IBM Brings Identity-as-a-Service to Hybrid Cloud Environments

Today’s topics include IBM adding a new cloud identity-as-a-service platform; Amazon Web Services planning to launch a new region for its GovCloud service; HTC U11 handset with squeezable sides now available from Sprint; and Microsoft announcing it patched 96 security vulnerabilities so far in June.

IBM announced on June 13 the addition of new services to its identity management portfolio; the company is expanding its IBM Cloud Identity platform to include Cloud Identity Connect.

The new identity-as-a-service platform aims to make it easier for organizations to connect identities both on-premises and in the cloud. IBM's Cloud Identity portfolio also includes the Cloud Identity Service and MaaS360 Universal Endpoint Manager offerings.

The Cloud Identity Service is a full identity and access management technology that is hosted and managed by IBM. Maas360 is IBM's mobile and endpoint management technology and is now being enhanced with the cloud identity-as-a-service capability, providing identity services for mobile users.

Amazon Web Services revealed June 13 that it is planning to offer government agencies, regulated industries and software-as-a-service providers a second highly secure location to park and process data in its global cloud.

AWS GovCloud (U.S.) gives AWS customers a place to host sensitive data and regulated workloads within the AWS Cloud. The first AWS GovCloud region was launched in 2011 on the U.S. west coast; the company aims to open a second region, AWS GovCloud (U.S.-East), sometime in 2018.

The new cloud-service region will provide customers with added workload redundancy, data durability and resiliency, and it will provide additional options for disaster recovery, AWS spokesman Jeff Barr noted.

HTC's latest U11 flagship smartphone, which features squeezable sides that let users operate multiple handset functions, is now available to U.S. customers of mobile carrier Sprint.

The handset, which runs the Android 7.1 operating system and lists for $696, is now available in Sprint retail stores or can be purchased through Amazon.com or HTC.com, according to a June 9 announcement from HTC.

It can also be purchased on a Sprint payment plan for $0 down and $29 a month for 24 months. The HTC Edge Sense feature in the new phone reacts to squeezes, allowing users to choose and switch apps, take photos and more, giving users a new way to control their handsets.

In its monthly Patch Tuesday update earlier this week, Microsoft fixed 96 security issues and took the unusual step of providing some fixes for the older, officially unsupported Windows XP operating system.

Of the 96 bugs patched by Microsoft, 18 are rated as having critical severity, with two issues being actively exploited in the wild. Among the actively exploited vulnerabilities is one identified as CVE-2017-8464 that bears some resemblance to the vulnerability used by the Stuxnet malware, according to Trend Micro's Zero Day Initiative.

The other actively exploited flaw is a Windows Search Remote Code Execution Vulnerability. Microsoft also issued Server Message Block patches for Windows XP, which had officially reached its end of life for support and updates back in April 2014.

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