Contributed

Microsoft Acquires FSLogix to Enhance Virtual Desktop Capabilities in Office 365

Written by David Marshall

Microsoft announced today that is has acquired FSLogix, a company that launched back in 2012 with a focus on reducing the amount of hardware, time and labor required to support virtual desktop platforms.  FSLogix products solve real world problems in a straightforward, easy to deploy way.  From small businesses to very large global enterprises across numerous industries, their solutions enhance customer experience and productivity, while reducing support requirements for IT departments.

FSLogix co-founder and CTO Randy Cook said the company's first two products, FSLogix Apps and FSLogix Profile Container, "focused on addressing critical needs that have existed from the dawn of desktop virtualization" while their most recent product, Office 365 Container, "is designed to enhance the Microsoft Office 365 experience in those virtual desktop environments."

FSLogix Apps, one of its flagship solutions, provides a unique approach to managing applications that allows you to create a single master disk image while hiding applications from end users that are not entitled to them.  It can also be used to enforce device-based licensing.  FSLogix Profile Containers are getting rid of folder redirection, and optimizing login and application start times, and virtually eliminating profile corruption and login storms.
 

Oracle VirtualBox Zero-Day Vulnerability Leaked by Annoyed Researcher

 

 

Written by David Marshall

An independent researcher has discovered what he reports to be a zero-day vulnerability in VirtualBox, a popular general-purpose virtualization platform targeted at server, desktop and embedded use.

What's interesting here is that the researcher chose to publicly disclose the security hole rather than privately inform the vendor, which in the case of VirtualBox is Oracle.  He justified this act by calling it a reaction to his previous bad experience with Oracle.  Last year, he found and reported a vulnerability that took almost 15 months for the vendor to release a fix.  So this time, he took a different path of notification. 

Sergey Zelenyuk, the Russian researcher, said he discovered a security flaw in Oracle's VM VirtualBox that would allow someone to escape from the virtual environment of the guest machine to reach the Ring 3 privilege layer used for running code from most user programs with the least privileges.  The zero-day vulnerability could allow an attacker with root access to then gain access to the underlying OS.

The vulnerability is reported to exist in VirtualBox 5.2.20 and prior versions.

 

Three Small Cybersecurity Tips That Make A Big Difference

Written by Max Emelianov, CEO HostForWeb
 

Protecting your business doesn't always require you to spent six figures on security infrastructure or perform hundreds of penetration tests. As with many things in life, it's the little things that really count. Here are a few things you can do right now to enhance your business's security posture - and they won't cost a thing.

There's a lot of doom and gloom in the cybersecurity space. It seems like you can't even read the news without hearing about some terrifying new black hat organization, or some highly-sophisticated malware that's bringing businesses to their knees across the world. It's hard not to adopt something of a fatalist outlook amidst all that chaos.

After all, if these large enterprises with their million and billion dollar security budgets can't fend off hackers, what chance do the rest of us have?

A pretty good one, actually. See, while it's certainly true that there are a ton of well-funded, extremely advanced hacking groups out there, the chances that one of them will directly target your business are extremely slim. Likely as not, anyone who goes after you is simply taking a shotgun approach to their hacking - throw a bunch of attempts at the wall and see which ones work.

How Has the Cloud Affected the World of Urban Planning



Article Written by Avery Phillips

For a number of years, urban planners have been working with software known as building information modeling (BIM). Essentially, this is software that allows the importing and integration of 3D building design into a program that analyzes data regarding energy impacts, environmental and community impacts, and construction compliance with local building codes and regulations. 

Of course the next step in this process is to go beyond BIM and the design of buildings that comply with city codes and local regulations into full city information modeling (CIM) that can essentially do the same thing on a larger scale. The full impact of any number of project types can now be automated, and these tasks can be performed on the cloud. 

This has become possible as GIS and other mapping software has continued to move toward cloud computing instead of server or machine-based applications. ESRI took leaps forward in this area with ArcGIS online, along with launching software developed in cooperation with the company SmarterBetterCities. The company is based in Switzerland and is the designer of CloudCity, a cloud-based CIM-specific system. 

Many of these CIM systems have been developed by urban planners who have been analyzing this type of data for years, but doing so manually. The automation process takes something that used to take a couple of dozen specialists a number of weeks to complete and automates it so results are available nearly instantaneously.

 

How Small Businesses Will Increasingly Rely on Cloud Applications

Article Written by Avery Phillips

While us who follow cloud computing news know the truth, passersby often look past the technology and miss its future potential. But the way it's changing the world of business is incredible. All different kinds of industries are taking part in this digital interconnected revolution, from marketing and retail firms to medical professionals using it in their work. Even artists collaborate with each other across state or country lines using it. 

Let's examine the future uses of the cloud for small businesses everywhere. If you can get ahead of the curve, then you may be able to operate your business on a better level competitively before the rest of the world catches on.

Google's Mobile-First Search Algorithm & the Cloud



Article Written by Avery Phillips

For the past few years, business owners have been scrambling to rework their websites to fit mobile technology. If you don't keep up, you will be left behind. Right now, mobile is king and Google sets the pace. 

Late in 2017, Google decided to redesign their algorithm to prioritize mobile-optimized pages. Since more people (63 percent) now search using mobile devices, and almost 75 percent of all online searches run through Google, this is news that you cannot ignore. As of June of this year, websites that run quickly on mobile now rank higher than those that load slowly. 

Unfortunately, this puts a lot of businesses in a bind. If previously your website came up on top of a Google search, you may now find yourself buried beneath a lot of responsive, mobile-ready, dynamic loading websites. So what can you do about it?

Decluttering the Cloud: How to Minimize Your Digital Footprint



Written by Avery Phillips

The urge to take your office, business, or household paperless holds countless advantages. No more file cabinets full of records, no countless bills in the mail, no more bank statements laying around, and a lot less shredding of sensitive documents as they age all sound pretty good, and they are. 

However, digital storage is not without cost. There is no such thing as the cloud. The cloud is simply someone else's computer, and that computer takes power and resources to run. While most cloud server farms are going green and use renewable energy, there are still resources used to store your data. 

There is also the issue of privacy. The more of your data that is online and the more places you store it, the more vulnerable you are. While there is more cloud adoption with businesses than ever before, 54 percent of those businesses are vulnerable to cyberattacks. 

So how do you declutter your personal cloud and minimize your digital footprint?

A Senior's Approach To Cloud Computing



Article Written by Sally Perkins

Web accessibility, and cloud computing, in particular, can be of great value to seniors, making it easier to keep in touch with family and friends, obtain useful information, shop from the comfort of their homes and even pay bills. At present, approximately 67% of American adults over the age of 65 go online on a regular basis according to Pew Research Center.  While seniors are gradually warming up to emails, social media, and online banking, many are still completely oblivious to cloud storage and of what benefit it can be to them personally. Whereas it will be a relatively simple task to introduce cloud computing to a tech-savvy senior, it might require more effort to convince internet rookies of the same advantages.

CloudHealth Technologies Is Now Part Of VMware

Written by David Marshall

On Thursday of last week, VMware closed its acquisition of CloudHealth Technologies, extending cloud management beyond VMware's previous capabilities in private and hybrid cloud and into the public cloud.  VMware partners will soon be able to offer the cloud management platform as an integrated offering to their clients.  While terms of the deal weren't discussed, Reuters put the price tag at approximately $500 million.

As part of the announcement, VMware stated:

Regulating Stress in the Cloud

Article Written by Avery Phillips

When we consider the digital frontier, our inclination is typically to look at how changes in technology are changing industries. And in a lot of ways that makes sense given the fact industries are capable of adopting and implementing on a large scale, and thus they showcase the potential impact of certain aspects of new tech. 

Yet underneath this drive within companies to be innovative there lies the core reality that it all comes back to how consumers - and human beings in general - are able to utilize technology overall, and in this case the cloud specifically, to bolster quality of life. 

Stress is an issue so widespread in varying degrees, its significance is often underrated. But, what research shows is that stress contributes to a wide range of serious chronic diseases. It's an inevitable part of life that we all deal with at one time or another, but it doesn't have be a serious game changer. 

The cloud can provide a method for individuals to regulate their stress on a daily basis in a way that previous generations never before had the ability to do; ultimately that means stress as a whole may take a back seat for some individuals, which is right where it belongs.