The growth of the cloud and the use of software as a service (SaaS) has had a dramatic effect on both businesses and individuals, allowing people to access corporate applications and data from anywhere and on any device. But it also gives IT managers a security headache as it becomes harder to build and enforce consistent policies, especially when employees are using their own devices.
In a bid to tackle this, security specialist Adallom is launching a complete solution for SaaS applications. This offers seamless cloud-based security that audits all SaaS activities and provides real-time information on user activity.
Avast is probably best known for its free antivirus, but if you need more power then the company has plenty of commercial alternatives. Pro Antivirus extends the package with online banking and shopping protection, for instance, while Internet Security further adds a firewall and spam filter.
Top of the consumer range, though, is Premier. Along with the usual antivirus, firewall and browsing protection, this includes a tool which will automatically detect and install updates for key applications. The Data Shredder securely wipes confidential documents, while AccessAnywhere allows you to access and control your PC over the Internet.
This week, November 12th to be precise, is that holiday we have come to call Patch Tuesday. It's the day when Microsoft rolls out fixes for bugs, both small and large, in its software, from Windows to Office and more. This month's releases are of particular interest, not because of what the company is fixing, but what it has chosen to leave unpatched.
November's update includes eight patches, three of which have been tagged as 'critical'. Microsoft even promises it "will host a webcast to address customer questions on the security bulletins on November 13, 2013, at 11:00 AM Pacific Time".
Another busy week with more news than you could shake a stick at. Following the release of KitKat, Google was riding high as figures revealed that Jelly Bean is now installed on more than half of Android devices. It’s a similar story for Microsoft. Its previous operating system, Windows 7, is still the most popular while growth for Windows 8 and 8.1 remains slow. It was better news for Windows Phone which is making serious inroads into Android and iOS's share of the mobile market in Europe, and even managed to overtake Apple in Italy.
It seems that more people want to be able to use the latest and greatest version of Android, and following the announcement that the Galaxy Nexus would not receive a KitKat update, a petition was quickly launched to try to change Google's mind. Showing that the march of progress will always leave casualties, Google announced that Internet Explorer 9 will no longer be supported by Google Apps, and Windows 7 users gained Internet Explorer 11. To push the launch, Microsoft unveiled a new Anime ad campaign focusing on the browser's improved security.
The days of some third party extensions for Chrome may be numbered. While most people will head to the Chrome Web Store as their first port of call for downloading extensions to add new features to the browser, this is far from the only means of obtaining add-ons.
But at the start of the new year, all of this is set to change. If you stick with the stable or beta channel of the browser, you'll be limited to installing extensions from the official repository only.
Data breaches and cyber attacks frequently make the news when well-known companies are the target.
This is good in the sense that it raises awareness of the need to take security seriously, however, the latest Global Risk Management Survey by Gartner finds that fear of attack is causing security professionals to shift their focus away from disciplines like enterprise risk management and risk-based information security in order to concentrate on technical security issues.
Next week’s Patch Tuesday will see a number of security patches for Windows 8.1 including three that get the top Critical rating. According to Microsoft’s advanced notification on TechNet the three critical updates address remote code execution issues in Windows and Internet Explorer.
There are also five more updates flagged as Important, three for Windows and two for Office. The three Critical bulletins also apply to Windows XP and will be among the last for the 12-year-old operating system before support ends in April next year.
The biggest threat to any operating system is malicious code gaining access to it. Whilst the User Account Control (UAC) introduced in Vista went some way towards guarding against this, many people found it so annoying that they turned it off.
Since most attacks arrive via the browser, Microsoft's introduction of SmartScreen Application Reputation technology in IE9 was a much more significant step. App Rep is a form of content agnostic malware protection (CAMP) and aims to prevent the execution of malware by barring any applications that aren't explicitly trusted. With the launch of Windows 8 SmartScreen App Rep was extended beyond IE to protect the operating system as a whole.
The Internet Bug Bounty program is the latest initiative that can be used by hackers, security experts and anyone with time on their hands to reap rewards by uncovering security problems.
This time, however, it is not an individual app or website that's the subject of the program, but the entire Internet. It is a wide-reaching program which has the backing of Facebook and Microsoft; both companies with a vested interested in making the Internet safer.
Microsoft is no stranger to trying to stick the knife into the competition, and the company's latest campaign, Keep Your Email Private, is no different. This is not just an ad campaign, but rather an entire microsite that has been set up to demonstrate how much better Outlook.com is than Gmail. The reason? There is only really one put forward for consideration -- Google's scanning of emails.
This in itself is nothing new. We have known for a long time that Google scans the content of emails with a view to delivering targeted ads. It’s not something that everyone is happy with, but we know all about it, and if you don’t like it, you're free to move away from Gmail. But Microsoft is now exploiting this fact in a bid to attract people to Outlook.com.
Way back in January, BitTorrent released its sync app, though it was early days, and the organization wished to keep testing to a private level. Since then, there has been steady progress, including making a beta version available to the masses. Now it seems the service reaches critical mass with today's news.
The company starts its announcement with news that Sync has surpassed one million users, along with more than 30 petabytes of data synced so far. The company points, in part, to the recent security climate as one of the reasons for its popularity. "BitTorrent Sync is a beta project in cloud-free syncing. Our goal is to build a sharing tool that lets you move big files, and big ideas, freely. Without surveillance. Without speed limits. And without size caps. Your data belongs to you. Sync is designed to keep your stuff yours; with you and your team, wherever you are", the announcement states.
Online password manager LastPass has updated its range of browser-based extensions with the release of LastPass 3.0 for Windows, Mac and Linux. The manager, which supports all major web browsers, comes with a fresh new design and changes to the way users interact with web forms.
Also updated are the company’s premium-only mobile apps, LastPass 2.5.2 for Android, and LastPass for Windows 8, while LastPass 2.0.6 for iOS will be updated once it’s passed Apple’s store approval process.
Open-source password manager KeePass 2.24 has been released for Windows. The tool, which allows users to manage a variety of online and offline passwords via a secure, encrypted container, boasts a number of minor new features to go with an impressive list of changes and improvements for such an incremental release.
First, KeePass 2.24 adds support for importing passwords from Norton Identity Safe 2013 CSV files. It also now supports tags when using either the generic CSV importer or Mozilla Bookmarks import options.
After the launch of its own brand tablet, the Hudl, UK supermarket Tesco is hitting the headlines for another reason. We are all used to the irksome familiarity of watching adverts on TV and online, they are hard to avoid. But the retailer is turning things on their head slightly by introducing advertisements that watch customers.
Well, that's not strictly true, but it's an interesting way of looking at what is happening. Just as the likes of Google tailor advertisements to web users, Tesco is looking to ensure that the ads its customers see are relevant. The fuel stations found at many branches of the supermarket are soon to be home to personalized ads courtesy of Amscreen.
The latest Edward Snowden bombshell that the National Security Agency has been hacking foreign Google and Yahoo data centers is particularly disturbing. Plenty has been written about it so I normally wouldn’t comment except that the general press has, I think, too shallow an understanding of the technology involved. The hack is even more insidious than they know.
The superficial story is in the NSA slide (above) that you’ve probably seen already. The major point being that somehow the NSA -- probably through the GCHQ in Britain -- is grabbing virtually all Google non-spider web traffic from the Google Front End Servers, because that’s where the SSL encryption is decoded.