Vulnerability Scanning: How it Works

Vulnerability scanning protects your networks and applications from outside attack and should be a major cornerstone in the online security protection of any organisation. IT security is not an issue that you can afford to take lightly, but with the right precautions in place you can ensure that any risk is effectively minimised.

How it works

Vulnerability scanning techniques vary from company to company, but the basic principles are the same: a scan depth and schedule appropriate to the networks and software involved is worked out and then set to run automatically at designated intervals — click here for a more detailed breakdown of how the process works.

There are typically four different elements involved: the scanning itself, the analysis of the contents of the scan, appropriate alerts and then detailed reports. Again, the alerts and reports can be customised as required, to suit the needs of the business. Low-risk threats may not set off an alert at all, for example, but will be mentioned in any reports.


By taking a pro-active approach to threats from the web, vulnerability-scanning software is able to significantly reduce the risk of internal and external breaches of a network. Any unauthorised access can be spotted and dealt with at the earliest opportunity. Penetration testing alone is not enough.

Getting a dedicated provider on board to take care of vulnerability scanning services means that your costs can be substantially reduced, both in terms of money spent on IT monitoring and the time and effort required keeping watch for vulnerabilities manually. What's more, a regular scanning schedule means that infrastructure changes are also flagged up and reported at the earliest possible opportunity.

The reports generated by your scanning software package of choice can be invaluable in identifying potential problems and weaknesses in your existing applications. As time goes on, you can use them to build up a comprehensive picture of your own systems and networks, which means that you're better prepared for any attack from outside.

Peace of mind

With the correct, validated vulnerability scanning procedures in place, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your systems have been secured against outside threats. Once the initial assessment has been carried out, the scanning tools themselves run automatically and require very little in the way of maintenance or fine-tuning.

The nature of the threats arriving from the Web is changing all the time and so it's important to install a vulnerability scanning system that can change and adapt too. By finding a security provider who understands your network and its applications, you can get a bespoke solution designed to fit your protection needs exactly. 

Vulnerability scanning deals with a very real and present danger, but as long as you have a competent and reliable security solution in place, it's not a threat that should keep you awake at night. When choosing a provider, look for one that combines both top-of-the-range software solutions with expert human engineers who can be on hand to deal quickly with any issues that may arise.

Do Mobile Phones Pose a Health Hazard?

The mobile phone has become one of the biggest necessities that a person could own and the one thing people are still debating about is the issue of what health hazards that your modern day mobile phone could cause to the human body.

Many people are concerned about the low levels of radiofrequency energy that mobile phones emit, and how the radiation could cause cancer or other serious health problems. Many studies have been conducted over the past 15 years by scientists who are looking at the effects on the human body caused from the frequency of the mobile phone, but the studies have failed to prove that any frequency from the handheld device has any impact on the said person's health.

Studies show that almost 80 million mobile phones in the UK are in operation, therefore the threat of causing any damage to your health directly from the mobile is one in which each corporation must consider as part of their business module. With times changing, the modern day mobile phone has a considerable amount of data flowing through it compared to 5 years ago. 

Ed Yong, who is head of the health information at Cancer Research UK, has released information to the global population in which he states that despite the dramatic rise in mobile phone sales since the 1980s, the rate of brain cancer has not increased at the same rate as the production and usage of the handheld device has.

There is not yet enough known information to completely rule out the risk of health implications due to using a mobile phone, but very little research suggests that this could be the case.

What do you think about this controversy? Post your thoughts below.

O2 Tracks app offers UK Top 40 playback, for a price

If you follow obscure app-related news, you might remember that Samsung, MusicQubed and the Official Charts Company launched a UK Top 40 app last summer for owners of certain Samsung devices. That promotion's now come to an end, and this time around it's O2 that's partnering with the Charts Company with its own Top 40 app, fittingly dubbed "O2 Tracks."

When you first sign up there's a complementary free trial period -- 8 weeks for O2 subscribers, 2 weeks for anyone with another operator. After that, O2 customers can subscribe for £1 per week, while for others it's £5 per month. The music itself is delivered through a bright blue, O2-themed interface, with extra tabs for tawdry "celebrity news and gossip," if you're into that sort of thing.

Like the old Samsung app, tracks are downloaded to your device at regular intervals rather than being streamed, so any worries about data usage shouldn't apply here. For what it's worth, O2's app looks relatively well designed and clutter-free, but we doubt it'll be tearing anyone away from the likes of Spotify and Google Play Music anytime soon.

[Source: AndroidCentral]

4G EE comes to 9 new towns from Southend to Sunderland

Nine more towns just had their mobile data speeds given a kick in the pants as EE, Britain's first 4G network, expands its 4G LTE coverage.

The lucky nine are Amersham, Bolton, Chelmsford, Hemel Hempstead, Southend-on-Sea, Stockport, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield and Wolverhampton.

That makes a total of 27 towns and cities covered by EE, the phone network formed from the merger between Orange and T-Mobile. EE promises more towns will also be connected by the end of March, including Bradford, Coventry, Rotherham, and Watford, and West Bromwich.

Mobile coverage is never entirely certain so whack your postcode into EE's coverage checker before you shell out for a 4G contract.

EE has drawn flak for its pricing, or more specifically the amount of data you get for each pricy contract. The network responded this month by adding a new cheapest tariff and a 20GB data deal.

The latest addition to EE's LTE line-up is the new BlackBerry Z10, announced yesterday and on sale today. Other phones and tablets that connect to the Web pretty darn quick include the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE and Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.

[Source: CNET]

Phones4U to launch own virtual mobile network using EE's infrastructure

'LIFE Mobile' to launch 3G service this March, 4G later

British phone retailer Phones4U has announced it's to get into the network operator game through a new virtual network operated on EE's infrastructure. The new "LIFE Mobile" network is scheduled to launch this March, with 2G and 3G services being offered at first, followed by 4G LTE options later in the year. EE is, of course, currently the only operator to offer 4G services to British consumers.

Phones4U has not yet revealed details of pricing on the new service provider, but says it'll offer "variety of tariffs and services" with a "broad appeal" to consumers.

According to today's press release, the deal with Phones4U brings EE's total number of MVNO partners up to 25. Phones4U's biggest domestic rival, the Carphone Warehouse, already operates its own virtual network, Talkmobile, through a partnership with Vodafone UK.

[Source: AndroidCentral]

UK carriers form alliance to speed up 800MHz LTE rollout, let us enjoy our Freeview TV

Isn't it better when we work together? British carriers think so. EE, O2, Three and Vodafone have officially created a non-exclusive joint venture, Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited, that should speed up the deployment of 800MHz LTE by keeping Freeview over-the-air TV signals clear of interference while the partners bring their low-frequency 4G online. Previously, the networks were bound to form an equivalent company called MitCo that wouldn't have been active until after the 800MHz auction, preventing companies from getting their wireless houses in order until they'd already made a commitment. There's also a competitive angle involved to go with the cooperative work, as you might imagine: with EE's 1,800MHz LTE poised to go live on October 30th, choosing infighting over assistance would only help widen the frontrunner's lead. Whether DMSL represents altruism or pragmatism, we'll appreciate knowing that the hurdles to a catch-up in UK 4G will be more those of the technical reality than the usual political maneuvering.

[Source: Engadget]

iOS 6's "Wi-Fi + Cellular" option will solve some network conundrums

DownloadBlog's Jeff Benjamin has taken a look at the new "Wi-Fi + Cellular" option that will be in iOS 6. On the surface, the concept is brilliant. If you encounter issues with your Wi-Fi connection, iOS 6 automatically will tap your data plan as a back-up until you're back on the Wi-Fi successfully.

This scenario can occur you've made a Wi-Fi connection and it turns out to be pretty bad. The connection to the router is solid, but the Internet itself is pretty horrid -- case in point, most hotel rooms I've stayed in the past couple of years. Benjamin cites cases where you're making the transition between a place with Wi-Fi, such as your home or a coffee shop, and places without. There's a middle ground where you're barely hanging onto a Wi-Fi connection.

There are restrictions to this, for the frugally minded. You can't be downloading an app that's bigger than 50 MB, be using a third-party browser or an app that streams audio or video content. Benjamin managed to get FaceTime working using Wi-Fi + Cellular, but receiving a call forced the app to hang.

Most people will not notice any sort of change to data consumption, but you can toggle the option off if you're worried about hitting a data cap. While we don't know if Apple will have this option on by default, it won't hurt to make sure once iOS 6 is live.

[Source: TUAW]

Glopho launches the world’s first social network for news photos

Today sees the launch of Glopho, a unique online photo-sharing service designed specifically to allow anyone to “make the news” with the pictures they take. Now the millions of people with a camera in their pocket, budding amateur photographers or seasoned professionals can all share the moments they capture and the crowd can decide what is news.
The riots, the Royal procession or the dog on a skateboard; any photo can be easily and immediately shared via the Glopho website and mobile apps and then onwards through Facebook, Twitter or other social channels. Glopho is completely free to use and takes ‘citizen photo-journalism’ to new levels by introducing unique crowd-sourcing and news curation elements to photo-sharing.
Glopho is complementary to existing social networks.  It allows everyone to easily share the pictures they take not just with their friends and family, but with the wider world.  Users can follow their favourite photographers and their friends to see all the news they share, every day.
The Glopho website shows photos in a rolling format in simple category windows - Reality, Locality and Celebrity – alongside the Users’ Choice, Editor’s Choice and Latest images.  Pictures carry the photographer’s own description to explain the ‘what, where and when’ and can be tagged to make them easy to find.  Users can personalise their homepage to show their own photos and those of their friends, as well as the other photographers they follow.
Glopho apps are available in both iPhone and Android versions to make it even easier for people to post their pictures and enjoy looking at Glopho while on the go. Those using digital cameras rather than smartphones can upload their pictures via their computer or laptop.
Founder and CEO of Glopho, Simon Walker, said:
I have believed for some time that we are all now news photographers and just need an easy and effective way to share with the outside world the pictures we take each day. News is happening all around us and, more than ever, we are well-equipped to capture those moments digitally.  The explosion of social media has also given us, both as individuals and collectively, a bigger voice than ever.  Glopho harnesses these phenomena and provides the perfect space to share what we witness and decide together what we call news.”              
Glopho is the brainchild of award-winning photojournalist and picture editor Simon Walker, now founder and CEO of Glopho.  The idea and the business he has created has been developed over the last two years. Thorough Beta testing has allowed iterative development and the creation of the current proposition which is launched fully to the public today. Further developments including new features and improved app usability are scheduled to be released over the next 2 months, with releases planned for every 2-3 weeks.
Glopho’s revenue model will see it earning money in two ways.  Firstly, from advertisers paying to launch their own ‘premium galleries’, allowing them to get greater value from increasingly content-led social marketing strategies.  Secondly, Glopho will take a share of the fees earned by photographers when pictures are sold to news and other outlets wanting to use any images from the site.
In its recent first round of funding, Glopho closed an SEIS-eligible round of £150k, corner-stoned by a London Business Angels Network syndicate, and joined by a number of other experienced private investors.
Glopho is run by a top flight management team of experienced senior professionals including founder Simon Walker (CEO), Erik Wenngren (Chairman), James Serjeant (CFO), Richard Ireland (CMO) and Karl Knoflach (CTO).