of DHS policies from last month say that customs agents can routinely--as a matter of course--seize, make copies of, and "analyze the information transported by any individual attempting to enter, re-enter, depart, pass through, or reside in the United States." (See policy No. 1 and No. 2.)

DHS claims the border search of electronic information is useful to detect terrorists, drug smugglers, and people violating "… Read more

Security guide to customs-proofing your laptop

If you travel across national borders, it's time to customs-proof your laptop.

Customs officials have been stepping up electronic searches of laptops at the border, where travelers enjoy little privacy and have no legal grounds to object. Laptops and other electronic devices can be seized without reason, their contents copied, and the hardware returned hours or even weeks later.

Executives have been told that they must hand over their laptop to be analyzed by border police--or be barred from boarding their flight. A report from a U.S.-based marijuana activist says U.S. border guards browsed through her … Read more