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ASPG is proud to announce its
Insider Program!

Your resource for tips and tricks for the technical world!

Introduction

Welcome to the Insider Program! We trust you’ll find each issue to be your go-to resource for current topics of interest as well as current technological needs, and we thank you for truly making the program what it is! We look forward to a long-lasting discourse and partnership. If you’d like to be an ASPG Insider and subscribe to the Insider Program, please do so here.

 

Who is ASPG?

Whether you’ve been an ASPG customer for 10+ years or our name is just reaching your inbox, we’d like to share with you a little bit about who we are. ASPG is an industry-leading software development company who, for nearly 30 years, has been producing award-winning software for data centers and mainframes. Some of our specialties include data security, storage administration, and systems productivity, and we provide said solutions to everyone from the majority of the GLOBAL 1000 data centers to small businesses and organizations.

For those tradeshow fanatics, you can find us at IBM’s Technical University this week in Orlando (Booth #52), FUSION at the end of the month in New Orleans (Booth #517), and the GSE UK Conference in early November (via the Inspired Solutions booth). Stop by and say hello!

 

Support Week: October 5th–9th, 2015

Monday, October 5th, marks the beginning of Customer Service Week (CSWeek). What does this mean? It means catered lunches, free massages, and the chance to win a trip to Vegas! Okay, okay… so maybe your company isn’t going quite so crazy with the celebrations, but in all seriousness, it is a week to honor all you Help Desk, support staff, and customer service professionals for the hard work and dedication you practice every day. On behalf of your customers, co-workers, management, and ASPG, THANK YOU for all you do!

Established in 1991 and nationally recognized in 1992, CSWeek is a time intended to boost morale, encourage comradery, and appreciate those departments and individuals who deal directly with customer service and support. This year’s theme, “Everyday Heroes”, celebrates the unspoken heroes who make Help Desks and businesses efficient and productive everyday. For those interested in participating, two great resources for CSWeek enrichment webinars, community discussions, and fun activities (Superhero awards!) are HDI and the Official CSWeek site.

As a means of assisting those of you whose job includes fielding password reset calls to the Help Desk, we have a 20 minute live demo. of our password reset and synchronization solution, ReACT, on Thursday, October 15th at 2:00pm EST. Those interested may register here. Like what you see at the webinar? We are offering a special discount (expires 11/30/15) in honor of customer support staff and CSWeek! Simply mention CSWeek for eligibility.

Again, thank you for all you do, Help Desk, support staff, and customer service professionals!

 

Reader Question & Answer

QUESTION: Is there any way to enhance performance for the decryption of very large files on z Systems? This is a something we are currently looking into.

ANSWER: Thank you for your question!

As you’re probably aware, IBM z Systems come equipped with a set of cryptographic instructions, known as the Central Processor Assist for Cryptographic Functions (CPACF), which provide improved performance. CPACF improves the performance of cryptographic processes, but there are tools which further enhance performance, such as ASPG’s cryptographic toolkit, MegaCryption.

With MegaCryption v6.4.1 and higher, the CPACF accelerator is automatically used to dramatically speed-up decryption when (1) the CPACF is active and available and (2) the symmetric algorithm is 3EDE, DES, AES128, or AES256.

To support policy enforcement of this feature, users may apply user-modification in a specified MegaCryption library. This user-modification allows you to update the order of the OpenPGP “preferred symmetric algorithm” list in your exported public key.

For example, if you (1) update the preferred algorithm list to AES256+AES128+3DES+CAST and (2) re-export your public key for your encryption partners, then (3) your encryption partner’s software will use AES256 first, if it is available in their software, allowing the MegaCryption to use the CPACF accelerator for decryption.

 

Wrap-up:

We hope you enjoyed the inaugural issue of the Insider Program and it brought you helpful insider info! Stay tuned for our next issue as we cover a new product announcement, a recap from IBM’s Technical University, the newest reader question, and more.

In the meantime, be sure to join our free Understanding Cryptography webinar on Thursday, October 22nd at 2:00pm EST! The 1-hour course is designed to familiarize IT professionals with the basic concepts of cryptography, and will discuss various cryptographic standards for today’s data center. Items discussed include: public and private key management, symmetric and asymmetric cryptography, hashing, digital signatures, algorithms, etc.

Is there a topic you’d like to see discussed in the next newsletter, or do you have a reader question you’d like to submit? Let us know – we’re here to help!

 

Reader Survey

Does your organization have mobile or off-site users who require offline access to Windows machines? Allow us to paint the picture: a representative settles in on their flight or a remote employee sits at a table in their hotel lobby. It’s been a long day for the wayward travelers, and they’ve forgotten their device password, leaving them locked out of their device as well as the WiFi connection – and their workload. Have your users ever been in this predicament? Let us know by completing the form.

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