Microsoft PKI & Cisco Identity Services: Why You Need Both to Keep Your Data Secure

Microsoft PKI & Cisco Identity Services: Why You Need Both to Keep Your Data Secure

Target … DigiNotar … LinkedIn …

What do all of these high-profile data breaches have in common?

Authentication gone wrong.

Target and LinkedIn are still dealing with aftermath of their data breaches. Dutch public CA, DigiNotar, immediately ceased operations and a few months later filed for bankruptcy, in the wake of an intruder gaining control of its servers.

What happened to these businesses may sound like every IT professional’s worst nightmare, but in today’s era of bring-your-own device and unsecured wireless networks, it’s easy for your data to fall into the wrong hands.

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Why Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 is the ideal business PC

Why Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 is the ideal business PC

The transformation has started, and Microsoft is on the way to becoming a “Devices and Services” company. It’s doubling down with this fall refresh of the Surface device ecosystem. Cutting ties with the desktop, and adopting the flexibility with the Surface, Microsoft is starting to make some serious plays in the hardware world.

With Surface Pro 2 it took the feedback, critique and lessons from the past year and applied them to their offerings on the Surface platform. The Power Cover, the Dock, Wireless Adapter, backlit keyboards for both Touch and Type Covers, they all have improvements over the original that exceeds expectations. Being able to keep your Cover connected and still utilize the Surface Pro 2 as a full-on desktop was made easy. You no longer have to fiddle with numerous connections, and adapters as you line them up and plug them all in, Microsoft made it simple.

So, why is Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 an ideal business PC? [Read more…]

4 Things to Do Once You’ve Migrated Away from Windows XP

4 Things to Do Once You've Migrated Away from Windows XP

You’ve completed your migration away from Windows XP to Windows 7 or 8 — now what? One thing we know for sure: the industry has evolved and it isn’t reasonable to expect we will stay on this version of the OS for the next ten years. It was a good run. Let’s move on.

You’ll know an IT project is complete when another one is starting
A new model of OS updates calls for regular and consistent updates. No more waiting for service packs. No more waiting for R2. The updates will be regular and rich. We will want them. Our users will demand them. A new system of devices from tablets, to the Microsoft Surface, to our trusty iOS devices to stuff that hasn’t even been thought up yet will capture the imagination of our users and deliver heartburn to the IT manager. Deep breaths. The features available to our new spectrum of devices are changing…frequently…and our users will no longer tolerate a decade of treading water. We need to supply a better desktop experience.

The emergence of the consumerization of IT and BYOD philosophies has led to a proliferation of devices, and these enable capabilities that simply weren’t possible with XP. This means new ideas are required to keep some control and sanity. That is, however, unless you are have been awarded a gigantic budget increase and a ton of extra head count to help you manage the new stuff that is rolling our week after week.

If you have a huge budget increase and a slew of new people to hire in IT to help you, stop reading. Good job. You are in great shape. SneakerNet will serve you, and your ridiculously growing budget will serve you well for the foreseeable future. Nice work. Well played.

For the rest of us, with slashed budgets and shrinking staff counts, let’s see what we can do.

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System Center 2012, ActiveSync, And The BYOD Revolution

Systems Center 2012, ActiveSync and BYOD

A great deal has changed since 2008 and the onset of the client computing “revolution”. The Consumerization of IT appears to be here to stay and the options and connectedness of our environment continue to increase exponentially. Back in 2008, Facebook (only) had 63 million uses – it’s projected they’ll hit 1 billion worldwide by August. In 2008, Twitter was only a year and a half old. In 2012 there are more than 140 million active users generating over 340 millions tweets daily. In four years, we’ve seen a veritable avalanche of changes and choices that have completely shifted the landscape of IT considerations and opportunities in the enterprise.

It was back in Q1 of 2008 when Apple announced it had licensed Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) from Microsoft for its iOS products (specifically the iPhone). Read this short post for a quick walk down memory lane. Since then, iOS has completely changed the view of what it means to have, manage, use, interact with, secure, provide, decline, buy, sell, and consume mobile information. Although iOS has led the charge, there is still more innovation going on by all major manufacturers, and Microsoft is doing their part to help their customers get ready for BYOD.

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