Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog -
Rich Tehrani
| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space


Intermedia Anti-Phishing Tools for Small Business

August 21, 2017

Large companies generally have IT teams to deal with phishing attacks but really, there is no perfect defense from a determined phisher who wants to get you to click on a link. Once you click, they could install a backdoor which gives them access to your passwords or perhaps they could start installing ransomware.

All a company can do is be as protected as possible. One way to achieve this is with strong anti-phishing tools - similar to the ones rolled out by Intermedia last week.

The company says they have unveiled Enterprise-grade anti-phishing protection, designed for SMBs - otherwise knows and small and medium businesses.

The new Intermedia Email Protection features include:

  • Similar domain check: Spear-phishing campaign authors will typically register an email domain that looks 'similar' to a company's email domain (e.g., with two i's instead of Intermedia's domain check feature uses a similarity algorithm to confirm that the sending domain is in fact is someone from within the organization.
  • User impersonation check: Spear-phishing attacks target specific employees within an organization, by impersonating someone they know – most typically the CEO or other high-profile individuals.

Maybe Net Neutrality Needs to Apply to Silicon Valley

August 21, 2017

In the debate for net neutrality, its been left versus right for about a decade. Silicon Valley, and Democrats are for net neutrality while conservatives are for free markets with minimal government regulation.

The biggest argument advocates of net neutrality use is they fear for a world where unregulated ISPs are able to throttle and block content they don't agree with or that which is competitive.

Last month, Google, Facebook and Spotify among many others worked together to participate in a June 12 Internet-Wide Day of Action in support of net neutrality.

Organized by Fight for the Futurefreepress, and Demand Progress, the event precedes a July 17 deadline for public comment on the FCC's proposed changes to net neutrality rules, originally designed to prevent huge internet service providers from creating internet 'fast lanes' that deliver content from some owners at higher speeds (and potentially higher costs) than that of others. In his new role as head of the FCC, former commissioner and Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai has quickly mobilized efforts to roll back the Obama-era protections, among other things, arguing that the regulations will inhibit investment and innovation in the field.

Interestingly net neutrality proponants are generally associated with the antifa movement - the communist group which says it represents anti-fascism.

So there we have it - the left wants net neutrality rules so the government can ensure corporations can't keep sites they don't agree with, off the internet.

How Technology can Eliminate White Supremacy

August 17, 2017

As our country is mired in race debates, it's interesting to see how technology has inadvertently begun to actually reduce the number of white supremacists.

When researching how many white supremacists there are in the US, you find that there aren't any accurate surveys on the matter. Apparently, inbreeding makes it difficult for these people to read survey forms.

The closest number we could find is 5,000-8,000 people in the US who are part of the KKK or about .003% of the population if we use the high end of the range.

What gets really interesting is that thanks to quick and simple DNA testing white supremacists can now determine just how white they are.

The results have been shocking as 2/3 of them have found they aren't pure white.

Irony of ironies - the odds are 2:1 that the average cross-burning moron actually isn't what they think.

This of course has led many people in these groups to question the tests. It must be some conspiracy that just 2/3 of of the people tested in their "group" are impure while 1/3 are. Obviously, many of these people need to loosen their sheets to reduce the brain damage associated with oxygen deprivation.

Bottom line - technology now exists to take a population of perhaps 6,000 KKK members and knock the number down to to a mere 2,000 or the amount of people who went to our high school.

So far, 153 people in these groups have posted their results.

The Long Tail of Cybersecurity

August 9, 2017

The long-tail, a term coined to describe the ability for organizations to sell vast amounts of products in small quantities accurately describes how a music store like iTunes can generate massive quantities of profit selling virtually limitless inventory.

The online world made this possible. Try as they might, Barnes & Noble could not match the inventory of Amazon in all its stores. Online wins because inventory is near-infinite.

In the cybersecurity world there is is a similar phenomenon taking place. The same bell curve applies but in this case, we can assign it to the value of a target.

Tesla Model X vs. Porsche 911

July 31, 2017

I recently had a chance to test drive a friend's Tesla Model X and he could not have been more enthusiastic about this car. In fact, another friend forced me to test drive his Model S over a year ago. I say forced because, I was surprised just how much people who have Teslas want to evangelize the car to others. I'm not so sure I'd be so generous with my new car that I would offer to share the drive with others shortly after purchase.

That is what Tesla does to its fans - it makes them raving fans, not unlike what Apple has been doing since the 1980's.

We went for a drive around rural New Jersey and my friend kept asking me to floor it to feel the power...

Facebook and Google May Become Regulated Utilities

July 28, 2017

Google effectively has a monopoly in search and Facebook has one in social networking and together they have a virtual monopoly in online advertising. Worldwide, Google has 92% market share! Facebook has 2 billion users with no competitor in site. The two companies alone account for virtually all digital advertising growth.

It is for these and other reasons that Steve Bannon wants the companies regulated like utilities.

DieselGate: We Were Right, Something Smells Awful

July 13, 2017

Remember back in 2015 when we said something doesn't smell right in the VW diesel scandal? it would be impossible for the whole auto industry to not know what was happening - including execs at these organizations.

Well, fast forward a few years and many arrests later and now Mercedes may have to recall over a million vehicles because well, apparently they did see what VW did and decided it was a great idea to emulate.

Had you been a reader, you would have known this was coming back in 2015 when we said:

If management learned VW engineers were able to achieve the impossible… They found a way to burn diesel in a manner which literally saved billions of dollars for the company, they would naturally want to know how it was done. This was a breakthrough. It is inconceivable that all of management wouldn’t be interested in learning at least something about how the system worked.

StaffAlerter Provides Value in Emergency Notification and IoT

July 8, 2017

With terrorist attacks and other shooting incidents becoming commonplace, the need to quickly notify large groups of people regarding dangerous situations seems to have never been greater. While many of the solutions on the market are targeted at governments or large police departments, the emergency notification system on a budget market has been neglected.

Enter StaffAlerter, the infinitely flexible solution which combines the power of IoT-like sensors with IFTTT real-world flexibility. By this we mean that the system can be easily programmed to sense an emergency button being activated in the freezer and then proceed to unlock the freezer door.

Top 8 IoT Trends for 2017

July 7, 2017

The IoT market is accelerating as growth comes from numerous directions and markets and as it does, one thing is very clear, the internet of things will have a major effect on every market. It will also usher in opportunities in these spaces to start new businesses and grow existing ones.

The number one question we get asked at TMC is what are the hottest trends in IoT? Here is a solid list of what you need to know and where opportunity exists:
  1. Industrial IoT is responsible for ushering in a new industrial revolution. This is a non-trivial change in the way factories and industry operate.

Google Dandelion to Popularize Geothermal?

July 7, 2017

Geothermal energy is pure perfection for heating and cooling homes in climates which are very hot or very cold because the ground stays around 50 degrees Fahrenheit which means, if you can access this area, you can inexpensively heat or cool a home or building. It is better than solar because it isn't god-awful ugly - yes, we know Elon Musk may one day make solar pretty. It's better than wind because it is constant.

The problem with the technology is in the northeast, you can get estimates of $60,000 or more to install such a system.

Its ironic, there is virtually unlimited heating and cooling under our feet but we just can't get to it affordably.

Enter Google-X and the Alphabet spin-off, Dandelion, they are going to start installing geothermal in New York state to start and they say they have found a way to inexpensively and quickly dig the small holes needed to reach about 1,000 feet.

Some of the fastest-growing businesses have been based on arbitrage - many people in the IP communications space saw this for themselves and before that, the international call-back market. Mobile phones helped arbitrage away the need for a camera and flashlight among other devices - and we see how fast that market grew.

We're just spit-balling here but if Google can get the price of an install down to $20,000 and the average homeowner can save $3,000 a year, the payback is under seven years.

Is this a feasible number?

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