Posts Tagged Sensitive Data

Linoma Software celebrates 20 Year Anniversary

Posted by on Monday, 17 November, 2014

Linoma Software-20 Year-FINALLinoma Software is celebrating 20 years in helping organizations around the world to automate their IT processes and protect sensitive data. The company will commemorate this milestone anniversary with the much anticipated unveiling of their new corporate headquarters, groundbreaking new software releases and promotional events throughout the next twelve months.

“From the beginning, our goal has been to provide great products at affordable prices that are backed with unparalleled customer support and service,” said Linoma Software founder, Bob Luebbe. “We attribute our success over the last 20 years to this simple company philosophy. It encompasses all that we do.”

Looking Back: A Modest Beginning

Husband and wife team, Bob and Christy Luebbe, started Linoma out of their home in 1994 to provide IT consulting and contract programming services to area businesses. The concept was simple, in that they offered experienced IT talent for affordable rates.

By late 1995, the Luebbes had hired several consultants to service their expanding customer base which included Fortune 500 companies such as Union Pacific, First Data Resources and Hewlett-Packard. They also officially opened their first office in Omaha, Nebraska to offer offsite programming services to out-of-state customers.

Around 1996, Bob had an idea for a product that addressed the challenge of converting legacy IBM RPG code to the new RPG IV (ILE RPG) language. During his off hours, Luebbe built the Convert to ILE RPG software, named it CVTILERPG and released it on a programming list server as a downloadable file. This proved to be a move that was ahead of its time as most software for IBM systems was distributed by mail and installed using cumbersome tapes.

BobLuebbeLinomaSoftwareCVTILERPG became an overnight success as a convenient-to-install and affordable utility, which paved the way for Linoma to evolve into a software company. Many of the original users of CVTILERPG (now called RPG Toolbox) are still loyal customers today.

Finding ways to make tasks easier and more efficient has always been the core of Linoma Software’s approach to software development. From creating graphical interfaces for the AS/400 in 1997 with Surveyor/400, to the debut of Transfer Anywhere in 2002, to encrypting databases with Crypto Complete in 2007, Luebbe and his growing R&D team continued to innovate and streamline processes for the IBM i. As new products were developed and released, Linoma put an emphasis on affordability and five-star support, which the company is known for.

The release of GoAnywhere Director in early 2008 was a turning point for the company. Quickly becoming the flagship product for Managed File Transfer and secure data exchange, the multi-platform software delivered full automation, encryption and detailed audit trails for file transfers. Following shortly after in 2009, the introduction of GoAnywhere Services expanded the product offering to support secure file services using FTP, FTPS, SFTP and HTTP protocols. GoAnywhere Gateway joined the product suite in 2010 with enhanced forward and reverse proxy to protect files in the DMZ.

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Looking Forward: Success through Innovation

As the GoAnywhere software suite continues to grow and evolve, the company has grown as well. Linoma Software has been named to the Inc. 5000 list of top growing companies in Nebraska for the past two years. Their customer base consists of over 3,000 installations worldwide including government entities, large corporations and mid-sized companies. Boasting over a 98% customer retention rate, Linoma Software continues to win customers over through innovation, affordable product offerings and responsive product enhancements.

According to Luebbe, “Several of our customers have been with us since the beginning. They love the products and rave about our support. We’re thrilled to be celebrating 20 years and it’s because our customers truly appreciate what we do. Without their trust and support, we wouldn’t be here. It’s that simple, and we are truly grateful.”

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How Managed File Transfer Changed My Life

Posted by on Tuesday, 24 January, 2012
In addition to being one of Linoma Software’s expert bloggers, Daniel Cheney is also in the IT trenches, and it was here that he first discovered the impact the switch to a managed file transfer solution had on his daily work life.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

As a technology administrator at a major healthcare administration company, sending and receiving sensitive files between various systems used to be a daily grind and a consistent source of stress. We were using PC-based freeware FTP tools and the built in FTP functions on the IBM iSeries. The best we could do with scripting was to use CL command scripts to call the FTP function and hard code the login information. RPG programs would then call the CL scripts and retrieve and send the needed files, but there were insufficient logs and alerts for such automated activities.

managed file transfer, secure file transfer, secure ftpThe biggest headache for me was that these scripts, and the resultant sending of files, had to be error-free and reliable! Add to that the pressure of knowing how critical exchanging files is to the operation of the business and the challenge of  having a single person responsible for its success — it all became an unrealistic expectation.  On top of this, because most of these files are sent over the Internet, and because of the inadequate tools we had at hand, the security of our FTP processes was insufficient.

I knew it was time to find a better solution and after doing some evaluation of available managed file transfer products for IBM iSeries, I selected GoAnywhere™ Director from Linoma Software.

Our installation of GoAnywhere Director made a huge difference almost immediately.

First, Director provides me with all the possible security protocols available, including SFTP, FTPS, and standard FTP with PGP encryption.  It also has powerful scripting functions to login to HTTP and HTTPS sessions in order to automate logins to partner sites for file transfers.

Director makes it possible to automate all of the company’s file transfers with a schedule and log so we know the path and time of every transaction.  Alerts are automatically sent to us if there are any problems, or if we wish, every time it succeeds.  Responsibility can be distributed to various departments as needed to receive these alerts and/or to begin the execution of the transfers when ready.

The simple-to-navigate web interface makes it easy for any user to view, verify, change and execute these file transfers.  The scripting is easy for the average user to setup. If there are any challenges that we come up against with our file transfer processes, Linoma support has always been extremely effective at showing me how to do a successful execution.

I know how frustrating it can be to initiate, monitor, and track the ever increasing number of file transfers my company requires, especially without an all-in-one tool like managed file transfer.  It amazes me how many IT people still don’t realize there’s a better way to do things — a way that gives them more control, and more time to devote to all the other projects demanding their attention.  I know managed file transfer — and specifically GoAnywhere Director — changed my life at work.  I hope more of my IT colleagues discover the advantages soon.

Daniel Cheney

Daniel has been the IT Director at a healthcare company for the last 12 years and a longtime beneficiary of GoAnywhere Director and the IBM i platform. He is also a freelance writer for various technical and social media projects.

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Managed File Transfer Streamlines HIPAA/HITECH Complexity

Posted by on Monday, 9 May, 2011

Managed File Transfer (MFT) systems are great for policy enforcement, access authentication, risk reduction, and more. But for HIPAA and HITECH requirements, MFT shines as a work-flow automation tool.

MFT as the B2B Enabler

It shines because Managed File Transfer systems are actually automation platforms that can help companies streamline the secure transfer of data between business partners. How? It removes many of the configuration steps traditionally required for complex Business-to-Business (B2B) processes, keeping it straightforward and manageable.

Transferring patient information is a difficult challenge which many healthcare institutions are facing. Data standards were supposed to simplify this communication between healthcare institutions and their partners. But ask any technical professional about the underlying variability of data formats, and you’ll hear a tale of potential confusion and complexity.

Nightmares of Compliance

The HITECH regulations within HIPAA require the security and privacy of healthcare records, strongly suggesting the use of data encryption. These records may travel between various healthcare-related partners including hospitals, clinics, payment processors and insurers. Each partner may require their own unique data format, and each may prefer a different encryption technique or transport protocol.

Considering these differing requirements, adding each new trading partner has traditionally needed the attention of in-house programming or manual processes, which has become hugely inefficient. Furthermore, if the new trading partner is not implemented properly, this can also create the potential for errors that may lead to data exposures. Any exposures could move the healthcare institution out of HIPAA/HITECH compliance and may cost them severely.

Simplifying and Integrating Information Transfer

A Managed File Transfer (MFT) solution can significantly reduce the potential for errors and automate those processes. With a good MFT solution, any authorized personnel should be able to quickly build transfer configurations for each healthcare business partner. This should allow for quick selection of strong encryption methods (e.g. Open PGP, SFTP, FTPS, HTTPS) based on the partner’s requirements, so that HITECH requirements are maintained. At the same time, a MFT solution creates a visible audit trail to ensure that compliance is sustained.

But, perhaps just as important, a good Managed File Transfer solution is constructed as a modular tool that can be easily integrated into existing software suites and workflow processes. In fact, a good MFT is like a plug-able transfer platform that brings the variability of all kinds of B2B communications under real management.

Now extend the MFT concept beyond the healthcare business sector, into manufacturing, finance, distribution, etc. Suddenly MFT isn’t a niche’ utility, but a productivity and automation tool that has myriad uses in multiple B2B environments.

A Day-to-day Technical Solution

Perhaps this is why the Gartner Group has identified Managed File Transfer as one of the key technologies that will propel businesses in the coming years. It’s more than just a utility suite: It’s a system that can be utilized over and over as an integral part of an organization’s solutions to automate and secure B2B relationships. In other words, MFT isn’t just for specialized compliance requirements, but a lynch-pin of efficient B2B communications technology that can bring real cost savings to every organization.

Healthcare Case Study Utilizing a MFT Solution: Bristol Hospital Takes No Risks with Sensitive Data

Thomas Stockwell

Thomas M. Stockwell is one of Linoma Software's subject matter experts and a top blogger in the industry. He is Principle Analyst at IT Incendiary, with more than 20 years of experience in IT as a Systems Analyst, Engineer, and IS Director.

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Encrypting Files with OpenPGP

Posted by on Monday, 11 April, 2011

When our users send a file over the Internet there are really just a few things that seem important to them at the time:

a)      Is the file complete?

b)      Is it being sent to the right place?

c)      Will it arrive intact?

and — if the data is sensitive —

d)     Will the intended recipient (and only that recipient) be able to use it?

That’s where encryption comes in: By scrambling the data using one or more encryption algorithms, the sender of the file can feel confident that the data has been secured.

But what about the file’s recipient? Will she/he be able to decode the scrambled file?

Encryption, Decryption, and PGP

For years, PGP has been one of the most widely used technologies for encrypting and decrypting files. PGP stands for “Pretty Good Privacy” and it was developed in the early 1990s by Phillip Zimmerman. Today it is considered to be one of the safest cryptographic technologies for signing, encrypting and decrypting texts, e-mails, files, directories and even whole partitions to increase the security.

How PGP Works

PGP encryption employs a serial combination of hashing, data compression, symmetric-key cryptography, and, finally, public-key cryptography. Each step uses one of several supported algorithms. A resulting public key is bound to a user name and/or an e-mail address. Current versions of PGP employ both the original “Web of Trust” authentication method, and the X.509 specification of a hierarchical “Certificate Authority” method to ensure that only the right people can decode the encrypted files.

Why are these details important for you to know?

Growing Pains for PGP

PGP has gone through some significant growing pains – including a widely publicized criminal investigation by the U.S. Government. (Don’t worry! The Federal investigation was closed in 1996 after Zimmerman published the source code.)

One result of PGP’s growing pains has been the fragmentation of PGP: Earlier versions of the technology sometimes can not decode the more recent versions deployed within various software applications. This PGP versioning problem was exacerbated as the ownership of the PGP technology was handed off from one company to another over the last 20 years.

And yet, because PGP is such a powerful tool for ensuring privacy in data transmission, its use continues to spread far more quickly than other commercially owned encryption technologies.

Fragmentation and the Future of PGP

So how is the industry managing the issue of PGP fragmentation? The answer is the OpenPGP Alliance.

In January 2001, Zimmermann started the OpenPGP Alliance, establishing a Working Group of developers that are seeking the qualification of OpenPGP as an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Internet Standard.

Why is this important to you? By establishing OpenPGP as an Internet Standard, fragmentation of the PGP technology can be charted and – to a large degree – controlled.

This means that the encrypted file destined for your system will be using a documented, standardized encryption technology that OpenPGP can be appropriately decrypted. The standardization helps ensure privacy, interoperability between different computing systems, and the charting of a clear path for securely interchanging data.

The OpenPGP Standard and Linoma Software

OpenPGP has now reached the second stage in the IETF’s four-step standards process, and is currently seeking draft standard status. (The standards document for OpenPGP is RFC4880.)

Linoma Software uses OpenPGP in its GoAnywhere Director Managed File Transfer solution. Just as importantly, Linoma Software is an active member of the OpenPGP Alliance, contributing to the processes that will ensure that OpenPGP becomes a documented IETF Internet Standard. This will ensure that your investment in Linoma’s GoAnywhere managed file transfer software remains current, relevant, and productive.

For more information about OpenPGP and the OpenPGP Alliance, go to http://www.openpgp.org. To better understand how OpenPGP can help your company secure its data transfers, check out Linoma Software’s GoAnywhere Director managed file transfer (MFT) solution.

Thomas Stockwell

Thomas M. Stockwell is one of Linoma Software's subject matter experts and a top blogger in the industry. He is Principle Analyst at IT Incendiary, with more than 20 years of experience in IT as a Systems Analyst, Engineer, and IS Director.

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