VMWARE

Atos and VMware Join Forces to Help Organizations and Industries Derive Value from Data More Easily

Atos | May 05, 2022

Atos_and_VMware
Atos and VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) today announced an extension of the companies’ strategic partnership by working to deliver an integrated set of capabilities to help speed up the development of “Data Spaces”. Data Spaces are platforms that allow for greater exchange, collaboration, and monetization of data between organizations or industries, independently of the underlying infrastructure, whilst enabling data sovereignty and interoperability.

With the VMware and Atos collaboration effort on Data Space development, the companies plan to deliver an integrated set of capabilities that help enable data and industry applications to be used and shared more strategically to boost national and regional digital economies. The expanded collaboration will deliver capabilities aligned to the Gaia-X architecture and serve as a key enabler and booster of the Gaia-X initiative, which seeks to accelerate the exchange of data through new digital platforms that comply with common rules.

Atos and VMware plan to combine VMware’s multi-cloud and app modernization capabilities with the Atos cloud, as well as cybersecurity expertise and technology integration from Atos. The capabilities are designed to provide businesses and industries with the key building blocks to rapidly design, develop, deploy, better secure, and manage Data Spaces that are compliant with jurisdictional data governance requirements. Organizations can also utilize and monetize existing data to create machine learning and artificial intelligence services, and enable new industry-specific services for:
  • Healthcare and life sciences – facilitating the merge and exchange of health data to accelerate research and clinical trials.
  • Financial services – developing cross-company and cross-border services and collaboration ecosystems, for example with a sustainable finance platform to comply with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) requirements.
  • Utilities – optimizing the electric networks for the charging of electric vehicles.
“With a comprehensive set of data space capabilities from VMware and Atos, organizations will gain access to a viable and rapid way to more securely share, manage and monetize their data,” said Laurent Allard, Head of Sovereign Cloud EMEA, VMware. “Today’s world is multi-cloud. Aligned to the principles of Gaia-X, the suite of capabilities will be designed to deliver the interoperability, reversibility and security required for European businesses and industries to create value from data and drive their digital ambitions faster.”

“VMware and Atos are long-term partners and share a commitment to helping organizations drive value from data,” said Frédéric Malicki, CTO, Southern Europe, Atos. “By supporting the acceleration of Data Space development and data sovereignty with the capabilities from VMware and Atos, we expect to give customers the tools to drive value not just from their own data, but also from federated data, collaboratively with partners and peers. Organizations can transform existing data into new services that, for example, could help farmers better predict the weather or human health organizations improve living conditions for the elderly with automated energy management.”

About Atos
Atos is a global leader in digital transformation with 111,000 employees and annual revenue of c. € 11 billion. European number one in cybersecurity, cloud and high-performance computing, the Group provides tailored end-to-end solutions for all industries in 71 countries. A pioneer in decarbonization services and products, Atos is committed to a secure and decarbonized digital for its clients. Atos is an SE (Societas Europaea), listed on Euronext Paris and included in the CAC 40 ESG and Next 20 indexes. The purpose of Atos is to help design the future of the information space. Its expertise and services support the development of knowledge, education and research in a multicultural approach and contribute to the development of scientific and technological excellence. Across the world, the Group enables its customers and employees, and members of societies at large to live, work and develop sustainably, in a safe and secure information space.

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SERVER VIRTUALIZATION

New Audit Resources from ISACA Help Professionals Keep Pace with 2022 Audit and Compliance Trends and Updates

ISACA | December 22, 2021

As the year winds down, many audit professionals are shifting their focus to 2022 priorities—including developing dynamic new strategies such as agile auditing, revisiting established technologies from a remote or hybrid working environment perspective, and closing any gaps between compliance expectations and current practices—and how they can enhance their skills to meet the needs of the evolving audit landscape. To meet these needs, ISACA has released three new audit resources—its VPN Security Audit Program, Destination: Agile Auditing white paper, and a new edition of its IT Control Objectives for Sarbanes-Oxley publication. During the pandemic, the reliance on virtual private networks (VPNs) was heightened as many shifted to working from home—as did the need to manage its risks and implement safeguards. ISACA’s VPN Security Audit Program provides a foundation for auditors to provide assurance around the effectiveness of implemented VPN controls, including pre-audit planning, governance and oversight, implementation and configuration, operations, and maintenance and monitoring, to avoid some of the following risks: The increase in number of end users combined with extended VPN use may put additional pressure on infrastructure and adversely affect performance. Failure to detect unauthorized VPN activity may cause denial of service due to excessive traffic or connection attempts. Lack of alignment of data classification requirements with VPN requirements and configuration may impair compliance initiatives that are reliant on data classification. During the pandemic, organizations embraced methods to increase agility and efficiency, including by using Agile. Destination: Agile Auditing outlines how audit professionals can incorporate Agile principles into their audit methodologies. Auditors can learn the basics about Agile auditing, its benefits, how Agile complements established assurance standards, how developing competency in Agile can enhance the planning, fieldwork, and reporting phases of an audit. The white paper also includes examples of elements from the Agile tool set, including an Agile road map and Agile audit engagement workflows and illuminates key components like sprints, audit backlog and daily standups. Internal and external auditors, IT auditors and managers, and financial and operational managers can also ensure they are keeping up with the latest guidance in complying with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in a new edition of ISACA’s IT Control Objectives for Sarbanes-Oxley publication. This latest edition incorporates updated guidance and standards from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and its Auditing Standards Board, with updates including: Integrating guidance for implementing internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) using COBIT® 2019, for IT and financial management within enterprises and for their internal and external auditors and consultants Aligning with COBIT 2019 Focus Area: Information & Technology Risk Providing the mapping of the role of COSO Internal Control – Integrated Framework, 2013 to COBIT 2019 Highlighting technological innovations and their impacts on auditing IT controls. The audit landscape is constantly shifting as technologies and regulations evolve, making it essential that audit professionals prioritize continuous learning to ensure they are applying the most current and effective audit practices. ISACA is committed to equipping the global audit community with the tools they need to deliver the highest audit standards at their organizations.” Robin Lyons, IT Audit Professional Practices Lead About ISACA For more than 50 years, ISACA has advanced the best talent, expertise and learning in technology. ISACA equips individuals with knowledge, credentials, education and community to progress their careers and transform their organizations, and enables enterprises to train and build quality teams. ISACA is a global professional association and learning organization that leverages the expertise of its more than 150,000 members who work in information security, governance, assurance, risk and privacy to drive innovation through technology. It has a presence in 188 countries, including more than 220 chapters worldwide. In 2020, ISACA launched One In Tech, a philanthropic foundation that supports IT education and career pathways for under-resourced, under-represented populations.

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CLOUD

SeekGene Increases Efficiency by 500% by Leveraging MemVerge Memory Machine in the Cloud

SeekGene | May 13, 2022

MemVerge™, the pioneers of Big Memory software, today announced that SeekGene, a biotechnology research firm focusing on single-cell technology, has significantly reduced processing time and cost for data intensive single-cell analysis tasks using MemVerge Memory Machine running on AliCloud i4p compute instances. As a result, SeekGene is seeing a five-fold increase in output per virtual machine (VM) in its analytical operations. In particular, the data loading and exporting performance of its single cell sequencing pipeline has improved by two orders of magnitude, and it has doubled the sample size of the dataset used in the analyses. SeekGene is a biotechnology enterprise focusing on single-cell technology that supports clinical diagnosis and development of precision medicine. The medical biopharmaceutical organization owns an exclusive microporous chip and water-in-oil dual technology platform and performs independent research and development of high throughput single-cell products, experiments, and full-chain services for bioinformatics analysis. SeekGene's SeekOne NGS single-cell library platform, the SeekGene Online automated online data analysis platform, and its proprietary droplet method and micropore method dual platform sequencing capabilities provide data analysis for international scientific researchers. The sequencing services are deployed on AliCloud. However, because analytical processes use expression data as high as hundreds of thousands of reads, sequencing analysis can fail on traditional VM instances due to insufficient memory. In addition, the export and loading process of temporary data on disk during sequencing tasks can also be extremely lengthy. Using MemVerge Memory Machine Cloud Edition software running on AliCloud i4p VM instances, which feature Intel Optane persistent memory (PMem), SeekGene is now able to use large memory resources with no change to its code. This allows SeekGene to double its sample size and enables up to five times more concurrent processes to run. Further, with MemVerge Memory Machine Cloud Edition, SeekGene is able to improve data loading and exporting performance by two orders of magnitude by eliminating the I/O bottleneck that is caused by disk reads and writes. Specifically: On a traditional VM instance which uses NVMe SSD to save temporary data, it takes over 15 minutes to store the dataset. By employing MemVerge Memory Machine snapshot technology, saving the data takes only 2.5 seconds. When compared to AliCloud ESC.g5, the previous AliCloud VM instance used by SeekGene, the AliCloud ECS.i4p, together with MemVerge Memory Machine technology, enables SeekGene to run five concurrent tasks, each with twice the size of the original dataset. "Using MemVerge Memory Machine, we are able to employ large memory resources in the cloud without refactoring our code, and eliminate the delay caused by storage I/O otherwise required in our pipelines," said Xingyong Ma, Co-founder and Chief Scientist of SeekGene. "As a result, we are able to cut our analytical time and costs significantly while optimizing our single-cell sequencing capabilities for researchers worldwide to promote faster development of precision medicine." The SeekGene use case is a typical example of how biotechnology researchers can revolutionize their computational analyses by leveraging Big Memory technology in the cloud. These data intensive workloads can now be performed at record speeds and at dramatically lower cost. For the biotechnology industry, this can be a true gamechanger." Jonathan Jiang, Chief Operating Officer, MemVerge. MemVerge Memory Machine enables applications to utilize 100% of available memory capacity across multiple memory types with no code refactoring required, while providing new operational capabilities to memory-centric workloads. MemVerge Memory Machine Cloud Edition extends these benefits to cloud workloads, delivering memory virtualization, in-memory fault-tolerance and mobility services that organizations can easily add to their cloud infrastructure. Stateful, non-fault-tolerant, and long-running apps can now realize the promise of cloud agility and flexibility. More information on Memory Machine Cloud Edition is available here. About MemVerge MemVerge is pioneering Big Memory Computing for a multi-cloud world. Major gaps exist in today's cloud infrastructure for data-intensive high-performance applications. MemVerge® Memory Machine™ delivers software-defined, composable memory and intelligent memory service to bridge these gaps. As a software leader in the CXL ecosystem, MemVerge composable memory technology provisions, tiers, disaggregates, and pools heterogeneous memory to scale memory capacity and decrease memory cost. MemVerge ZeroIO™ in-memory snapshot services transparently checkpoint, clone, replicate, and restore running applications anytime, anywhere in a multi-cloud computing environment. Overall, Big Memory Computing technologies shorten time-to-results and are delivering unprecedented in-memory application availability and mobility for leading enterprises, research institutions and cloud service providers. MemVerge aims to democratize data-intensive compute for researchers, scientists, analysts and engineers around the world, and liberate all workloads to move in multi-cloud environments everywhere.

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VMWARE

Cybercriminals Target Linux-based Systems With Ransomware and Cryptojacking Attacks

VMware | February 09, 2022

As the most common cloud operating system, Linux is a core part of digital infrastructure and is quickly becoming an attacker’s ticket into a multi-cloud environment. Current malware countermeasures are mostly focused on addressing Windows-based threats, leaving many public and private cloud deployments vulnerable to attacks that target Linux-based workloads. VMware, Inc. released a threat report titled “Exposing Malware in Linux-based Multi-Cloud Environments.” Key findings that detail how cybercriminals are using malware to target Linux-based operating systems include: Ransomware is evolving to target Linux host images used to spin workloads in virtualized environments; 89 percent of cryptojacking attacks use XMRig-related libraries; and More than half of Cobalt Strike users may be cybercriminals, or at least using Cobalt Strike illicitly. Cybercriminals are dramatically expanding their scope and adding malware that targets Linux-based operating systems to their attack toolkit in order to maximize their impact with as little effort as possible. Rather than infecting an endpoint and then navigating to a higher value target, cybercriminals have discovered that compromising a single server can deliver the massive payoff and access they’re looking for. Attackers view both public and private clouds as high-value targets due to the access they provide to critical infrastructure services and confidential data. Unfortunately, current malware countermeasures are mostly focused on addressing Windows-based threats, leaving many public and private cloud deployments vulnerable to attacks on Linux-based operating systems.” Giovanni Vigna, senior director of threat intelligence at VMware As malware targeting Linux-based operating systems increases in both volume and complexity amid a rapidly changing threat landscape, organizations must place a greater priority on threat detection. In this report, the VMware Threat Analysis Unit (TAU) analyzed the threats to Linux-based operating systems in multi-cloud environments: ransomware, cryptominers, and remote access tools. 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Examples include the Defray777 ransomware family, which encrypted host images on ESXi servers, and the DarkSide ransomware family, which crippled Colonial Pipeline’s networks and caused a nationwide gasoline shortage in the U.S. Cryptojacking Attacks Use XMRig to Mine Monero Cybercriminals looking for an instant monetary reward often target cryptocurrencies using one of two approaches. Cybercriminals either include wallet-stealing functionality in malware or they monetize stolen CPU cycles to successfully mine cryptocurrencies in an attack called cryptojacking. Most cryptojacking attacks focus on mining the Monero currency (or XMR) and VMware TAU discovered that 89 percent of cryptominers used XMRig-related libraries. For this reason, when XMRig-specific libraries and modules in Linux binaries are identified, it is likely evidence of malicious cryptomining behavior. VMware TAU also observed that defense evasion is the most commonly used technique by cryptominers. Unfortunately, because cryptojacking attacks do not completely disrupt the operations of cloud environments like ransomware, they are much more difficult to detect. Cobalt Strike Is Attackers’ Remote Access Tool of Choice In order to gain control and persist within an environment, attackers look to install an implant on a compromised system that gives them partial control of the machine. Malware, webshells, and Remote Access Tools (RATs) can all be implants used by attackers in a compromised system to allow for remote access. One of the primary implants used by attackers is Cobalt Strike, a commercial penetration testing and red team tool, and its recent variant of Linux-based Vermilion Strike. Since Cobalt Strike is such a ubiquitous threat on Windows, the expansion out to the Linux-based operating system demonstrates the desire of threat actors to use readily available tools that target as many platforms as possible. VMware TAU discovered more than 14,000 active Cobalt Strike Team Servers on the Internet between February 2020 and November 2021. The total percentage of cracked and leaked Cobalt Strike customer IDs is 56 percent, meaning that more than half of Cobalt Strike users may be cybercriminals, or at least using Cobalt Strike illicitly. The fact that RATs like Cobalt Strike and Vermilion Strike have become a commodity tool for cybercriminals poses a significant threat to enterprises. “Since we conducted our analysis, even more ransomware families were observed gravitating to malware targeting Linux-based systems, with the potential for additional attacks that could leverage the Log4j vulnerabilities,” said Brian Baskin, manager of threat research at VMware. “The findings in this report can be used to better understand the nature of this malware and mitigate the growing threat that ransomware, cryptomining, and RATs have on multi-cloud environments. As attacks targeting the cloud continue to evolve, organizations should adopt a Zero Trust approach to embed security throughout their infrastructure and systematically address the threat vectors that make up their attack surface.” Methodology The VMware Threat Analysis Unit (TAU) helps protect customers from cyberattacks through innovation and world-class research. TAU is composed of malware analysts, reverse engineers, threat hunters, data scientists, and intelligence analysts at VMware. To understand how to detect and prevent attacks that bypass traditional, file-centric, prevention strategies, TAU focuses on techniques that were once the domain of advanced hackers and are now moving downstream into the commodity attack market. The team leverages real-time big data, event streaming processing, static, dynamic and behavioral analytics, and machine learning. TAU applied a composition of static and dynamic techniques to characterize various families of malware observed on Linux-based systems based on a curated dataset of metadata associated with Linux binaries. All the samples in this dataset are public and therefore they can be easily accessed using VirusTotal or various websites of major Linux distributions. TAU collected more than 11,000 benign samples from several Linux distributions, namely, Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Fedora, CentOS, and Kali. TAU then collected a dataset of samples for two classes of threats, namely ransomware and cryptominers. Finally, TAU collected a dataset of malicious ELF binaries from VirusTotal that were used as a test malicious dataset. TAU started collecting the dataset in June 2021 and concluded in November 2021. About VMware VMware is a leading provider of multi-cloud services for all apps, enabling digital innovation with enterprise control. As a trusted foundation to accelerate innovation, VMware software gives businesses the flexibility and choice they need to build the future. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is committed to building a better future through the company’s 2030 Agenda.

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VMWARE

OpenShift boosts DevSecOps with VMware Tanzu in its rear view

OpenShift | May 12, 2022

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Azure Maps is a portfolio of geospatial service APIs that enable developers, enterprises and ISVs to create location aware apps and solutions. Familiar REST APIs and a JavaScript Map Control help enable customers to get their products out the door quickly.

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