Top Technology News from Amicus ITS….

Chinese Inquisition
Did you know that China has developed an IT and Business Process Offshoring industry that is worth in the range of $4-$5 billion? The primary target is business in the US and Europe, however, recent reports are airing major security concerns. The security firm Mandiant released a report this week revealing government espionage and suggested that the Chinese military were the main instigator of cyber attacks on US firms. The White House also released a report this week amplifying the problem with details of trade secret thefts by the Chinese. Given the above, would you trust an offshore provider?

App Attack
According to a report by Gartner a quarter of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in 2013 will be application-based. Instead of inundating websites with requests, such DDoS attacks send targeted commands to applications to overwhelm them and make them unavailable. Companies should also be aware that some of the most ‘at risk’ applications are internal business applications which include Microsoft SQL, Server Message Block and Remote Procedure Call. We would suggest that companies should revisit and re-architect their network configurations and ensure a layered approach that combines multiple DOS defences. Just another thing for the teams to look at.

Picture Perfect Password
Windows 8 have launched their picture password, this enables you to log into your machine using a picture rather than an alphanumeric password. In fact what you are actually doing is sketching a custom sequence of gestures on top of a picture to verify your identity. Despite the convenience in the tablet arena, we believe this may not be more as secure an option to the alphanumeric one we know and love as the fingerprints you leave could still leave you open to the risks of a “smudge attack”. You could argue it would be better on a desktop, as the use of a mouse to sketch would eliminate this risk. Overall, it is a new, fun alternative but our tests show it is no more secure.

Is it a simple new world?
Consumer and cloud technologies have enhanced our lives with new kinds of efficiency and freedom. To achieve the same agility at work, employees are flooding the environment with a dizzying array of mobile platforms and devices—many of which are not integrated, secured, or managed at all. For IT, we see an increasingly complex and dynamic environment that’s hard to administer with rigid PC-centric tools and processes. VMware® Horizon Suite is trying to move IT beyond these limitations—with the technology and capabilities to securely deliver and manage robust end-user computing across all devices. Another example of traditional platform providers desperately trying to get into the mobile environment leaving IT Directors in a quandary. Should they go with a trusted supplier trying to integrate, or with a data security focused supplier? If it helps, we have taken the approach of combining best in breed in each sector.

Microsoft on the Move
Microsoft is working towards a public preview version of Windows Blue, we believe Microsoft’s plans have revealed that the software giant is aggressively targeting a summer launch date for Windows Blue, ensuring its development cycle is short. Blue is expected to be made available to existing Windows 8 users by the end of the summer, with support for new 7 and 8-inch devices and Internet Explorer 11 built-in. Microsoft is also preparing a Blue update to its Windows Phone operating system and other services as a project to further integrate all of its software offerings. Does this suggest a radical change in the Microsoft Operating System with more aggressive updates?