Archive for 2015

Prior to the Thanksgiving break, Check Point Software posted this blog alerting security professionals to the dangers of something called “web shells”. While web shells have been around for a few years it seems the awareness of what they are and how they operate is still relatively low so I thought I would take the time to explain what the threat is.

Web shells are scripts or executable software that can be uploaded to an unprotected server and then opened from a browser to give cyber criminals a web based interface to run system commands.  A web shell can be thought of as a backdoor into the system that can be run from a browser.  For any particular web server, the web shell script must be in the same programming language that the server is running on.  Examples of this are php, asp, jsp, perl, Ruby, Python or Unix. So if a server is running Python, the web shell must also be in Python.

The market for enterprise communications tools continues to heat up.

This week, France-based company Atos Origin announced it is acquiring Unify for $371 million ($340 Euro) to move into the enterprise unified communications market. For those not familiar with Atos, it is one of the larger European-based IT service companies.

This week, Juniper is holding its “NXTWORK 2015” customer summit in Silicon Valley. At the event, Juniper made a number of data center announcements. These announcements come about a month after Juniper rolled out its “Unite” architecture aimed at the enterprise campus (disclosure: Juniper Networks is a client of ZK Research). While the two announcements are aimed at different parts of the network, there is a common focal point, and that’s helping businesses build networks that are cloud-ready. The Unite architecture was focused on simplification, whereas Juniper’s play in the data center is more about customer choice and automation.

Earlier this year the most recent ZK Research – Tech Target Network Purchase Intention Study was conducted.  The survey revealed that securing mobile devices represents the top security challenge for businesses.  The survey also showed that 25% of businesses now want to purchase security using an “as a service” model to simplify the deployment and on going management of security technology.

Check Point Software now can kill both of these birds with a single stone.  Earlier this year, Check Point acquired an Israeli based security company called Lacoon for $8 million.

Lacoon enhances Check Point’s mobile security and BYOD solution, Capsule, which is an alternative mobile device management (MDM) and mobile enterprise management (MEM) offering. Capsule offers core MDM capabilities such as remote wipe but also advanced features such as malware protection, segregation of business and personal data, mobile DLP and other features critical for scalable BYOD.

Bolstering its effort to position the network as a security tool, Cisco acquired network visibility company Lancope.

Enterprise IT has gone through many major shifts over the past several decades. The industry currently sits in the midst of another major transformation as more and more businesses are striving to become digital organizations. The building blocks of the digital era are technologies like cloud computing, mobility, virtualization, and software defined networking, which are significantly different than legacy technologies.

With each of these UC players poised to grow share on its own, a consolidation seems premature.

As reported on No Jitter and elsewhere, activist investor and hedge fund manager Elliott Management earlier this month disclosed it holds equity positions of about $100 million in Mitel and Polycom — and wants the companies to merge. On paper, Elliott’s idea makes some sense… but logically, not so much, not right now.

But we must take its interest in seeing these UC peers merge quite seriously. When it comes to shaking up the tech industry, Elliott has had as much impact as any organization. In case you’re not familiar with Elliott, you should know that the company played a significant role in the recent Dell-EMC merger, was the party responsible for taking Riverbed private, and currently has a 6.2% stake in Juniper Networks.

Dell’s expensive acquisition of EMC recalls a time when tech companies joined together to take on competitors.

Remember the BUNCH? No, not the Brady Bunch or the Fun Bunch from when the Redskins were good, but the mainframe BUNCH from the 70s. The acronym was the nickname for all of IBM’s mainframe competitors. IBM was, by far, the most dominant mainframe vendors and, because of this, the other competitors – Burroughs, UNIVAC, NCR, Control Data Corporation, and Honeywell – were “bunched” together.

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