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Information Management News & Analysis

Why You Should Be Worried (and Angry) About Lenovo

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By now, the entire tech world has heard all about the egg on Lenovo’s face. The incident — Superfish’s catastrophic security screw-up — was all over the news last week: "New Lenovo PCs shipped with factory-installed adware," said Engadget. "Lenovo poisoned its own PCs with Superfish adware," from CNET. "Lenovo caught preloading 'Superfish' adware on laptops," according to TechSpot.

The coverage has been extensive, detailed and informative. There’s one big problem with it, though: it’s all wrong.

Superfish is far, far worse than anything those articles might have led you to believe. It’s more accurate to say that it’s a near-total gutting of your machine’s network security. Security analyst Marc Rogers described Superfish as “quite possibly the single worst thing I have seen a manufacturer do to its customer base.” Here’s why.

Buyer Beware: Demystifying Open Source Software Licenses

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Not too long ago, acquiring software was pretty easy: gather requirements, meet with vendors to evaluate products, select the winner. Legal review took place late in the process, and the final terms that both customer and vendor could live with were generally agreed to quickly.

That was then. This is now.

Week in Review: Get Better at SharePoint + ECM, WCM Partnership

EMC, Meet Hippo
WCM and ECM providers form a partnership.

Back to Basics for Web CMS
It's time to cut through the chaos.

Community Management Analyzed
Managers still suffering from lack of money.

Collaboration Trends
The pulse of today's collaboration tools.

Big Data for All
Geeks and non-geeks: Microsoft wants you. 

Increase SharePoint Productivity
Simple steps to raise SharePoint productivity.

Selling the Story: The Content and Commerce Combination 
A look at trends sweeping over the commerce landscape

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Can Lenovo Regain Consumer Trust After Secretly Installing Adware?

Sometimes it's not enough to say you're sorry. Take Lenovo. The $40-billion-a-year Beijing, China-based tech company admitted it was wrong to pre-install third-party adware on some of its consumer notebooks last fall.

But it's not off the hook yet. Users and industry analysts claim the company betrayed its consumers by using a "virulent, evil adware" called Superfish Visual Discovery to attack secure connections, access sensitive data and inject advertising. 

"Lenovo sold out their customers for some extra cash," said Marc Rogers, a 20-year tech security industry veteran, principal security researcher at San Francisco-based CloudFare and security blogger. "In doing that, it completely crippled one of the key security controls that customers rely on when using the Internet -- SSL."

Microsoft Leaks Offer a Glimpse of SharePoint 2016

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Microsoft has started leaking news about SharePoint 2016 — and they suggest the company plans to showcase an early edition at Ignite, its upcoming all-in-one conference for everyone from senior decision makers, IT pros and "big thinkers" and to enterprise developers and architects. 

In a just released podcast, Bill Baer, senior product manager for SharePoint, said the company will offer a look at the latest version of SharePoint at the conference, which will be held in Chicago from May 4 through 8.

What Information Managers Can Learn from Athletes

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Have you ever read the biography of a champion athlete? I love reading biographies, but these are my favorite. They usually go a little like this: the future champ starts off as the underdog, but through a mix of talent, strategy, grit and determination becomes the victor. Books about using the principles of sports in corporate strategy are also good reads, although I was probably the last person in America to read “Moneyball.”

All this reading makes me think about applying championship strategies to information management. As in, why don’t we? We should.

Embracing Change in the Digital Workplace

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Today we begin a new beat here at CMSWire: software-defined systems.  I know. Your marketing buzzword alarm has just sounded, and you may be wondering just how quickly you can reach for the Back button. 

But follow me a moment.  If you’re one of the many dozens of readers I’ve collected over the years, you know that I’ve never been one to swallow the bait — or more importantly, to pass it on to you so you’ll swallow it.

Up to now, technology publications have treated hardware and software as separate fields from one another, as different as geology from astronomy.  So the applications that businesses ran, such as content management systems, were believed to be of interest to a person unique from the one who buys the processors or rigs the network.

But something very important happened in the past five years:  The systems on which services such as the content management systems (CMS) ran moved from a hardware platform to a software platform.  Rather than processors running the CMS — or the enterprise resource planning (ERP), business process management (BPM), digital asset management (DAM) or customer relationship management (CRM) — new classes of processors sustain the software that runs the CMS.  That layer of software, made feasible by virtualization, is fluid, flexible and mobile. 

Don't Open Your Email: Agari Warns Malicious Messages Have Soared

It's hard to quiet the voice of Paul McCartney when you read through Agari's latest study on The State of Email Trust. All you have to do is read the introductory paragraph of the report, which the security solutions provider released today:

Email security improved somewhat in 2014, but most companies still haven’t implemented technology that prevents cyber criminals from sending messages that appear to come from their domains — a failure that leaves customers vulnerable to phishing attacks." 

Think about that for just a moment — and odds are you, too, can visualize McCartney's words:

Someone's knockin' at the door
Somebody's ringin' the bell
Do me a favor,
Open the door and let 'em in." 

Businesses are unwittingly opening the door to cybercriminals who trick people into sharing sensitive information, leading to identity theft and other crimes. 

What's more, because victims of phishing attacks often blame the companies they thought sent the forged emails, the attacks erode the trust companies spend years building with customers.

Success Means Back to Basics for Content Management

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It's a crazy world in content management these days. The dying term "enterprise content management" lives on out of sheer momentum. Information governance is on the rise. The cloud is making everyone reconsider their basic understanding of how they build and deliver business solutions. Mobile devices have returned IT departments to the manic days of early laptops. And the Internet of Things threatens to overwhelm IT before they finish tackling mobile.

Established vendors scramble to look relevant and innovative in the midst of the chaos, while new vendors strive to poach the most dissatisfied customers. Roadmap discussions share features that are two years too late or are subject to immediate change because the technology is shifting too fast.

'Managing Chaos': The Long, Winding Road to Digital Governance

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Governance is a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For records managers it's all about metadata. For C-level managers it's a way of preventing lawsuits. For others it's an organizational straitjacket.

This week Lisa Welchman published her much anticipated book on digital governance, "Managing Chaos." Welchman is a recognized expert in the digital governance field and president of Digital Governance Frameworks at ActiveStandards. I could't wait to read this book. And (spoiler alert) -- I was not disappointed.

Can You Name the 3 Leaders in the Public Enterprise Cloud Space?

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Put your money on hybrid cloud computing — and Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Rackspace.

But be forewarned: Security (or lack thereof) is still a concern and one of the chief reasons for underuse of cloud resources.

The findings, contained in RightScale’s State of the Cloud Report for 2015, paint a picture of a technology space that is well established but still immature in some respects.

It also confirms that hybrid cloud deployments are the preferred path for enterprises movement to the cloud, which explains why leading vendors have invested so many resources into their hybrid cloud portfolio.

NetScout Responds to Court Order, Revises Complaint Against Gartner

NetScout Systems' complaint against Gartner just got a little thinner — and a lot less entertaining for anyone who enjoys perusing page upon page of "prejudicial, immaterial, unnecessary" and improper allegations that "attempt to plead evidence rather than facts."

Connecticut Superior Court Judge Charles T. Lee ordered NetScout attorneys to revise the complaint to eliminate what Gartner's team had characterized as "references to law that does not apply; industries that are not involved; historical scandals that are irrelevant; and nonparties having nothing to do with the dispute."

The revised complaint, filed this week, is a mere 49 pages — nine pages lighter than the original one Westford, Mass.-based NetScout filed last August against Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner.

Amazon Muscles Deeper into the Enterprise Space

Amazon Web Services has introduced several upgrades aimed at moving it deeper into the enterprise space.

Its identity and access management (IAM) upgrades, for instance, make it easier for enterprise users and, specifically, systems administrators, to manage and change identities and security settings.

Jeff Barr, Chief Evangelist for Amazon Web Services, explained In a blog post that the upgrade enhances longstanding IAM features, which until now been associated with single users and the identities they governed.

Q1/Q2 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (18-Feb-15)

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Microsoft Adds 4 Security Measures to Office 365

Microsoft has added four security measures to Office 365 to help businesses keep their data secure. Two of the measures are focused on compliance and the other two offer better identity protection.

Are four new measures at once a bit much? Not if you consider things like the recent Anthem breach.

Microsoft’s drive to ensure Office 365 security and compliance is nothing new. But with the number of high profile information breaches growing, everyone responsible for enterprise data is a bit edgy.

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