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How Did Russia Hack the Vote? Are Our Elections Secure?

Monday, June 26th, 2017

With all the talk of Russia influencing the election through the DNC hacks and fake news, we are finally realizing just how open the political process is to manipulation. One aspect that had taken a backseat until recently was how the votes themselves can be tampered with.

Over the last month, we have uncovered more and more information about just how severe the hacks were. At this stage, it is confirmed that 39 states had their voter registration databases accessed, although officials assume that attempts were made to break into all 50.

There was at least once incidence of voter data being altered, however it was detected and rectified without any long term damage. Almost 90,000 records were accessed and stolen from Illinois, 90% of which contained details such as drivers license numbers and the last for digits of an individuals’ Social Security number.

Officials are stating that these hacks didn’t influence the results of the election, as no databases were permanently changed. Some have suggested that the only reason the damage wasn’t worse is because US intelligence agencies caught onto the attacks and the Government issued Russia a stern warning.

Is Voting Secure?

Given that another country clearly had the chance to tamper with the voting process, it’s time to reevaluate our election security. How can we bolster our defenses to prevent further attacks? First, we need to understand which parts of the system are vulnerable.

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Email Encryption Showdown: SMTP TLS vs PGP vs S/MIME vs Portal Pickup

Monday, May 29th, 2017

While messaging apps may have become more popular over the last ten or so years, email remains an important method of communication, particularly for business. Despite its common use, there are many security problems associated with regular email:

Message Tampering

False messages are a significant threat, particularly when it comes to business and legal issues. Imagine someone else sends an email from your account – how can you prove it wasn’t you? There are many viruses that spread in this way, and with regular email, there is no concrete way to tell whether a message is false or not.

Email Encryption

Normal emails can also be modified by anyone with system-administrator access to the SMTP servers that your emails pass through. They can alter or completely delete the message, and your recipient has no way of knowing if the message has been tampered with or not.

In the same way, messages can be saved by the SMTP system administrator, then altered and sent again at a later time. This means that subsequent messages may appear valid, even if they are actually just copies that have been faked.

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HIPAA-compliant Dropbox: Secure File Sharing at LuxSci

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

Want to set up a public dropbox for sharing sensitive files but still remain HIPAA-compliant?  This is now a snap for anyone with a HIPAA-compliant LuxSci account.

LuxSci has long provided online cloud-based secure file storage and sharing via its Documents WebAide service, which is included with all accounts as part of our suite of collaboration tools (calendars, tasks, address books, files, notes, links, password libraries, and user groups).  Now, in addition to being able to share files internally with other users, groups, and accounts, LuxSci customers can securely share files with anyone on the Internet.

How to Share

There are many ways to access the dialog box used for sharing WebAides with others.  Here is one:

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Email Archival is Better than Ever: Migration Plan for Old Customers

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

For the past five months, new customers who have purchased email archival from LuxSci have been getting the excellent archival services of our new partner, Sonian.  LuxSci changed archival partners after it was announced that McAfee’s email filtering and archival services were at their “end of life.”

The new Sonain service has turned out to be vastly superior to that which was available through McAfee. In the end, everyone will be able to take advantage of a superior archival solution.  This article discusses some of the benefits of Sonian Archival, as well as how we are migrating old customers from McAfee to Sonian and what they should expect.

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Dedicated Server Management Interface

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

LuxSci has just introduced a new user interface for dedicated server customers.   The dedicated server management interface allows customers to view real-time and historical information about their server performance and capacity, enables iptables firewall management, and places certain system management commands in the hands of account administrators.

Insight into server health and metrics is important for capacity planning and for diagnosing and resolving performance issues.  The system metrics and reports exposed in the dedicated server management interface were previously only available to LuxSci support staff.  Now, account administrators can access this same information on demand and perform tasks such as server reboots, apache restarts, and firewall edits when needed without the assistance of technical support.

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Capture where someone filled out your form: Geolocation for SecureForm Form Builder

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

A nurse from your company visits a patient at his/her home and, as part of the process, has to fill out and submit an electronic form describing the visit while there. Capturing the nurse’s exact location (without the need to trust the nurse) when she or he fills out that form is a critical check that the patient received proper care—at the right time and place. This not only protects against nurses lying about their whereabouts, but it also defends you against patients who claim the nurse was not there at a specific time.

Geolocation

Geolocation is the ability for phone, tablet, and some laptops to know exactly where you are in the world (for example, through GPS or other means). This feature is visible in modern Web browsers so that Web pages can query the user’s device to find out the device’s current latitude and longitude and that can translate it into the approximate street address (assuming the location is close to some street address).

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Automating the Sending of Secure Messages

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Do you have an application or system that needs to send secure messages on demand?  Do you need the flexibility to encrypt messages in different ways, to include files, HTML, and read receipts, or to have the messages be fully HIPAA compliant?

LuxSci has added secure messaging functionality to its Application Programming Interface (API).

Customers with SecureLine, LuxSci’s message encryption service, can now send secure messages though LuxSci’s REST API.  Features of this service include:

  1. Up to 100 recipients/message  (total daily and monthly recipient limits also exist and can be negotiated).
  2. Up to 70MB of content (body and attachments) per message.
  3. Email encryption via SMTP TLS, Escrow, PGP, and/or SMIME.
  4. The ability to toggle between use of TLS and Escrow on a per-message basis, depending on the level of security needed.  See: next generation opt-in email encryption.
  5. Message delivery tracking
  6. Read receipts — invisible to the recipient and reliable (with SecureLine Escrow).

If you would like to give LuxSci’s SecureLine messaging API a try, please contact LuxSci support and we can enable API access for your real or free trial account.

See also our General API Usage guide, and our API User Functions guide.

Introducing Proofpoint and Sonian to Replace McAfee for Premium Filtering and Archival

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

McAfee announced several months ago that it is “end-of-lifeing” its Email Filtering and Email Archival services.  These are the services that LuxSci has been reselling for more than 10 years (as one of McAfee’s first resellers in this area) as its Premium Email Filtering and Archival solutions.

After a lot of internal review, LuxSci has chosen to replace McAfee’s services with Email Filtering from Proofpoint and Archival from Sonian.  While McAfee (formerly MXLogic) had its time as the premier service for Filtering and Archival, they have declined over time compared to alternatives.  Both Proofpoint and Sonian are leaders in their respective areas and provide a level of service significantly superior to the disappearing McAfee services.

Beginning in early January of 2016, LuxSci will switch to selling Proofpoint and Sonian as its solutions for Premium Filtering and Archival for all new accounts and for all accounts that do not yet have these services and wish to upgrade.  Starting in January, LuxSci will also begin migrating existing Premium Email Filtering customers who do not also have Archival over to the new Proofpoint solution.  Later, starting March or April, we will begin migrating customers who have Archival as well.

How does Proofpoint differ from McAfee for Premium Filtering?

Analysis has show that Proofpoint is much more accurate than McAfee filtering — stopping more spam with fewer false positives and stopping more phishing-related traffic automatically.  This is in part due to the much larger size of Proofpoint’s client base and their ability to leverage dynamic analysis of all of the data flowing through their systems.

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Train your Filters with Bayesian Email Filtering

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

LuxSci’s Basic Spam Filtering service has just been augmented to include Bayesian analysis.  with Bayesian analysis, each user can train his/her own Spam filters with examples of what that user considers “Spam” and “not Spam”.  With enough examples, Bayesian analysis allows for the classification of new messages by their likelihood to be Spam or not and this drastically  increases the accuracy of your Spam filtering.

All users of LuxSci’s Basic Spam Filtering system get Bayesian analysis at no additional charge — all you have to do is (1) enabled it and then (2) train it.

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WebAide and WebMail Features for More and Larger Files

Friday, October 9th, 2015

LuxSci has introduced a series of new features and improvements over the past few months to enable better security, larger files, and more ease of use.  Here is a brief rundown of these:

No More JAVA Applets!

LuxSci previously provided JAVA Applets to enable the optional bulk uploading and downloading of files.  However, these days, one can bulk upload files using “drag and drop” and web browsers are moving away from support of JAVA applets for security reasons.  To simplify our interface and remove any need for JAVA, we have removed these applets altogether.

  • To upload files in bulk, simply use “drag and drop”
  • Downloading files in bulk is now done by providing you with a ZIP Archive of the selected files

This change impacts email message composition, downloading attachments from email messages, and uploading and downloading files from WebAides and the File Manager.

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