Neil MacDonald

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Entries Tagged as 'Apple'

Apple’s iOS 7 is a Significant Step Forward

by Neil MacDonald  |  August 14, 2013  |  2 Comments

From a security perspective, I’ve been keeping a close eye on iOS and Android. From what I’ve seen so far, iOS 7 is a significant step forward. To get deeper insight as to the changes, I’ve asked my colleague, Garter VP and Distinguished Analyst Ken Dulaney, to provide a guest post. Here’s what Ken has […]


Category: Mobile security     Tags: , ,

Is Antivirus Obsolete?

by Neil MacDonald  |  September 13, 2012  |  3 Comments

I blogged about this question years ago, but a recent blog on CSO got me thinking once again. Has anything changed? Thoughts: 1) The question “Has antivirus outlived its value?” is wrong. AV hasn’t been AV for years. Gartner stopped calling the market “AV” back in 2006. Modern Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPP – the term […]


Category: Beyond Anti-Virus Endpoint Protection Platform Information Security Next-generation Security Infrastructure Windows 8     Tags: , , , , , , , ,

What we Need is the Equivalent of Apple for Enterprise Data Centers

by Neil MacDonald  |  August 29, 2012  |  Comments Off

I’ve spent the last three days in Silicon Valley – some of it at VMworld and some of it with a client. With the flight out and back to the West Coast, I’ve had some time to do some thinking. Cleary, there’s a perception that hardware is commoditizing and that there’s little or no premium left in […]

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Category: Cloud Security General Technology Information Security Next-generation Data Center Next-generation Security Infrastructure Virtualization Security     Tags: , , , , ,

Windows 8 Raises the Bar for Security

by Neil MacDonald  |  September 28, 2011  |  1 Comment

I’ve been out the past two weeks visiting with clients and have been meaning to summarize my impression of the upcoming Windows 8 (expected mid 2012) from a security point of view. I attended Microsoft’s recent BUILD conference for developers where Windows 8 made its first official appearance. You can see my real-time tweets and […]

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Category: Beyond Anti-Virus Information Security Microsoft Security Windows 7     Tags: , , , , , , ,

Microsoft’s Forefront Endpoint Protection – Is it “Good Enough”?

by Neil MacDonald  |  August 4, 2011  |  Comments Off

Licensing changes for Microsoft’s enterprise endpoint antimalware protection solution that were announced in March at Microsoft’s MMS conference take affect this month. If you are licensed under Microsoft’s Core Client Access License program, it now includes CALs for Forefront Endpoint Protection. For many organizations that are already licensed under Core CAL, this means that FEP […]

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Category: Endpoint Protection Platform Microsoft Microsoft Security Windows 7     Tags: , , , ,

Google’s Chrome Browser has a Zero Day – So?

by Neil MacDonald  |  May 13, 2011  |  Comments Off

I saw this article recently describing an attack against one or more zero day vulnerabilities in Google’s Chrome browser. Worse, the attack reportedly is able to break outside of the “sandbox” (created by the use of mandatory integrity controls within Windows) and execute code at a different trust level. The attack is reportedly not stopped […]

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Category: Application Security Information Security Windows 7     Tags: , , , , ,

Removing Administrator Rights for Windows Users is not “Lockdown”

by Neil MacDonald  |  May 4, 2011  |  Comments Off

In discussions with clients, I still run into some confusion on whether or not removal of administrator rights constitutes “lockdown”. Perhaps this was the case a few years ago with older Windows applications and Windows XP, but this is not the case today with Windows 7.  For example: Standard users can install and execute well-written […]

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Category: Beyond Anti-Virus Endpoint Protection Platform Microsoft Security Windows 7     Tags: , , , , , , ,

Two Lessons for Information Security from the iPhone and iPad

by Neil MacDonald  |  May 2, 2011  |  3 Comments

Rapid adoption rates, three hundred and fifty thousand apps, but not much malware. What gives? 1) The power of whitelisting. Call it what you may, but having Apple act as the steward of all applications via its App Store is a form of whitelisting (where the list of approved applications [whitelist] is defined by those […]


Category: Beyond Anti-Virus Endpoint Protection Platform Information Security Microsoft Security Windows 7     Tags: , , , , , ,

Lesson from Android: Does More Open Have to Mean Less Secure?

by Neil MacDonald  |  March 11, 2011  |  Comments Off

Google’s Android has made the news a couple of times already in 2011: Here, with a credit card snooping exploit proof of concept and most recently, with malware that had gotten into the Google application store. The latter was particularly serious as it involved a privilege escalation attack that broke out of the Android sandbox. […]

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Category: Application Security Beyond Anti-Virus Endpoint Protection Platform     Tags: , , , , , ,

Is Microsoft’s Secure Development Lifecycle Losing Its Effectiveness?

by Neil MacDonald  |  March 7, 2011  |  4 Comments

I was performing some background research on the number and severity of vulnerabilities produced by Apple, Microsoft and other vendors when I ran across something quite interesting. (BTW – I was researching the issue addressed in this research note for clients — whether or not antimalware software is recommended for enterprise Apple Macintosh endpoints.) Microsoft, like […]


Category: Application Security Information Security Microsoft Security Windows 7     Tags: , , , , ,