Friday Notebook, April 5: Citrix news roundup and product updates; Oktane 2019

Also: Lots of identity; VDI optimizers; podcast with Kevin Goodman; Teradici; Quest UEM; Scalefusion; Android security; and more!

This is our weekly log of desktop virtualization, enterprise mobility, and end user computing news.

Our blog posts

Kyle: Catching up on WebAuthn and FIDO Alliance in 2019. FIDO Alliance’s effort is finally paying off as more of their authentication work becomes adopted.

Jack: Oktane 2019 news: Advanced Server Access, Okta Identity Engine, and Okta Hooks. We’re at Okta’s show in San Francisco this week. Here’s a summary of the pre-announcements; stay tuned for more EUC news and notes from the breakout sessions.

Jack: Kevin Goodman talks Windows Virtual Desktop - BrianMadden.com Podcast #138. Is Windows Virtual Desktop a faster horse? What does it really mean for our industry? What is Kevin up to? Listen now to hear about all this and more!

Ryan: VDI image optimizers: Always useful, and now even more important. Thanks to Windows 10 and the cloud, you’re probably spending more time working on optimization than ever before.

Kyle: What I learned at Oktane 2019: Okta Hooks are neat and zero trust is everywhere. Can’t escape zero trust in the industry right now--and that’s a good thing!

Jack: Apparently Citrix is for sale again, and one of the potential buyers also owns Jamf and Ping. We’ve been down this road before.

Industry news: Citrix Spotlight

Well, there’s been a lot of news about Citrix this week.

First, as I covered in my full article, the New York Post reported that Citrix is up for sale. While other sources apparently contradicted this, you’d have to think that if Citrix weren’t for sale, they would have denied it when the Post reached out for comment.

Second, amid word of more layoffs, Citrix confirmed to our fellow TechTarget website that 25 people in the marketing department were let go. They denied that any executives were laid off, though.

Third, Citrix has released a follow up blog post about their breach, which we first covered about a month ago. In the post, they acknowledged that the attackers used password spraying to access the Citrix network. They said that there was no sign that the attackers discovered or exploited any vulnerabilities in Citrix products to get in. And, as before, Citrix said that there were no signs that the security of their products or services was affected.

This leaves us wondering if the attack was successful because the affected accounts just didn’t have MFA in place—it can certainly take a long time to roll out MFA across large organizations. Now, as a part of its response to the breach, Citrix started a new series of blog posts covering security best practices, and the very first post was about rolling out MFA. It even mentioned that MFA is crucial for protecting against attacks such as password spraying.

I’m making a leap here, but I think this is Citrix’s tacit explanation for the breach. It’s still unfortunate that it happened, but it’s not as bad as if, say, the attackers had found some sort of critical vulnerability.

On to a more positive note, I have to say that I’ve been perusing the Citrix Synergy content catalog, and I’m very excited to see all the identity and workspace sessions. I’ll be contributing to that as well, as I’ll be giving TechTarget’s sponsor session, and it’s going to be all about identity.

In addition, the product updates keep rolling along. Here’s what came by this week:

The rest of the industry news

The Android Security and Privacy Year in Review 2018 is out! Time to start reading, and prepare another blog post for our series on mobile security.

Teradici this week announced “PCoIP Ultra.” There’s support for more third-party codecs, better resolution, frame rates, and other improvements.

Quest Software—the one that formerly made vWorkspace and went in and out of Dell—has been continuing to grow their EUC business. I wrote about their current incarnation about a year and a half ago; this week they announced that they’re up to 10,000 customers, they have some new product updates, and they named a new president and GM, Gary Broadwater. I’m catching up with Gary today, so I’ll be sure to share my notes.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve become acquainted with EMM provider Scalefusion, which until this week, had been known as MobiLock Pro. Congratulations to the team on the rebranding!

The Windows 10 May 2019 Update will give users more control over update timing, and the update will be more focused on quality.

More notes and reads

Brian Madden (the person) wrote an article this week called “I talked to 160 customers in the past year about their EUC plans. Here's what I learned.” Much of the article is about enterprise EUC in general, not just VMware products, and since it’s very hard for most of us to meet that many customers in a year, it’s an extremely useful read. I’ll highlight two parts (though you really should read it on your own): All large companies are the same; and most of them are actually talking about things like “Workplace Transformation” on their own—so all this modern EUC stuff isn’t just vendor marketing hype!

Here’s Jason Bayton on Android Q.

Are you familiar with WhatMatrix.com? It’s a community-run site that allows you to sort through a bunch of product comparison matrices, in an interactive way. It’s definitely interesting to poke around, and anybody who’s ever tried to write a product feature comparison blog post or presentation will surely appreciate how much work goes into these things. Anyway, I’m mentioning this because this week, they released their DaaS comparison page. Check it out!

Last week, we shared VMware’s video of what’s new in Workspace ONE UEM 1903; now there’s more information in print.

On my reading list: Uber Engineering blog: Scaling MDM for macOS with Chef.

HIPAA-compliant Alexa Skills are a thing now. (Via VentureBeat.) (MDM for Alexa has been around for a while.)

More announcements

Today is the last day to submit for the Best of Citrix Synergy 2019 Awards, so vendors, if you’re going to be there, let the judges know about your cool products! (I have a sneaking suspicion that you could still submit over the weekend, but now’s the time.)

If you’re at Google Cloud Next 2019 in San Francisco next week, come by Lookout’s panel event on post-perimeter IT. I’ll be speaking with an esteemed group about this most interesting topic, plus there will be drinks! It’s Tuesday, April 9, at 5 p.m., at Hawthorn on Geary Street. Learn more and register here.

A little farther our, I’ll also be taking part in the VDI Performance Summit, streaming live online all day on May 2. Register here.

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