Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Is there method in M$'s security buys?

Filed under
Microsoft

The software maker said it was making security its top priority when it launched its Trustworthy Computing Initiative three years ago. Since then, it has overhauled its in-house development to bolster security and has put its $38 billion war chest to work. It has been buying antivirus and anti-spyware companies and other security assets--acquisitions that have been closely watched.

"While there is a great deal of hoopla around the acquisitions, what is more important is to see what they make of them," said Michael Cherry, a lead analyst at Directions on Microsoft in Kirkland, Wash. "I don't think that the past acquisitions have shown a tremendous payback yet."

It's about time that Microsoft turned the technologies it has picked up in its scattershot buys into actual products that customers can use, analysts said.

The company announced its takeover of FrontBridge Technologies, a hosted e-mail security provider, on Wednesday, the same day it said it had taken a minority stake in Finjan Software and licensed some of the security appliance maker's patents on behavior-based intrusion detection technologies.

These moves follow the acquisitions of Romanian antivirus software developer GeCad Software two years ago, desktop anti-spyware maker Giant Software in late 2004, and corporate security software vendor Sybari earlier this year. Sybari software can use multiple engines to scan e-mail and instant messages for viruses and spam.

The takeovers seem random, said Pete Lindstrom, a research director at Spire Security. "I think it is a reactive approach. They are picking up security products that they think are important to customers," he said. "It doesn't strike me that there is an obvious strategy to this."

Every product group is involved in Microsoft's companywide commitment to providing users with a secure computing experience, Amy Roberts, a director in Microsoft's security business and technology unit, said in an e-mailed statement. "Microsoft's recent acquisitions in the area of security represent continued investments in innovation, customer guidance and industry partnerships," she said.

Microsoft first took on the safety of its own products with its Trustworthy Computing push. With the acquisitions, the software maker attempted to move itself into a position to become a player in the security market and offer additional products to protect both consumers and business users. The ultimate goal is to counteract the perception of Microsoft as provider of insecure software, Cherry suggested, "to make it such that customers have no doubt that they are purchasing a secure system when they choose Windows," he said.

It is evident from the purchasing campaign that security continues to be important to the Redmond, Wash., company, analysts said.

But the series of takeovers may also signal that Microsoft's own development efforts are falling short, suggested David Schatsky, a senior vice president at Jupiter Research.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Performance and security in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7

Modern datacenters and next-generation IT requirements depend on capable platforms, with open source solutions offering a strong foundation for open hybrid cloud and enterprise workloads. A powerful, unified platform enables enterprises to use a solid foundation to balance demand while utilizing new trends and technologies such as virtual machines and the open hybrid cloud. Read more

Apple privacy policy frustrates government

The release of the Apple iOS 8 software meant that Apple updated its privacy policy. As a company that has always put personal privacy above all else, this means you can expect your personal information to be even more protected than before. But to what extent should you expect privacy, and at what point is the government going to step in and say no? What privacy can you expect? You might be wondering if the Apple privacy policy means you can avoid all government spying. Of course, that would be impossible. As Fox News explains, Apple can only control the information associated with its phones and Apple accounts. All other information is controlled elsewhere. For example, a phone tap could still happen because Apple does not provide the cell service, just the device. And spying through social media is still possible. The only things covered in the Apple privacy policy is anything associated with your Apple account, such as uploads to your cloud, photo storage, email, contacts, and even call history. More or less, Apple has explained that it cannot access the data simply because it has created a privacy system where it cannot bypass your passcode. If a warrant is placed for access to account information, Apple can deny it because it has no way to access the info. For cops, this means they don’t have access even if they get judge authority. For you, it means your information is protected in all circumstances. Government action? It is possible the government could come in and say that Apple has to retain access to accounts in the event of a national crisis or threat to the nation; however, that has not yet happened. For now, Apple intends to provide as much privacy as possible to its customers, so they feel comfortable using their personal devices without fear of information leaking. Some people are hesitant to trust Apple after the incident of leaked nude celebrity photos from the iCloud, but Apple says those were isolated incidents where hackers stole passcode data to get the images rather than the photos just getting leaked. Privacy important to customers As you are working on your automated text systems and allowing your customers to text you for an automated response, it is important that you keep their information private as well. There is nothing that will make a customer leave faster than finding out you just sold their personal information to another company. Make sure you have a privacy policy on your texting services clearly laid out when your customers sign up and again on your website to prevent confusion. Mobile technology news brought to you by businesstexter.com Source: foxnews.com/tech/2014/09/18/expert-apple-is-making-life-more-difficult-for-cops/

10 Android Smartphone Alternatives to the Apple iPhone 6

Apple might not have the most mobile market share or sell the most units, but it can get more attention than any other mobile device maker. Year after year, it's able to build anticipation for its latest products to a fever pitch. That has become abundantly apparent in the wake of the iPhone 6 launch. While there are still countless devices available that might in one way or another top the iPhone 6 in terms of features or price, it's Apple's product that generates the most hype. But now that the iPhone 6 is shipping, consumers who aren't already totally committed to Apple's products will go back to calmly considering in the clear light of day which product offers the best deal—the iPhone or one of the many handsets that run Android. This eWEEK slide show looks at 10 Android smartphones ranging from lower-cost units to the top-of-the-line flagship models that might prove to be suitable alternatives to the iPhone. From the Samsung Galaxy S5 to the Amazon Fire Phone, there are Android handsets that can suit any mobile phone buyer's needs. Read more

The Features Coming For Fedora 21

Fedora 21 in alpha form is finally expected for release today. With Fedora 20 having been released last December and the Fedora 21 release getting continually dragged on due to delays, here's a recap of some of the major changes being worked on for this next Fedora release. Read more