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Bashing the bandwidth bandits

Also: WTF is SSL?

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Off we trot to the Reg Library for our occasional shufti through the whitepaper section. This week we present a couple of security reports, the first inspired by our own difficulty in researching SSL certs.

Beginners Guide to Digital SSL Certificates

Recently, we explored the introduction of SSL certificates for reader accounts, in response to the very public launch in October of Firesheep, a Wi-Fi sniffing tool for very lazy hackers.

Firefox has disabled the installation of the plugin by script kiddies, but the underlying threat remains.

We concluded that we could do without SSL, although other website owners, especially sites that don't run ads, may come to different conclusions - if they can get a straight answer from the SSL certificate resellers.

Our research was easier said than done: resellers took some persuading to explain the different options and pricing and their implications for our needs.

So we can say, with some authority that this Verisign primer on SSL is pretty useful, if a little rudimentary.

The paper explains what an SSL cert is, the different types of SSL certs, how SSL encryption works and its role in engendering consumer confidence.

Now if Verisign could offer a primer on pricing, we'd be golden.

Bandwidth Bandits

The World Cup in June was the first to play out in full over the internet. Dire predictions about the collapse of company internets were proved wrong.

Undoubtedly internet usage at work is growing at a lick, and streaming video and email is sucking up resources. But how much?

MessageLabs estimates that a company with 600 employees loses 23 per cent of its bandwidth to unauthorised staff use.

This paper supplies the stats for companies who want to clamp down on internet usage at work, or as MessageLabs puts it more tactfully, to reclaim their bandwidth.

ML is touting its own hosted services, which are branded under the name of its parent company Symantec. But as well the stats, the paper supplies a checklist for bandwidth, umm, reclamation.

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