All posts by Daniel Todd

Kaspersky extends Office 365 protections to OneDrive


Daniel Todd

23 Aug, 2019

Kaspersky has expanded the protections it offers Office 365‘s Exchange Online to also include Microsoft’s storage service OneDrive, in a move designed to help businesses store and share files safely in the cloud, the security company revealed on Friday.

Users will now be better protected against the threat of malware infiltrating the storage service, spreading across their corporate networks and jeopardising sensitive data and overall workflow.

According to Kaspersky’s recent research, 66% of office workers struggle to remember what they have stored in shared folders, ultimately increasing the chances of missing suspicious files or infected emails.

The antimalware service’s multiple layers of protection have been designed to prevent this scenario, thanks to the inclusion of signature-based detection, heuristic and behavioural analysis, as well as the latest threat intelligence to help tackle both known and zero-day threats.

The freshly-bolstered security package detects suspicious content within the storage space and can immediately delete an infected file before it spreads any further, Kaspersky said.

“Shared storage options, such as OneDrive, are popular and widely used business tools. But if employees can have instant and easy access to shared files, then so too can malware,” said Sergey Martsynkyan, head of B2B product marketing at Kaspersky.

“Businesses need to understand this risk and ensure they are not compromising their productivity due to cyberthreats, by protecting their data and workflows. Our product provides such protection for Microsoft Office 365, allowing companies to use its collaborative features and focus on day-to-day operations, rather than worrying about the security of their data.”

Kaspersky also revealed that Security for SharePoint will be the next feature to be added to its Microsoft 365 security package, as it aims to better-protect content management and team workflows.

The addition will allow customers to leverage more benefits of the Microsoft solutions without the concern of threats to communications and business data, the company said.

Global IaaS market increased by 31.3% in 2018 to $32.4bn


Daniel Todd

30 Jul, 2019

The infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market grew by 31.3% in 2018, the latest research from Gartner has revealed, rising from $24.7 billion in 2017 to $32.4 billion.

According to the research firm, Amazon continued to lead from the front last year, retaining its status as the number one vendor in the IaaS market, followed by Microsoft, Alibaba, Google and IBM.

In fact, the top five vendors increased their collective dominance, accounting for almost 77% of the worldwide market compared to less than 73% back in 2017.

“Despite strong growth across the board, the cloud market’s consolidation favours the large and dominant providers, with smaller and niche providers losing share,” commented Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner. “This is an indication that scalability matters when it comes to the public cloud IaaS business.

“Only those providers who invest capital expenditure in building out data centres at scale across multiple regions will succeed and continue to capture market share. Offering rich feature functionality across the cloud technology stack will be the ticket to success, as well.”

Gartner added that market consolidation will continue through 2019, driven by the continued high rate of growth for the top providers. From 2017 to 2018, these big-name vendors experienced aggregate growth of 39% compared with 11% for all other providers for the period.

“Consolidation will occur as organisations and developers look for standardised, broadly supported platforms for developing and hosting cloud applications,” Nag said.

Accounting for almost half the global IaaS market alone, market leader Amazon racked up an estimated $15.5 billion of revenue in 2018, up 27% from the previous year, as it continues to “aggressively” expand into new IT markets via new services, acquisitions and growth of its core cloud business.

For the second-placed Microsoft, which delivers its IaaS capabilities via its Azure offering, revenue surpassed $5 billion last year, up from the $3.1 billion recorded in 2017.

Elsewhere, China’s dominant IaaS provider Alibaba Cloud recorded the strongest growth out of the big five vendors, expanding by 92.6% in 2018. Having built up an ecosystem of MSPs and independent software vendors, its success has been driven by aggressive R&D investment in its portfolio of offerings, with the firm also boasting the financial capacity to continue this trend and invest in global expansion.

Google placed in the fourth spot, growing 60.2% in revenue from 2017, with Gartner suggesting its cloud offering is “something to keep an eye on” thanks to its new leadership focus on customers and the enterprise.

“As the cloud business continues to gather momentum and hyperscale cloud providers consolidate the market, product managers at cloud MSPs must look at other ways to differentiate, such as focusing on vertical industries and getting certified in the hyperscale cloud provider partner programmes in order to drive revenue,” Nag commented.

UK businesses say the cloud is falling short of expectations


Daniel Todd

9 Jul, 2019

The benefits of the cloud are still not living up to UK firms’ expectations, according to research.

Less than half (44%) of companies surveyed say the flexibility of the cloud has matched their expectations, followed by improved security (43%) and efficiencies (31%), the research – which was carried out by Research Without Barriers (RWB) – found. 

Just 19% of businesses believe cloud mobility is delivering on expectations, while a further 19% say the cloud has given them a greater user experience. Additionally, a strikingly-low 13% also say it supports business innovation.

“The cloud is fast becoming the preferred choice for positive digital disruption, but it seems it’s not giving businesses what they want on a number of levels,” said Jon Wrennall, CTO at digital software and services provider Advanced, which commissioned the research. The study forms part of the firm’s 2019 Digital Business Report, which surveyed more than 500 senior decision makers spanning small, medium and large businesses throughout the UK. 

“This is a concern simply because the cloud can – and should – deliver these benefits and more.”

At a time when cloud spending continues to be on the rise, according to Gartner, the survey also found that only 50% of respondents believe the cloud should be “inherent in all business software their organisation uses.”

“It begs the question: are organisations being distracted by hyped-up cloud tools over prioritising software that is relevant to their own unique needs? And are they not being given the right third-party support to realise the cloud’s value?” Wrennall added. 

“The right strategy and guidance will help organisations get the maximum benefits from the cloud as well as dictate what business functions they should migrate to the cloud because, in certain cases, some functions are actually best kept on-premise.”

Large businesses are also utilising a range of tools to improve efficiencies spanning CRM and ERP. 

Some 63% said their organisation should be using multiple software solutions to run their operations – as opposed to a single, unified platform – citing the unique requirements of different departments (63%), increased flexibility this offers (53%) and the lower risk of failure (38%).

Less than half (47%) of smaller businesses said its various department needs can be met by a single solution.

However, Wrennell added that multiple software solutions – whether cloud-based or on-premise – must be integrated to “truly improve business performance and productivity.”

Survey respondents agree with the sentiment, too, with 70% reporting that a lack of integration between business software is holding them back from achieving successful digital transformation.

Symantec and Fortinet team up to deliver comprehensive cloud security service


Daniel Todd

12 Dec, 2018

Cyber security firms Symantec and Fortinet have announced an expansive partnership that aims to deliver comprehensive security services across endpoint, network and cloud environments.

As part of the deal, Fortinet’s FortiGate Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) will be integrated into Symantec’s cloud-delivered Web Security Service (WSS), resulting in “the most comprehensive set of cloud-delivered threat prevention capabilities in a single service on the market”, according to the companies.

Symantec’s endpoint protection will also be combined with the Fortinet Security Fabric platform to provide customers with real-time, actionable threat intelligence and automated response to tackle exploit-driven attacks and advanced malware.

“As the first step in this technology partnership, we plan to deliver best-of-breed security through the combination of enterprise-class advanced firewall controls to Symantec’s industry-leading network security service,” said Art Gilliland, EVP and GM of enterprise products at Symantec.

“Through this partnership, we hope to provide joint customers the power of Symantec’s Integrated Cyber Defense Platform bolstered by Fortinet’s leading NGFW in an integrated solution that’s easy to use and deploy.”

Interoperability between Fortinet’s SD-WAN technology will also be certified to work with Symantec’s WSS through the latter’s Technology Integration Partner Program (TIPP), while the agreement will also see both firms engage in joint go-to-market activities.

“Upon completion of the integration, Symantec cloud web gateway customers will be able to benefit from Fortinet’s enterprise-class advanced firewall controls, and for the first time ever, Fortinet customers will be able to purchase the industry-leading FortiGate Next-Generation Firewall via FWaaS,” said John Maddison, SVP of products and solutions at Fortinet.

“With the addition of Symantec as a Fortinet Fabric-Ready Partner, Symantec’s endpoint security solution will be validated to seamlessly integrate with the Fortinet Security Fabric platform to provide more consistent and effective protection for joint customers.”

Some elements of the Fortinet Security Fabric have already been integrated with Symantec Endpoint Protection and the companies are planning to explore further possibilities in the future. The cloud firewall service and WSS integration is expected to be available during the first half of 2019.