Apple Announcements: Good for Businesses?

Apple tends to lean heavily in towards the everyday consumer and not speak to the potential value to businesses. It feels a bit like they have so much trust in their fanbase that Apple automatically assumes that their technology will get pulled into businesses without having to address the business market. Some may call this approach arrogant and others would call this brilliant, but the fact remains that we have witnessed from day one of the Apple iPhone that appealing to consumers and application developers has created an automatic shoo-in into the business. ESG research consistently shows that end-users are creating a significant push for business to support Apple devices (personal and corporate owned).

Topics: Apple Enterprise Mobility iphone

IBM and Apple move swiftly to leverage Swift

Once upon a time, back in June of 2014, Apple released Swift. IBM and Apple announced their joint agreement around mobility one month later in July. And then life seemed to return to normal. While Apple developers and some IBM developers (those working on the 100 MobileFirst apps that IBM committed to delivering on iOS) understood just how useful Swift was, its impact was tempered because it was a client-side iOS-only language.

And then, everything changed. In December 2015, Swift was open-sourced by Apple. At the same time, Swift on Linux was also released after significant efforts during 2015 by Apple and IBM to craft server-side capabilities into Swift.

Topics: IBM Apple Swift

Last Minute Cybersecurity Predictions for 2015

By now, every vendor, analyst, and media outlet has already published their cybersecurity predictions for 2015. I actually described some of mine on a Co3 webinar with Bruce Schneier last week, so I thought I’d put together a quick list. Here are ten predictions in no particular order.

Topics: Apple Cybersecurity threat intelligence cyber attack FIDO CISA

The Apple and IBM Partnership

IBM’s announcement on July 15 2014 that they are entering into a global partnership with Apple to transform enterprise mobility has both substance and spin.

The significance of this announcement stems from the enterprise level security, lifecycle support, and integration that IBM is bringing to iOS. IBM’s MaaS360 brings comprehensive mobile device management to bear so users will have a highly secure workplace container for enterprise content. IBM and Apple are also addressing iOS lifecycle concerns. IBM will offer a managed service whereby Apple provides IBM with a beta version of the upcoming iOS release and IBM will test and remediate issues for iOS applications. This way, when Apple suggests that a user upgrade to the latest version of iOS, an enterprise can avoid the potential for broken applications. IBM will also extend BlueMix so that it supports the 4,000 APIs of Apple’s iOS 8 (BlueMix Mobile for iOS). This brings enterprise scale to Apple-based mobile environments.

Topics: IBM Apple Application Development & Deployment Enterprise Software mobile

CISOs Must “Think Different”

Remember the “Think Different” advertising campaign from Apple? It ran from 1997 to 2000 and featured bigger-than-life personalities like Buckminster Fuller, Martin Luther King, and Pablo Picasso.

The “Think Different” ads coincided with Steve Jobs’s return to Apple as well as his somewhat contrarian and analytical mindset. In a PBS interview, Jobs offered this philosophical insight about life:

Topics: IBM Apple Cybersecurity Palo Alto Networks Cisco Information and Risk Management FireEye HP McAfee Security and Privacy Security endpoint security SIEM ArcSight Blue Coat RSA Security CISO Anti-malware NetWitness IDS/IPS Firewall & UTM

Can the FIDO Alliance Act as a Game-Changer and Help Obsolete User Name/Password Authentication?

It seems like yesterday when I was logging onto the VAX system at my alma mater UMass so I could work on a market research project with a statistics program. When my time slot came up, I would sit in front of a VT100 terminal, input my username and password, and voila – a timesharing session at the cutting-edge of high tech.

Well this memory may seem recent but in truth it was back in the mid-1980s. I probably had a mullet and was hankering to listen to Flock of Seagulls at the time. The VAX, mullet, and new wave music are now ancient history but we’re still using user names and passwords for authentication most of the time.

Topics: IBM Apple Microsoft End-User Computing Information and Risk Management mobile Security and Privacy Security google Lenovo endpoint security mobile device multi-factor authentication RSA Security Facebook

New Year’s Forecast for the Information Security Industry: Part 1

I hope my cybersecurity colleagues enjoyed their holiday these past few weeks. It was surely well deserved as the year 2013 will be remembered as a whirlwind of activity featuring successful IPOs and scary security incidents. Given this, it’s likely that security professionals spent the last few weeks with one eye on family and holidays and another on emerging details about the massive breach at Target.

So what’s in store for the information security industry in 2014? On the surface, it should be a happy new year across the board for security technology vendors, MSSPs, and professional service firms. That said, there is a lot of work ahead as enterprise organizations figure out how to transform an army of point tools and manual processes into a cohesive security strategy.

Topics: IBM Apple Network Security Cybersecurity Check Point Fortinet Cisco Information and Risk Management FireEye HP Dell McAfee Security and Privacy Security Juniper Networks Lockheed Martin E&Y Leidos Booz Allen Accenture Blue Coat ARM CSC Intel NIST

Holiday Shopping? Android, Apple, or Microsoft

Have you ever noticed how we are all considered IT experts come the holiday time? Brothers, mothers, grandfathers, aunts, cousins and close friends all turn to us for their latest technology purchasing decision. Since I am a bit of a gadget guy, I enjoy these conversations. It’s fun to step through what they think they want and what they actually need. Here are a few of my observations:

  • Apps matter. If you currently rely heavily on an application or a set of applications from a specific app store and an app of equal or better functionality is not available on a competing app store, the decision is pretty simple. Stick with your current platform of choice. Upgrade if you feel you need a new form factor (viewing size) or the latest high resolution experience. This scenario is most often observed with current Apple users.
  • Form factor: I’m personally a new fan of the phablet. Here is why. If you want one device that can handle 90% of your computing activity the phablet works very well. The viewing size is usable for many tasks that include web browsing, a richer experience with apps due to the larger viewing size, and I have found that you can be productive on the device as opposed to smaller form factors I have owned. Ignore your friends when they ask “how does that fit in your pocket” and “that thing is the size of your head." I carry it around just fine and with a headset (I use a wired one) I rarely if ever hold it to my head and when I do it works fine. Dare I go as far to say that the iPad Mini would be a fantastic device if you could make phone calls with it.
  • Work and play. It’s really work and personal unless you are a big gamer. The ideal device enables you to use it as a work and personal device. This boils down to a device that has a keyboard so you can input at a reasonable rate and touch so you can interact with apps and the workspace very efficiently. I have used many devices in the work/ personal environment and right now you will be hard pressed not to look at some of the new Microsoft devices. Whether it is the Surface or touch-enabled Windows 8.1 devices from Microsoft partners, the work/personal experience is tough to match. You basically get a productive work experience with Windows apps and enjoy the tablet touch experience. With that said, apps for Windows are getting better, but still need some attention

I’m real impressed with the number of devices that are sub $400. So if you find yourself advising friends and family, start by looking at the Windows Surface, Apple iPad Mini, and the Kindle Fire HDX. These devices are all VERY capable. Side Note: Have fun decoding all the commercials on TV with your take on them and explain what really matters. My prediction is:

  1. If the user is already an Apple consumer and heavy user of apps, then the Apple products are pretty sticky. Be prepared to still pay a price premium, it's not the perfect match between work and play, but it comes with great support from the genius bar at the Apple retail stores.
  2. If the user isn’t an Apple fanboy and Microsoft productivity apps are not important, then the Kindle devices can be a great match. Do your homework here first and double check that the functionality matches requirements and be ready to enjoy the gateway into Amazon.
  3. If the user is a Microsoft Windows user and wants a touch-enabled experience, the new Windows 8.1 devices are an ideal match. Windows 8.1 touch does involve a little bit of seat time to get used to the gestures and the apps in the app store still need work, but the devices deliver a solid work/ personal experience.

Have fun! Every situation can have its uniqueness, but some basic questions about apps, form factor, and how they plan to use the device will quickly boil choices down. And don’t forget about the phablet. Go visit the retail stores and try out devices like the Nokia 1520 and Galaxy S4. Now I need someone to convince me why I need one of these ridiculous cellphone watches.

Topics: Apple Microsoft End-User Computing Endpoint & Application Virtualization mobile Amazon android endpoint devices

It Takes a Village: The Splunk User Conference 2013

When IBM distributed its operating system in the 1950s, it actually sent the source code to its customer base. Many IT shops then actually modified the operating system with their own customized code.

Topics: IBM Apple Information and Risk Management Security and Privacy Security big data security analytics SIEM security intelligence log management F5 Security Management Splunk

Sprint’s and Clearwire’s completed acquisition by SoftBank will benefit US wireless consumers and the wireless industry

Like an addictive drug, the more bandwidth consumers get, the more they want, and the global mobile device electronics industry has thus far benefited the most. Mobile operators have benefited as well, but are facing a category 5 hurricane of mobile bandwidth demand in the next few years that could wipe out profits or deflate the mobile bubble. Sprint was looking particularly vulnerable with its unlimited data plans, but what can we expect going forward? Accelerated innovation.

Topics: Apple End-User Computing Endpoint & Application Virtualization IT Infrastructure Networking mobile Huawei Verizon