Friday Notebook, November 9: VMworld 2018 Europe; Samsung Developer Conference

Also: Symantec acquired Appthority; Jamf Connect; Mac security; Zimperium; Google on Android PHAs; Liquidware; Okta; Citrix; ThinPrint and 10ZiG; Login VSI; and more.

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

Our blog posts

Jack: A look at Jamf Connect (formerly NoMAD Pro) and how it helps with identity management on macOS. Jamf Connect handles key macOS identity management issues and I sat down with NoMAD founder Joel Rennich to learn how it works.

Jack: VMworld 2018 Europe is bringing a healthy dose of updates for EUC products. VMware announced improvements for Horizon, Workspace One, and more at VMworld Europe this week.

Jon: How can you deal with all the new macOS security controls? First-time contributor Jon writes about how to deal with macOS TCC controls, staying up to date with patches, and KEXT whitelisting.

Industry news

VMworld 2018 Europe has wrapped up, and we covered all the main EUC announcements when they came out, but there was more partner news out of VMworld, too:

I (Jack) was at the Samsung Developers Conference this week. There was a lot of buzz about their new foldable phone and other more consumer-oriented announcements, but there’s news for us to watch, too. I’m writing a full analysis for next week; but here are a few things I noted:

  • While there still aren’t any DeX customer references, the Linux on DeX beta is starting soon. If you have a Note 9 or a Tab S4, you can sign up at LinuxonDeX.com.
  • Smart watches seem to be off to a good start in the enterprise, and Samsung had several reference customers to mention.
  • Samsung’s Tizen-based smart TVs now have support for RDP. VMware was even there, showing videos of the HTML5 Horizon client running running in the local browser on a Samsung smart TV.

On a related note, Android announced support for devices with folding displays.

Symantec acquired mobile threat defense vendor Appthority. Appthority focuses more on the mobile app reputation side of things; this is Symantec’s second MTD acquisition after Skycure. I have to admit that this makes me a feel a little bit nostalgic, as I’ve known the Appthority folks since my early days of mobility writing.

Google has released a new report covering the rate of potentially harmful apps on Android. We can’t wait to dig into this, as we’re in the middle of a project to go through mobile security statistics. The new reports are going to be quarterly. From the blog post: “In 2017, on average 0.09% of devices that exclusively used Google Play had one or more PHAs installed. The first three quarters in 2018 averaged a lower PHA rate of 0.08%.” Now, mobile threat defense vendors might be looking at other threats, or have a different definition of “potentially harmful.” Either way, we’re happy to have this broad stream of data to look at.

Researchers at Radboud University in Netherlands revealed that the hardware encryption for popular self-encrypting solid state drives (Crucial MX100, 200, and 300 internal SSD; Samsung T3 and T5 USB external disks; and Samsung 840 EVO and 850 EVO internal SSD) was severely lacking. They first discovered the vulnerabilities six months ago and publicly disclosed them this week after both manufacturers issued firmware updates. If someone got physical access to your SSD, there was little to stop them accessing it if you were using hardware encryption (rather than software encryption). The MX300 could be unlocked simply by hitting Enter, because it only had an empty string as the master password, while on the 850, you could easily bypass the encryption and use any password to unlock it (there’s a bit more work involved, but that’s the end result). This issue affects Windows users especially hard, as BitLocker defaults to hardware encryption over software. Microsoft published a security advisory on Tuesday stating that software encryption should be used instead (researchers suggested open source VeraCrypt as a good alternative).

Mobile threat defense vendor Zimperium relaunched zIAP, their in-app threat-detection SDK, this week. This updated version includes a re-architected backend and brand-new consoles for developers, which provide additional data and insights to protect app users from mobile threats. The idea behind this is to better support larger-scale, consumer-facing use cases. Most of Zimperium’s current customers are focused on employee-facing use cases, but we’ll be watching to see how big of a business this becomes for them and other MTD. If you’re not familiar, zIAP is an SDK that developers can drop into any app that can detect malicious attacks against the device and network, or are malware based. Additionally, zIAP can also determine if it’s being run on an emulator, allowing developers to know if someone is tampering with their app or potentially trying to reverse engineer it. (We covered MobileIron’s use of the SDK, as well.) zIAP only provides organizations with info on attacks and warnings, it’s up to each org on how they respond. The SDK will identify and review threats and organizations then choose how to proceed. During our call with Chris Dworkin, GM of mobile app security, he explained that zIAP does not collect any personal identifiable information, meaning it’s HIPAA, PCI, and GDPR compliant.

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