ITworld: Your Strategic Guide to VDI

If you have not looked at VDI technology in a while, you will find that its changed. Faster, cheaper technology has made it an interesting option for some companies seeking a way to support flexible, work-from-anywhere environments. In fact, some CIOs say BYOD is driving new interest given that virtualized desktops can help keep corporate data on corporate servers, not on client devices.

In this PDF download (registration required) for ITworld, I wrote several of the articles talking about how to become more effective with deploying virtual desktops.

Integrating single sign-on across the cloud

Single sign-on isn’t new: it has been around for more than a decade to help enterprises manage multiple passwords. And given the number of leaked passwords as of late it is becoming increasingly important as a security tool. What is new however is that an SSO tool can secure both local server and cloud-based ones.

You can read more of my thoughts for a custom white paper I wrote for McAfee here.And here is a link if you would like to read my review of 8 different SSO tools that I did for Network World earlier this year, including McAfee’s and Okta’s products.

InfoSec Mag: Next-gen firewalls play by new rules

Firewalls started their journey to the next generation at about the same time as the Star Trek TV series. While the products have advanced, many IT security experts are still stuck with the original firewalls that handle ports and protocols.

You can read the full article (with registration) here in the September issue of Information Security magazine.

There is also an accompanying video/slidedeck with copious screenshots of the various products and a more specific article about how to manage application access policies. All three can be found here.

ITworld: Optimize your cloud apps: How to create a great user experience

In a perfect world you would design your apps from the very beginning to operate in the cloud to offer the best experience possible. Unfortunately, not every company has that luxury, and many often deal with an “accidental cloud”. But there’s a lot riding on getting it right: 61% of IT leaders said their companies have at least one application, or a portion of their computing infrastructure in the cloud, and the average investment in cloud-based services during the next 12 months will be $1.5 million. Are your users happy with the cloud experience you currently offer? In this Owner’s Manual white paper, IT pros share hard-earned insights from their own cloud deployments, and provide tips on how to improve the overall experience.

ITworld_HP Owners Manual Link

Cisco Moves to the Next Generation with its ASA CX Firewall

We all know that the bad guys are getting more sophisticated and determined to invade business networks. The first week of 2013 started out with a bang: a series of well-publicized Java exploits, watering hole campaigns, and denial of service attacks – and that was just business as usual for the modern cyber-crook.

Enterprise network managers have to fight these exploits with better tools, and one ray of hope is a new context-aware firewall from Cisco called ASA CX. I tested one of their midrange ASA-5525-X devices this month and came away impressed. Overall, Cisco has done a superior job at its next generation of firewall technology. The user interface of the Prime Security Manager is, well, prime and one of the best pieces of software I have seen from them, and the features are on par if not better than what their competitors offer.

Here is my report.

There is also an accompanying video screencast review where you can see the firewall in action.

CloudSigma and its Flexible, Elastic and Transparent Public Cloud IaaS

Choosing from one of more than a dozen different Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud providers (IaaS) can be tiresome. Pricing comparisons are difficult, figuring out features isn’t always obvious, and understanding their limitations can be vexing and require a great deal of time and research. But if you are looking for a capable cloud provider that lets you have a lot of flexibility, is transparent when it comes to cost calculations, and comes with ability to support many different virtual machine (VM) configurations, then you should consider CloudSigma’s solution.

I take a closer look at what CloudSigma offers in this white paper that is published here.

Why You Need to Move Your Clients to a Modern Content Management System

Providing your clients with an outdated CMS is like locking them, their brand and their customers, in a time warp. Not all CMSs have moved with us. Those that haven’t are overtaxed, trying to manage information in formats they weren’t created to handle and in a volume few could have anticipated when the outdated CMSs originally launched. So how to move to a more modern CMS?

You can read my Sitecore_WhitePaper here for Redmond Channel Partner.

GigaOm Pro: Understanding and managing the cost of the cloud

While computing in the cloud can cost less than running servers in your enterprise data center, the question of how much less isn’t an easy one to answer. The issue has gotten more complex, as Amazon and others have dozens of different cloud services available.

In this research note, we look at some of the current challenges of calculating cloud costs when using services from the major Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) vendors, some of the more important pricing issues to understand, noteworthy third-party vendors to watch, and our predictions for the future.

You can view and download (with registration) the full report here.

Whitepaper: Adventures in Secure Email

Sending and receiving encrypted email with sensitive data should be a lot easier to do. But it ends up being something painful, and as a result we tend to avoid this protection. Haven’t we all been schooled that sending emails in plain text is like having a post card plastered to the wall of your local coffee bar? Haven’t all the various exploits with stolen credit cards and hackers breaking into various Web-based email services been warning enough? Apparently not.

Oddly, this summer marks the eleventh year anniversary of identity-based message encryption with more than a billion secure messages being exchanged annually. But that still pales in comparison to the many insecure messages containing sensitive data being exchanged in the clear. You can read my whitepaper that I prepared for Voltage Security here.

Securing the iPad in the Enterprise

It is one of the Internet’s extreme ironies: you can search for just about anything, but can’t always find what you are looking for. The same can be said when it comes to keeping track of your corporate documents. While you might think they are secured behind your firewalls and other protective hardware, chances are every day you are leaking data in multiple directions.  And as more user-owned devices such as tablets and smartphones appear on your corporate network, finding out where your mission-critical files reside is getting harder and harder.

You can register and download the white paper that I did for ionGrid here, where I talk about solutions to manage user devices on the corporate network.