U.S. Government Turning to DMARC for Better Email Security

Today’s topics include DMARC email security adoption growing in the U.S. government; Microsoft selling its new Surface Pro tablet with an LTE Advanced option; Microsoft focusing on data privacy and cyber-security in 2018; and Splice Machine launching its own online predictive processing platform.

The U.S. government is steadily increasing its adoption of the Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance email security protocol, according to new research from security firm Agari, published on Jan. 2.

DMARC makes use of the Sender Policy Framework as well as Domain Keys Identified Email to help verify email authenticity. One of the goals of DMARC is to mitigate the risks of attackers using domains as a spamming address.

The government’s increased use of DMARC is part of an effort by federal agencies to comply with a Department of Homeland Security directive. The DHS issued the 18-01 binding operational directive on Oct. 16, in a bid to enhance email and web security in U.S. federal government agencies. The directive has its first milestone deadline on Jan. 15, which requires all second-level agency domains to have valid Sender Policy Framework and DMARC records.

Microsoft has begun offering commercial customers its new Surface Pro tablet with an LTE Advanced option, allowing users to stay connected on the road as long as they receive a cell signal from a compatible wireless service provider.

Microsoft claims this Surface Pro is the fastest LTE-enabled device in its class, reaching download speeds of 450M bps, compared to the 300M-bps speeds of its rivals. Prices start at $1,149 for a model powered by an Intel i5 processor and with 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM.

Another model, also featuring an Intel Core i5 processor but with twice the storage capacity and RAM, is available for $1,449. Users can expect up to 13.5 hours of battery life.

Microsoft has published its list of the top 10 technology issues it is using its expertise to address in 2018, and data privacy and cyber-security top the list.

Regarding data privacy, Microsoft’s lawyers are set to appear before the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 27 to argue their side of the Ireland email privacy case, involving attempts by the U.S. Department of Justice to obtain emails stored in an Irish data center using a search warrant. The case could have major implications for online services and cloud providers with users overseas.

In terms of cyber-security, Microsoft President and CEO Brad Smith and Carol Ann Browne, Director of Executive Communications, teased news of an industry-backed cyber-security accord that will enable technology companies to act as so-called "internet first responders" when the next WannaCry malware attack surfaces on the internet.

San Francisco-based startup Splice Machine, which has developed a database management system specifically for hybrid clouds, has launched its own Online Predictive Processing Platform for powering the new generation of predictive applications that run both on premises and in clouds.

The company claims that its software can make predictive analytics usable in real-time operational applications at big-data scale. By using the Splice Machine OLPP, applications can now both "predict" by learning from the past as well as use those predictions to "act in the moment,” according to the company.

Splice Machine integrates the Apache HBase and Spark engines into one ANSI SQL Relational Database Management System that enables a company's existing staff—those already familiar with SQL—to build predictive applications. The Online Predictive Processing Platform has two deployment options: as database-as-a-service and as an on-premise offering.