ScanSafe just launched Anywhere+, a very cool web security service which is intended to provide web content security for roaming users.
Well, securing the laptops used by sales or marketing staff *outside of the company’s premises* has always been a pain in the behind and I’m afraid this will not change overnight.
However, I find ScanSafe’s approach interesting and it might just work this time… but how does it work? Is it a proxy setting? Is it a VPN connection? Is it a browser plugin? I don’t know so I had to find out. I applied for a trial account and I hope I will get to the bottom of this issue soon.
Sure, the marketing presentation looks nice:
And so does the explanatory text:
- Authenticates and directs your external client Web traffic to our scanning infrastructure.
- Numerous datacenters are located all over the world from Sydney to San Francisco ensuring that your employees are never too far from our in-the-cloud scanning services.
- SSL-encryption of all Web traffic flowing to us improves security over public networks
So, I’m guessing that Anywhere+ alters the browser itself and no matter how you get on Internet, the web requests will be redirected to ScanSafe’s data centers where the response is checked for web malware.
This raises a few questions on the adoption of this technology:
- User’s online privacy could be questioned – Lots of authentication pages don’t use SSL
- If this technology is browser dependant (my money is on Internet Explorer), what would prevent a smart a$ user to use a different browser such as portable apps…
I wish ScanSafe Anywhere+ best of luck because the service is much needed and it’s distributed architecture looks promising. And guys, please don’t forget my application for a trial version
I got an email from Spencer Parker, Director of Product Management at ScanSafe and here are some clarifications:
1. The software works at the protocol level, not application level. This means it works with any application that uses the HTTP or HTTPS protocols. This means if users go ahead and install another browser to bypass corporate proxy settings (which a lot do!) then the Anywhere+ driver still redirects the protocols correctly to the closest ScanSafe scanning tower.
2. We use an SSL tunnel to get all HTTP and HTTPS traffic to the scanning tower. It does this to add an extra level of security to the application (stop people sniffing your traffic at wireless hotspots etc) and for other reasons as well.
I’m still waiting for my trial account
19 June 2012
Airlines continue to lose a significant proportion of online booking revenue to fraud
Globally, 66% of airline merchants are seeing fraud levels stay the same or increase as they lose 1.5% of booking revenue to fraudulent transactions, according to the global Perfect Passenger Payment insights report, commissioned by WorldPay. Worryingly, this could be set to increase, with 29% of airlines reporting that incidents of fraud have risen in the past year.
The good news for airlines is that customers are happy to accept a robust screening process when buying tickets online. 71% of consumers would prefer a slower payment process with more rigorous security checks than a faster process with fewer checks.
The global study surveyed 51 airline merchants including low cost, regional and global airlines and 4,500 consumers from the UK, US, China, Japan, Brazil, Finland, Spain, Germany and France to explore views on the online booking process for buying airline tickets. Phil McGriskin, chief product officer, WorldPay commented: "Airline merchant's profit margins continue to be squeezed by rising fuel costs and environmental restrictions yet they are continuing to lose a significant proportion of booking revenue to fraud. Consumers, however, are accepting of more rigorous security checks so airlines have the opportunity to be more vigilant over fraud management without running the risk of losing customers."
Key findings from the Perfect Passenger Payment Report:
- Transparent pricing – 53% of consumers say that surcharges are not made clear enough when buying online, and 36% of consumers who abandon their purchase before paying do so because they have been presented with a 'hidden charge'
- Surcharge tolerance – On average, consumers are prepared to pay 3.81% of their total flight towards surcharges, and those countries that feel surcharges are not transparent enough are still prepared to pay over the global average towards additional costs
- Alternative payments – 84% of airline merchants plan to offer more choice in payment types in the next two years. 38% of consumers would use a different airline and 48% would consider doing so if their preferred airline no longer accepted the payment method they wanted to use
- Mobile payments – 58% of consumers would like to use their mobile device to pay for a flight in the future
- Accommodating foreign customers – Only 22% of airline merchants give customers the option to pay using the currency of their choice if they are purchasing from a foreign country
- Optional 'extras' – 50% of consumers are more likely to make additional purchases such as hotels, travel insurance and baggage allowance in one transaction combined with their flight cost so they can reduce payment surcharges
The report also found that shopping cart abandonment is a big issue for airlines, with almost a quarter of online shoppers confessing to dropping out before completing the payment process. A gap however exists between airline's understanding of why people drop out and the reason given by consumers. Over half of airlines think consumers abandon their purchase because their payment was declined but only 7% of consumers claim this caused them to abandon a purchase. In fact, 36% of respondents reported that it was due to being presented with hidden surcharges, whereas only 6% of airlines highlighted surcharges as a factor.
McGriskin concludes: "In terms of minimising purchase abandonment, airlines are fuelling customer frustrations by not clearly stating surcharge costs. On average, consumers recognise that a proportion of their airline cost will include a surcharge percentage but consumers feel they are being misled right up until the point at which they need to pay. If airlines are prepared to be more transparent about additional costs they could actually see an upturn in the number of customers that complete the payment process."