Briefs

FRAMINGHAM (03/10/2000) - Managing SecurityWith fears of crackers on the rise, new security administrators are being thrown into their jobs without road maps. Beginning next week, Computerworld and the SANS Institute present the diary of a real security manager's first year on the job. Our aim is to help the author - let's call him Pat - and you solve corporate security problems.

MONITORING EMPLOYEE E-MAIL

Like it or not, you may have to start monitoring employees' e-mail. The bad news is that playing Big Brother can turn into a time sink. The good news is that employees tend to clean up their own acts when they know you're watching.

CLOSE THE DOOR!

Improperly secured or unauthorized modems that are attached to private data networks can defeat network security practices and make companies vulnerable to backdoor attacks. As businesses concentrate on implementing Internet firewalls, some are also installing firewalls on their enterprise telephone networks.

WHAT'S UP? NETWORK INFO

Ipswitch Inc. has released Version 5.0 of WhatsUp Gold, its Windows network monitoring tool that's aimed at small and midsize businesses.

PORTAL PLANS

Iona Technologies, long known for its Object Request Broker middleware technology, next week plans to release the first two pieces of its four-component iPortal Suite.

QUICKSTUDY

Directories are an elegantly logical way of managing data specific to users and resources for an application. But they may be too much of a good thing when it comes to managing lots of directories.

Selling ‘Free' Software

How do you persuade users to pay for software they've always gotten for free?

Message-transfer agent Sendmail became the most popular Web e-mail backbone around by going the open-source route. Its new company, Sendmail Inc., is hoping that enriched features and an easy-to-use graphical interface will convince users to buy.

Job Watch

If you've run the gamut from back-office implementations to Web development and gained some project management and business process flow skills along the way, then you may be ripe for the position of Internet architect - a lucrative new profession in which people are earning as much as $125,000 per year.

Gofish Hooks CMGI

Gofish.com Inc., a start-up business-to-business e-commerce seafood site, has a knack for landing the big ones.

This week, the Portland, Maine-based company announced that CMGI @Ventures, the venture capital affiliate of Andover, Mass.-based CMGI Inc., has agreed to sink $12 million into Gofish. Last month, GE Equity in Stamford, Conn., and The CIT Group Inc. in Livingston, N.J., put up $20.1 million.

Gofish also this week added GoShrimp, GoCrab, GoLobster and GoSalmon segments to its site for one-click access to the most sought-after catches, but it's not the site's ease of use that's attracting attention.

Rather, said Jon Derone, an analyst at The Yankee Group in Boston, the company has figured out a critical piece of the business-to-business e-commerce puzzle - completing the financial terms of a sale at the Web marketplace.

Sellers receive credit information on the buyer before the deal is completed and can get insurance to guarantee the transaction.

GE Equity and CIT provide short-term financing that allows Gofish to pay the seller 80% of the net sale amount within two days and the balance in a month.

That feature speeds up transactions and improves cash flow for sellers.

The seller pays the 1.6% commission charged on all transactions, which can be as high as $1 million, according to Peter Murray, chief technology officer at Gofish.

"To our knowledge, we're plowing some new ground industrywide," Murray said. He added that he expects $20 million to $100 million in sales this year.

Gofish.com had its official Web site launch in November.

Folio Launches New Way to Buy Stocks

For those customers who don't want to give up control to mutual funds but don't want to spend time - and money - building up portfolios of individual stocks, Folio[fn] Inc. (www.foliofn.com) now offers prepackaged stock portfolios.

Customers can invest any amount - Folio allows fractional share ownership - and move stocks in and out of the portfolio.

The company expects full-scale commercial services to be available next month.

Amdocs to Buy Solect

In an effort to expand its market presence and software offerings, Israel-based Amdocs Ltd. plans to purchase Toronto-based Solect Technology Group Inc.

Amdocs is a customer service and business management software provider for the communications industry. Solect Technology Group offers Internet protocol billing and customer service software.

The deal, which is worth $1 billion in stock, is expected to close by the end of next month.

Dive Into IT

Government and political leaders should take a hands-on approach to information technology projects and avoid efforts that entrench old work processes, according to a new report by Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The report, "Eight Imperatives for Leaders in a Networked World," advises government officials to take an active role in IT projects, while searching for solutions that "are not just an incremental quick-fix." The report is at www.ksg.harvard.edu/stratcom/hpg/.

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