Ryan Francis

About the Author Ryan Francis


Buying Slack could give Amazon another enterprise toehold

Online retail giant Amazon is apparently interested in scooping up collaboration firm Slack Technologies — a possibility that could give Amazon a more direct entry into the enterprise.

“Bottom line: this could be a good move for Amazon in terms of upping their game in the enterprise collaboration market, but the devil is in the details of staying power and execution versus competitors like Google, Microsoft and Facebook,” said Forrester analyst Art Schoeller.

Bloomberg News reported Thursday that Amazon is considering the move in a deal that could be valued at $9 billion.

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Ultimate guide to older Office apps: Microsoft cheat sheets

Similar to the Cliffs Notes you used in college to get the synopsis of classic novels, Computerworld’s cheat sheets are easy-to-use guides to help you navigate through older versions of Microsoft’s software. Sure, they’ve been around for a while, but Microsoft still supports them for those users reluctant to the update to the latest and greatest.

With that in mind here’s a one-stop resource that runs the gamut from Excel 2016, to SharePoint 2013, Word 2013, Outlook 2010, PowerPoint 2010 and even Windows 8. (Yes, some users are still hanging onto Windows 8; it still accounts for about 9% of the Windows user base.)

Use this as a reference whenever you get stuck.

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Ultimate guide to Office apps: Microsoft cheat sheets

Similar to the Cliffs Notes you used in college to get the synopsis of classic novels, Computerworld’s cheat sheets are easy-to-use guides to help you navigate through older versions of Microsoft’s software. Sure, they’ve been around for a while, but Microsoft still supports them for those users reluctant to the update to the latest and greatest.

With that in mind here’s a one-stop resource that runs the gamut from Excel 2016, to SharePoint 2013, Word 2013, Outlook 2010, PowerPoint 2010 and even Windows 8. (Yes, some users are still hanging onto Windows 8; it still accounts for about 9% of the Windows user base.)

Use this as a reference whenever you get stuck.

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The top 5 mobile security threats

A smartphone can feel like a ticking time bomb to IT security pros. With the BYOD trend now well established in the workplace, and employees less vigilant about avoiding malicious links, the chances for trouble remain high.

But when your personal and professional lives intersect on your phone — the same one that often includes confidential corporate data and email — it’s inevitable that someone will stumble onto malware. Chris Crowley, an instructor at the SANS Institute, offers a rundown of the top mobile security threats today and what can be done to head then off.

1. Untrustworthy devices. A device itself may be faulty or maliciously configured within the supply chain, providing violation of CIA (confidentiality, integrity, availability), he said. One example: CheckPoint earlier this year found an infection of 36 Android devices at a large telecommunications company. In each case, the breach was not caused by the user, but by malware already on the phone when the employee took it out of the box.

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The top 5 mobile security threats

A smartphone can feel like a ticking time bomb to IT security pros. With the BYOD trend now well established in the workplace, and employees less vigilant about avoiding malicious links, the chances for trouble remain high.

But when your personal and professional lives intersect on your phone — the same one that often includes confidential corporate data and email — it’s inevitable that someone will stumble onto malware. Chris Crowley, an instructor at the SANS Institute, offers a rundown of the top mobile security threats today and what can be done to head then off.

1. Untrustworthy devices. A device itself may be faulty or maliciously configured within the supply chain, providing violation of CIA (confidentiality, integrity, availability), he said. One example: CheckPoint earlier this year found an infection of 36 Android devices at a large telecommunications company. In each case, the breach was not caused by the user, but by malware already on the phone when the employee took it out of the box.

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Connecting with work from the road? Here’s how to stay safe

Every company has workaholics who can’t leave their duties behind when heading out on vacation. They’re kind of worker who, if the hotel doesn’t have Wi-Fi, will rush to the closest coffee shop or eatery to stay connected, check email and jump onto a video conference call.

Those are the kinds of insecure wireless networks that make IT security managers nervous. 

And for good reason. Public Wi-Fi networks at cafes and coffee shops are open to, and can be accessed by, anyone, according to mobile security vendor iPass. They require neither security keys and passphrases nor firewall protection. That leaves  employees vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks.

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The ransomware epidemic: How to prep for a shakedown

‘Know your enemy’ – understanding what to prepare for
wannacry ransom screenshot

Image by Reuters

While ransomware isn’t new, this once-simple criminal hacker tactic has morphed into a devastatingly effective weapon wielded by more advanced cyber-criminals — as seen with the recent Wannacry outbreack. These sophisticated attackers are highly motivated by the profitable nature of their efforts. Dan Larson, technical director at CrowdStrike, looks at the current state of ransomware, why organizations should take  threats seriously and how to build a strong defense.

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Predictive analytics can stop ransomware dead in its tracks

This past February marks the two-year anniversary when Livingston County, Michigan, was hit by ransomware. The wealthiest county in the state had three years’ worth of tax information possibly at the mercy of cybercriminals.

As a local government, county CIO Rich C. Malewicz said they have been a target of ransomware, but in this instance they had backups at the ready. He said the most memorable ransomware attack was a result of a watering hole campaign using malvertizing to infect users visiting a local news website. 

“This attack was very clever in that all you had to do to get infected was visit the website, you didn’t even have to click on the page. Once the user went to the local news website, they were immediately redirected to a site hosting exploit code and the infamous page appeared demanding a ransom with instructions,” he said.

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