Microsoft Unveils Service for Helping Enterprises Move to Windows 10

Today's topics include the release of a preview version of Microsoft’s Upgrade Analytics service, AT&T CEO's call for a concerted effort to stop robocalls, the release of new graphics technologies from Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices, and the discovery that security vulnerabilities persist in Adobe Flash even after the flaws are patched.

Microsoft on July 22 quietly released a preview version of its new Upgrade Analytics service, a new Operations Management Suite tool that uses telemetry data gathered by an organization's Windows systems to help IT managers determine whether their applications and drivers are ready for the move to Windows 10. OMS is Microsoft's cloud-based IT monitoring, automation and data protection software offering for hybrid cloud environments. In terms of driving enterprise adoption, telemetry data can prove useful in helping businesses upgrade their PC fleets to Windows 10.

AT&T will lead an "industry strike force" to address the problem of robocalling, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced in a July 25 statement.

In a July 22 blog post, Wheeler shared that he'd written to the CEOs of the major wireless and wireline phone companies and called on them to offer call-blocking services to customers at no additional cost.

"The Commission has done its part, making clear that phone companies face no legal barriers to helping consumers block unwanted calls with the use of robocall blocking technology," Wheeler wrote. "Today, we urge carriers to step up to take that responsibility."

AT&T responded by committing to making robocall-blocking technology available to its customers.

Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices are ramping up the competition in the professional graphics market with new GPUs and related technologies aimed at workstation users running such workloads as virtual reality and high-end gaming. The graphics card vendors introduced their new offerings this week at the SIGGRAPH Conference in Anaheim, Calif., with both companies' officials pointing to a broad array of emerging use cases for the products, including virtual reality, animation, gaming, complex modeling and simulations. The offerings also are nods to the growing demand within the industry for open-source technologies.

Cisco released on July 26 its 2016 Midyear Cybersecurity Report, showing that once again Flash remains the top target for exploitation and patching remains a challenge. According to Cisco's analysis, exploit kits continue to rely on Flash vulnerabilities to infect victims.

With the popular Nuclear exploit kit, for example, Cisco reported that 80 percent of successful exploit attempts are from Flash vulnerabilities. Across five of the most well-known exploit kits (Nuclear, Magnitude, Angler, Neutrino and RIG), the CVE-2015-7645 vulnerability that Adobe patched in October is a key exploit. The Cisco report also includes a dire projection about the continued risks from Flash. "As long as Flash exists, it will remain an attack vector," the Cisco report states.

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