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VMware expands Security Alliance

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At last week’s VMworld 2017 Europe the company expanded its Mobile Security Alliance (MSA) with the addition of new partners and the protection of a variety of new categories.

At VMworld 2017 Europe last week, VMware announced an expansion of its Mobile Security Alliance (MSA). The MSA is a broad ecosystem of security vendors, deeply integrated with the VMware Workspace ONE digital workspace platform, that provides a connected, comprehensive approach to securing all aspects of the digital workspace.

Workspace ONE provides purpose-built application programming interfaces (APIs) for the security ecosystem to integrate with the platform. With security solutions from MSA partners and Workspace ONE, customers benefit from a modern security platform that protects against targeted threats across devices, users, apps, and data; both in the cloud and on-premises.

VMware established the MSA to bridge the gaps between existing legacy security tools and provide a foundational platform for securing all mobile endpoints across an enterprise. At inception in 2015, the MSA consisted of 10 trusted security partners across four categories including endpoint, application, cloud, and network security. As the number of security attacks increases, so does the breadth of the MSA ecosystem. The addition of Bay Dynamics, CipherCloud, Entrust Datacard Corporation, Gurucul, Intercede, and Kaymera to the alliance brings the total number of partners to 23 across six categories, including two new categories – authentication and analytics.

“Security attack vectors are growing as the number of endpoint platforms, apps, and user types steadily increase,” explained Sumit Dhawan, senior vice president and general manager, End-User Computing, VMware. “Organizations must adopt a new approach that is first and foremost powered by an inherently-secure infrastructure, and secondly includes a deeply-integrated ecosystem to stitch together existing security silos, providing visibility across all users, apps, and devices. The Mobile Security Alliance provides customers with a way to manage and gain visibility across several of their security solutions from a single platform – VMware Workspace ONE.”

Workspace ONE is the core platform for a modern security architecture with application and device security essentials natively built-in. The solution bridges advanced, third-party security technologies together so customers can benefit from:

·       Broad ecosystem interoperability: By using Workspace ONE, organizations can use a single solution for deploying device management and other third-party security agents and network profiles. This allows customers to choose their security partners that meet their organization’s unique needs and secure all endpoint platforms across the enterprise. Additionally, leveraging trusted data and shared insights from MSA partners, integrated into Workspace ONE, can help customers take the next step on detection and remediation of security threats.

·       Build on top of existing security investments: Customers do not need to ‘rip and replace’ their various security solutions in order to implement Workspace ONE. Workspace ONE can unify a customer’s security ecosystem by pulling solutions from MSA partners together into a comprehensive security strategy.

·       Address data security gaps: As customers prepare for new compliance requirements, such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), they will need to address data security gaps. Workspace ONE, with integrations from MSA partners, features security and data protection capabilities that provide policy creation and enforcement of role-based access to data, apply identity verification and management, and enable device or end-user data deletion.

Customers can take immediate advantage of the integration between Workspace ONE and the solutions from the new MSA partners. Workspace ONE, combined with Intercede or Entrust Datacard, can enable government customers to move away from physical smart cards to mobile devices for authentication and secure access to critical data and applications. Gurucul and Bay Dynamics can help customers make better application access decisions based on risk scores delivered through Workspace ONE. Integration with Kaymera can enable customers to take advantage of advanced mobile threat detection capabilities with subsequent policy enforcement and remediation via Workspace ONE. Lastly, CipherCloud and Workspace ONE customers can gain new visibility across their cloud services, enabling sophisticated access control and policy enforcement.

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Low-cost wireless sport earphones get a kickstart

Wireless earphone brands are common, but not crowdfunded brands. BRYAN TURNER takes the K Sport Wireless for a run.

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As wireless technology becomes better, Bluetooth earphones have become popular in the consumer market. KuaiFit aspires to make them even more accessible to more people through a cheaper, quality product, by selling the K Sport Wireless Earphones directly from its Kickstarter page

KuaiFit has an app by the same name which offers voice-guided personal training services in almost every type of exercise, from cardio to weight-lifting. A vast range of connectivity to third-party sensors is available, like heart rate sensors and GPS devices, which work well with guided coaching. 

The app starts off with selecting a fitness level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Thereafter, one has the ability to connect with real personal trainers via a subscription to its paid service. The subscription comes free for 6 months with the earphones, and R30 per month thereafter. 

The box includes a manual, a USB to two USB Type B connectors, different sized soft plastic eartips and the two earphone units. Each earphone is wireless and connects to the other independently of wires. This puts the K Sport Wireless in the realm of the Apple Earpods in terms of connection style. 

The earphones are just over 2cm wide and 2cm high. The set is black with a light blue KuaiFit logo on the earphone’s button. 

The button functions as an on/off switch when long-pressed and a play/pause button when quick-pressed. The dual-button set-up is convenient in everyday use, allowing for playback control depending on which hand is free. Two connectivity modes are available, single earphone mode or dual earphone mode. The dual earphone mode intelligently connects the second earphone and syncs stereo audio a few seconds after powering on. 

In terms of connectivity, the earphones are Bluetooth 4.1 with a massive 10-meter range, provided there are no obstacles between the device and the earphones. While it’s not Bluetooth 5, it still falls into the Bluetooth Low Energy connection category, meaning that the smartphone’s battery won’t be drastically affected by a consistent connection to the earphones. The batteries within the earphones aren’t specifically listed but last anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the mode. 

Audio quality is surprisingly good for earphones at this price point. The headset style is restricted to in-ear due to its small design and probable usage in movement-intensive activities. As a result, one has to be very careful how one puts these earphones, in because bass has the potential of getting reduced from an incorrect in-ear placement. In-ear earphones are usually notorious for ear discomfort and suction pain after extended usage. These earphones are one of the very few in this price range that are comfortable and don’t cause discomfort. The good quality of the soft plastic ear tip is definitely a factor in the high level of comfort of the in-ear earphone experience.

Overall, the K Sport Wireless earphones are great considering the sound quality and the low price: US$30 on Kickstarter.

Find them on Kickstarter here.

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Taxify enters Google Maps

A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.

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People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.

Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.

Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.

If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.

This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.

“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.

Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.

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