• United States
by Readers

Letters to the editor: “When a product is better than the company”

May 01, 20066 mins
Data CenterMcAfeeMicrosoft

Also: Bank of America debit card fraud; McAfee plans to acquire security companies; Microsoft Vista ship date; more

Happy customers

Regarding Joel Snyder’s column, “When a product is better than the company”: I am stunned — I have been a customer of CipherTrust for almost three years and my experience is the exact opposite. The company was the reason we chose them as a vendor. I continue to be impressed at how easy it is to do business with them. This company has a vision into the future of messaging security and spammers in particular that amazes me daily and impresses my senior staff regularly. I have to think that the fact that Snyder is a product tester is the only reason for any perceived difficulty. Obviously product testing for print has to be treated carefully.

Franklin Warlick


Cox Communications


We’ve been very happy customers of CipherTrust for almost four years now. Never once have we experienced anything less than professional and polite service from every level of the company. There must be more to this story because it certainly doesn’t reflect our experience.

Jim Donaldson

Corporate privacy and security officer

Baptist Health Care

Pensacola, Fla.

I can honestly say that my company has not had any problems working with CipherTrust or their product in the past two years we have been dealing with them. We have even evaluated competitors and through a rigorous process found absolutely every reason to stay with CipherTrust.

In a product testing mindset, I can relate to bad experiences because I too have significant product testing experience; however, I honestly would say that CipherTrust is one of the vendors I prefer to work with.

Charles Gautreaux

Network server administrator

Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company

Charlotte, N.C.

CipherTrust responds

We at CipherTrust were very disappointed to read Joel Snyder’s description of his experience with our company and his implication that our process somehow hurts customers.

After Snyder originally contacted us to purchase our product, we learned that it was for the benefit of a third party. When asked for the name of the end user, Snyder refused to give us that information. Because of this, CipherTrust was reluctant to sell Snyder our appliance; clearly, this frustrated him. This CipherTrust process has been overwhelmingly successful in providing a positive experience of product delivery and support to more than 2,000 of our enterprise customers.

For us, the initial sale marks the beginning of a long-term relationship with a customer. Over the lifetime of this relationship, customers receive a variety of products and services, including installation, technical and product support, as well as regular updates and upgrades to keep the customer protected from new security threats. Therefore, knowing the identity of our customers is critical. Furthermore, as a mature company with well-defined accounting and financial processes, we must ensure that we correctly attribute every product sale to the respective customer — regardless of whether a customer bought the product directly from us or through one of our partners.

We have a separate and flexible program for independent testing labs to evaluate our products. In this case, there is no need to purchase the product as evaluations can be conducted free of charge after signing an evaluation agreement. We have informed Snyder that he is welcome to evaluate our products for his independent consulting projects by working with our marketing department, and that we will extend him our complete support (similar to when he evaluated our products on behalf of Network World’s official evaluation in December 2004). We look forward to working with Snyder on this in the near future.

Atri Chatterjee

Senior vice president, marketing


Sunnyvale, Calif.

Bank of America fraud detection too slow

Regarding “Arrests made in debit card fraud case”: I’m one of those affected by this scandal. We rarely use ATMs, and when we do, it is always at a Bank of America branch or a Costco here in San Jose. Our latest bank statement from Bank of America showed us that there had been almost 65 withdrawals ranging between $2 and $50, and amounting to around $3,000 from our account. These withdrawals had been from non-bank ATMs over a period of five days in Washington, D.C., New York, Baltimore and Russia. I’m just surprised that it took a company as sophisticated as Bank of America five days and 60+ transactions to figure out that something was wrong.

Vipul Redey

San Jose

Invest in training

Regarding “McAfee plans to acquire security companies”: I’m getting tired of hearing of shortages of variously skilled professionals in the United States. There’s a shortage of security professionals in the U.S. for two reasons: Security is only beginning to be taught at the university level in spite of long recognition of need; and consumer-oriented professional training is expensive and companies aren’t paying. Companies are not investing in security training for employees until they’ve had some gross breach and had their noses rubbed in it. Rather, they expect the employees to take the training on their own time and pay for it themselves, and maybe they can get reimbursed. Well, you get what you pay for. Since I’m a computer programmer and telecom systems analyst, I’d be a logical person to receive security training and apply it in practice. But I’ve been turned down more than once. Maybe companies don’t want security because they don’t want to know what problems they have. I hope this situation changes before cyber-warfare negates IT’s benefits to society.

Geoffrey Rarick

Database/network administrator

Thoracic & Cardiovascular Institute

Lansing, Mich.

Vista delay no big deal

Regarding “Microsoft plays games with Vista ship date”: I find it funny that so many recent articles treat Microsoft’s decision to delay the rollout of Vista for a couple of months as if it were some kind of doomsday prediction. Sure, everyone likes to poke fun at Gates & Co., but really, how much does it matter? If the need for a new operating system from Microsoft is so critical, how come so many organizations still have boxes with an eight-year-old OS (Windows 98) still running? There may be some high-powered enterprises out there that have pushed XP to its limits, but there can’t be many. I run a 1,000-node network with XP SP2 on the desktop. It is reliable, performs well and is quite manageable for my three-person tech department. If I have to wait 18 months for the latest and greatest, so be it. If Microsoft wants to delay the beginning of its revenue stream from this new operating system a few more months, how does that hurt me?

Gary Olson

Director of technology

De Soto School District #73

De Soto, Mo.

Options available

Regarding “Licensing woes still dog Microsoft”: There are at least two solutions to the Microsoft licensing mess: Apple and Linux. Like any other adjucated monopoly, Microsoft will only change its behavior when it loses market share.

Richard Radcliffe


Kondor Waffenamt

Apple Valley, Calif.