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IBM helps clients modernise VMware workloads with speed

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Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.


IBM has rolled out IBM Cloud for VMware as a Service, a combination of IBM’s hybrid cloud strategy and VMware capabilities that is helping global clients and partners modernise their workloads and expedite time to value in hybrid cloud environments.

The update builds on IBM’s 20-year partnership with VMware, expanding upon one of the broadest portfolios of VMware solutions in market with the general availability of a new, IBM-managed, offering designed to help enterprises accelerate their adoption of hybrid cloud. 

Rohit Badlaney, VP, product management and strategy, IBM Cloud, said: “Building off news of our growing partnership earlier this year, this is a crucial stepping stone for both companies as we work toward a shared goal of helping global clients and partners modernise.”

The collaboration of IBM and VMware is helping some of the world’s most influential companies, especially those in regulated industries, modernise their workloads. Together, IBM says the companies are bringing differentiated value to their joint clients with:

  • Security: The offering is built upon IBM’s secure-to-the-core architecture with confidential computing capabilities embedded in IBM Cloud along with VMware’s software stack, helping to ensure clients’ data is secured across  environments, no matter where the data resides.
  • Performance: IBM provides choice to clients in how they build, deploy and manage their business processes. The new service is engineered to lower the complexity and risk of migrating and modernising mission-critical workloads. It will help manage performance needs of applications and data that serves client business processes, especially for those in regulated industries such as financial services, healthcare and public sector.
  • Compliance: With IBM Cloud for VMware as a Service, clients can leverage industry specific controls built-in to IBM Cloud to help manage their  compliance and regulatory requirements. This is designed to help ensure clients can mitigate third- and fourth-party risk as they move to the cloud with confidence, adhering to regulations and compliance with controls embedded in IBM Cloud. 

Badlaney said: “IBM and VMware continue to strengthen our partnership that has helped clients realise their technology goals over the past 20 years. We previously announced that IBM Consulting is a Global Systems Integrator (GSI) for VMware and provides our clients with a suite of services to help clients migrate, modernise and manage their most important workloads across hybrid, multi-cloud environments. This is critical for clients who are looking for the deep skills and expertise required to help transform their business.”

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TECHNOLOGY

On email security in the era of hybrid working

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With remote working the future for so many global workforces – or at least some kind of hybrid arrangement – is there an impact on email security we are all missing? Oliver Paterson, director of product management at VIPRE Security, believes so.

“The timeframe that people expect now for you to reply to things is shortened massively,” says Paterson. “This puts additional stress and pressure on individuals, which can then also lead to further mistakes. [Employees] are not as aware if they get an email with a link coming in – and they’re actually more susceptible to clicking on it.”

The cybercriminal’s greatest friend is human error, and distraction makes for a perfect bedfellow. The remote working calendar means that meetings are now held in virtual rooms, instead of face-to-face. A great opportunity for a quick catch up on a few emails during a spot of downtime, perhaps? It’s also a great opportunity for an attacker to make you fall for a phishing attack.

“It’s really about putting in the forefront there that email is the major first factor when we talk about data breaches, and anything around cyberattacks and ransomware being deployed on people’s machines,” Paterson says around education. “We just need to be very aware that even though we think these things are changing, [you] need to add a lot more security, methods and the tactics that people are using to get into your business is still very similar.

“The attacks may be more sophisticated, but the actual attack vector is the same as it was 10-15 years ago.”

This bears true in the statistics. The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) found in its Phishing Activity Trends Report (pdf) in February that attacks hit an all-time high in 2021. Attacks had tripled since early 2020 – in other words, since the pandemic began. 

VIPRE has many solutions to this age-old problem, and the email security product side of the business comes primarily under Paterson’s remit. One such product is VIPRE SafeSend, which focuses on misaddressed emails and prevents data leakage. “Everyone’s sent an email to the wrong person at some point in their life,” says Paterson. “It just depends how serious that’s been.”

Paterson notes one large FMCG brand, where a very senior C-level executive had the same name as someone else in the business much lower down. Naturally, plenty of emails went to the wrong place. “You try and get people to be uber-careful, but we’ve got technology solutions to help with those elements as well now,” says Paterson. “It’s making sure that businesses are aware of that, then also having it in one place.”

Another part of the product portfolio is with EDR (endpoint detection and response). The goal for VIPRE is to ‘take the complexities out of EDR management for small to medium-sized businesses and IT teams.’ Part of this is understanding what organisations really want. 

The basic knowledge is there, as many organisational surveys will show. Take a study from the Enterprise Security Group (ESG) released in October in terms of ransomware preparedness. Respondents cited network security (43%), backup infrastructure security (40%), endpoint (39%), email (36%) and data encryption (36%) as key prevention areas. Many security vendors offer this and much more – but how difficult is it to filter out the noise?

“People understand they need an endpoint solution, and an email security solution. There’s a lot of competitors out there and they’re all shouting about different things,” says Paterson. “So it’s really getting down to the nitty gritty of what they actually need as a business. That’s where we at VIPRE try to make it as easy as possible for clients. 

“A lot of companies do EDR at the moment, but what we’ve tried to do is get it down to the raw elements that every business will need, and maybe not all the bells and whistles that probably 99% of organisations aren’t going to need,” Paterson adds.

“We’re very much a company that puts a lot of emphasis on our clients and partners, where we treat everyone as an individual business. We get a lot of comments [from customers] that some of the biggest vendors in there just treat them as a number.”

Paterson is speaking at the Cyber Security & Cloud Expo Global, in London on December 1-2 around the rising threat of ransomware, and how the security industry evolves alongside this threat. Having a multi-layered approach will be a cornerstone of Paterson’s message, and his advice to businesses is sound.

“Take a closer look at those areas, those threat vectors, the way that they are coming into the business, and make sure that you are putting those industry-level systems in place,” he says. “A lot of businesses can get complacent and just continue renewing the same thing over and over again, without realising there are new features and additions. Misdelivery of email is a massive one – I would say the majority of businesses don’t have anything in place for it.

“Ask ‘where are the risk areas for your business?’ and understand those more, and then make sure to put those protection layers in place to help with things like ransomware attacks and other elements.”

(Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash)

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London.

Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.



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