IT Managers Can't Block Access to Windows Store on Windows 10 Pro

Today's topics include an update to Windows 10 that prevents IT professionals from blocking the Windows Store, an Android vulnerability that left millions of devices in danger, a new partnership between Apple and SAP, and Microsoft's outline of how it will use telemetry data gathered from Windows Server 2016.

Administrators have one less weapon in their battle against shadow IT. One method of discouraging the use of unauthorized applications on Windows 10 is to block access to the Windows Store, the operating system's built-in app marketplace.

As some IT pros are now discovering, that tactic is no longer an option. Microsoft quietly disabled a Group Policy setting that allowed administrators to disable Windows Store on systems with Windows 10 Pro that are upgraded to version 1511 of the OS.

"After the upgrade, you notice that the following Group Policy settings to disable Windows Store are not applied, and you cannot disable Windows Store," stated Microsoft in an online support document.

Qualcomm has patched a security flaw that put Android smartphones powered by the chip maker's products at risk of data theft, but millions of the devices could remain at risk.

Security researchers with Mandiant's Red Team discovered the vulnerability earlier this year, and Qualcomm developed a fix for it and sent it to device makers in March.

However, the problem is that the vulnerability was first introduced five years ago and has infected countless Android-based smartphones. Because of the ages of some of these devices, many are no longer supported by their OEMs and are unlikely to receive the fix.

Researchers with security software provider FireEye said it is hard to determine how many devices were affected because of how long the vulnerability was in the wild before being discovered and the large number of devices that could have been impacted.

Apple and SAP have announced a partnership in which they'll deliver a new software development kit for SAP enterprise applications on Apple iOS-running devices. Additionally, SAP will develop native iOS apps in the Apple programming language Swift for "critical business operations."

According to Bloomberg Technology, which interviewed Apple CEO Tim Cook and SAP CEO Bill McDermott, SAP will develop "hundreds" of apps.

The SAP HANA Cloud Platform SDK for iOS will provide developers and businesses with tools they can use to build their own iOS apps for iPhones and iPads, based on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, SAP's so-called "platform as a service."

By now, most customers know what to expect from Microsoft's Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 in terms of features, but a big question mark hangs over the proceedings, at least for security-conscious IT personnel.

What kind of information does Microsoft plan to gather from the products when they ship this fall and what will the software giant do with it? Microsoft's handling of Windows telemetry data has become a touchy topic since the release of Windows 10 last summer, stoking privacy concerns.

With the impending release of its new server OS and data center systems management software, Microsoft appears to be heading off those concerns for enterprise customers by releasing a whitepaper that describes the type of data it collects from the two products, along with how administrators can configure their telemetry settings.

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