Archive for July 14, 2020

Citrix and Microsoft Partner To Accelerate The Future Of Work

Posted in Commentary with tags , on July 14, 2020 by itnerd

The workplace of the future will look a lot different than it did just a few months ago. The global pandemic has caused both employees and companies to rethink how and where work gets done. More organizations will make remote work a permanent part of their cost and workforce management strategies. They will also reexamine the structure and role of their office environments to keep employees safe and productive and enable greater agility across the enterprise. 

To drive business continuity and growth, organizations will need to embrace more flexible work models that accommodate these new priorities. Citrix Systems, Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are joining forces to reimagine this new, flexible workplace. Employees need a consistent experience and seamless access to the applications and insights vital to doing their best work wherever work needs to get done. To address this challenge, the technology leaders today announced they will partner to help organizations accelerate the move to the cloud and speed adoption of digital workspaces and virtual desktops.

The multi-year agreement builds upon and expands one of the industry’s longest strategic partnerships. Under the terms of the deal, Microsoft will select Citrix® Workspace as a preferred digital workspace solution, and Citrix will select Microsoft Azure as a preferred cloud platform to move existing on-premises Citrix customers to Microsoft Azure and enable people to work anywhere across devices.

Citrix and Microsoft will provide joint tools and services to simplify and speed the transition of on-premises Citrix customers to Microsoft Azure. The companies will also devise a connected roadmap to enable a consistent and optimal flexible work experience that will include joint offerings comprised of Citrix Workspace, Citrix SD-WAN, Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 sold through their direct sales forces via the Azure Marketplace and a robust community of channel partners. Microsoft will lead sales with Citrix Cloud to move existing on-premises Citrix customers to Azure. 

Both Citrix and Microsoft will maintain their long-standing policies of supporting choice for those customers who request alternatives to meet their business requirements.

Enabling the Agile Enterprise

The global pandemic has accelerated the need for companies to adopt a flexible operating approach that allows them to manage their resources – from talent to offices to technology – in a dynamic way that can scale quickly to adapt to changing market conditions. 

Delivering the Future of Work Today

Through the deepening of this partnership today, Citrix and Microsoft are helping CIOs to minimize the risk, cost, and complexity in accelerating their transformation to cloud and enable greater agility, productivity, and security. Combining the power of the cloud with Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365 and Citrix Workspace provides a platform for flexible work by giving employees unified access to all of the applications, content, and business services they need to be productive and secure wherever and whenever work needs to get done. 

Deepening Ties 

As part of their new agreement, Citrix and Microsoft will develop a connected roadmap to simplify and accelerate the transition of application workloads to Azure and enhance the performance of Windows Virtual Desktops. Together, Citrix Virtual Apps and DesktopsCitrix Managed Desktops and Windows Virtual Desktops will provide a complete and seamless way for customers to run all their application workloads on Azure and access Windows-based applications across devices or platforms.

Citrix will also invest in building a Microsoft-centric Citrix Workspace, providing deep integrations to optimize performance, functionality, and micro-apps for Windows Virtual Desktop and Microsoft 365, including Microsoft Teams. 

In addition, Citrix will use Azure and Microsoft 365 across its operations to accelerate innovation and enhance productivity.

Availability

Citrix Workspace is available for delivery on Azure today. Click here to learn more about how your organization can make the transition and the benefits that doing so can deliver.

For more insight on the impact of this partnership announcement, check out this executive video with Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft and PJ Hough, Chief Product Officer, Citrix.

UK Changes Course & Boots Huawei From Their 5G Network….. Is Canada Next?

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 14, 2020 by itnerd

Earlier this year, the UK had allowed beleaguered Chinese telco maker Huawei into a portion of their 5G network. This seriously ticked off the US and made the UK do a rethink.

Well the rethink is done and Huawei is out…. In more ways than one. Here’s the details from the BBC:

The UK’s mobile providers are being banned from buying new Huawei 5G equipment after 31 December, and they must also remove all the Chinese firm’s 5G kit from their networks by 2027.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden told the House of Commons of the decision.

It follows sanctions imposed by Washington, which claims the firm poses a national security threat – something Huawei denies.

Mr Dowden said the move would delay the country’s 5G rollout by a year.

“This has not been an easy decision, but it is the right one for the UK telecoms networks, for our national security and our economy, both now and indeed in the long run,” he said.

Because the US sanctions only affect future equipment, the government does not believe there is a security justification for removing 2G, 3G and 4G equipment supplied by Huawei.

New restrictions are also being applied to use of the company’s broadband kit.

The government wants operators to “transition away” from purchasing new Huawei equipment for use in the full-fibre network.

Mr Dowden said he expected this to happen within two years.

So let’s recap:

  1. UK telcos aren’t allowed to buy Huawei gear.
  2. UK telcos have to rip out existing Huawei gear.
  3. UK broadband providers can’t use their gear.

UK telcos are warning that bad things could happen to customers:

BT and Vodafone had warned that customers could face mobile blackouts if they were forced to remove all of Huawei’s 5G kit in less time.

Somehow, I suspect if the UK government is breathing down their necks, UK telcos will get this gear out without any disruptions.

Now Huawei isn’t happy about this according to CNBC:

Tuesday’s decision is a significant blow to Huawei, which had been ramping up its investment into the U.K. with a new research and development center in Cambridge, England, and a push for developers at the start of the year to help it build an alternative to Google’s Play app store. Huawei was cut off from licensed Google software last year due to U.S. trade measures.

“This disappointing decision is bad news for anyone in the U.K. with a mobile phone,” Ed Brewster, a spokesperson for Huawei U.K., told CNBC. “It threatens to move Britain into the digital slow lane, push up bills and deepen the digital divide.”

Huawei urged the government to reconsider the move, adding it was “confident” the new U.S. restrictions “would not have affected the resilience or security of the products we supply.” The firm “will conduct a detailed review” of what the decision means for its business in the country, said Brewster.

And China to nobody’s surprise is not happy to say the least:

Huawei denies it has ever been asked to engage in any spying on behalf of the Chinese state, while Beijing itself says Johnson’s decision will be an acid test of the Sino-British relationship that had developed under David Cameron.

I think that’s code that China will hit back in some way. Given that the China/UK relationship is under stress because of the new security law in Hong Kong, I suspect that this will escalate tensions between the two countries.

There’s a secondary question. Now that the UK has punted Huawei from their 5G network, is Canada next? Canada has avoided making a decision on Huawei, even though the big three telcos in Canada have committed to not buying their gear. While it is true that the are other factors at play here including the detention of Meng Wanzhou who is the Huawei CFO by Canada, and the retaliation of China by essentially holding two Canadians hostage, there’s one fact that can’t be ignored. Canada is part of the “Five Eyes” intelligence network. And Canada is the only member of this network that hasn’t banned Huawei. I would expect that pressure on Canada is about to ramp up. And Canada will have to make a decision on Huawei sooner rather than later.

Digital Defense Introduces Frontline Threat Landscape

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 14, 2020 by itnerd

Digital Defense, Inc. today announced the release of Frontline Threat Landscape, a unique feature within the company’s vulnerability management technology that incorporates threat intelligence to prioritize critical vulnerabilities that can be exploited. Accessible within Frontline.Cloud, the company’s proprietary software as a service (SaaS) security assessment platform, the feature leverages machine-based learning to provide threat intelligence data that delivers a more granular determination of risk for vulnerabilities identified in an organization’s network.

According to Gartner’s Market Guide for Vulnerability Assessment, “Not all vulnerabilities are created equally. Exploitability, prevalence in malware and exploit kits, asset context, and active exploitation by threat actors are critical qualifiers in assessing cyber risk.” The report further describes the incorporation of threat intelligence into vulnerability management technologies. “Methods are applied that analyze and prioritize vulnerabilities by using threat intelligence, organizational asset context, and risk modeling approaches such as attack path analysis. This is also an area in which advanced analytics methods are also being used, such as ML [machine learning]. This permits more granular and intelligent remediation strategies than the more simplistic severity approaches, especially at scale and when remediating with constrained resources.”*

Frontline Threat Landscape empowers organizations to prioritize remediation and optimize resources by combining:

  • Real-world vulnerability exploitation metrics
  • Industry-standard severity scores  
  • Digital Defense Vulnerability Research Team analyst insight 

*Gartner, Market Guide for Vulnerability Assessment, Craig Lawson et al, 20 November 2019 (Gartner subscription required).

Learn more about Frontline Threat Landscape here.