Scientist and renaissance man, Jaron Lanier is best known for his work in Virtual Reality. His startup VPL Research created the first commercial VR products. Lanier shares why he is worried the present Internet may be destroying societies, democracies, and economies.
Team collaboration vendor Symphony added online meetings to its iOS app and plans to bring the feature to Android devices this summer. Symphony is late to launch mobile meetings, but security and regulatory compliance could set the product apart.
The Symphony app for Apple mobile devices supports one-to-one and group audio and video calls, with screen-sharing. With one click, users can start a meeting in a virtual room that any member of a group messaging channel can join.
Symphony has found a niche as an alternative to Slack among banks and other companies in regulated industries. The 5-year-old company said J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America are among the 405 businesses that use its service.
The Symphony app on desktop and mobile offers meeting compliance controls — for example, preventing two employees from joining the same call if they work in divisions that shouldn’t interact.
Primarily a messaging platform, Symphony doesn’t appear poised to position itself as a web conferencing vendor, such as Zoom or Cisco Webex, said Raúl Castañón-Martínez, analyst at 451 Research.
“The new features will enable workers to escalate from messaging to conferencing without switching to a different app, while keeping the conversation within a secure environment, which is what they’re known for,” Castañón-Martínez said.
Symphony app plans MDM, calendar integrations
Symphony’s mobile app integrates with standards-based mobile device management (MDM) products from BlackBerry, MobileIron and other vendors. That software helps businesses manage employee mobile devices by enforcing password rules and limiting app downloads, among other controls.
Symphony’s meetings feature on mobile is not connected to MDM software. The vendor said it would update its mobile apps as soon as this year to let meetings data flow through MDM software from BlackBerry and MobileIron.
Symphony is also working to integrate its mobile app with Microsoft Intune.
The vendor plans to increase the number of possible meeting participants. The current limit is 25, but Symphony will double that as soon as this month and later plans to increase the capacity to more than 100.
Symphony is working to sync its meetings calendar with Microsoft Exchange, potentially as soon as the third quarter of this year. The link will let users schedule and join Symphony meetings from Outlook.
Microsoft is bringing Windows Defender ATP to Mac OS devices. The company is renaming its endpoint security platform to Microsoft Defender ATP, to reflect the extension to Mac systems.
In addition, Microsoft is adding Threat and Vulnerability Management (TVM) functionality to Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection. These new features evaluate the risk level of threats and vulnerabilities based on detections from Microsoft Defender ATP.
“There’s long been a general misperception that Macs are ‘safe’ because they haven’t been widely targeted by commodity malware,” said Josh Zelonis, senior analyst for security and risk professionals at Forrester Research. “This is more a property of the threat model than a statement about the quality of the Mac OS, and we’re now hearing more and more about campaigns targeting Mac OS.”
Windows operating systems account for about 75% of the market share, and Mac OS holds only about 12%, according to StatCounter. It does not make sense for hackers to run a broad campaign specifically targeting Mac OS because of the large shares that Windows has in the market, Zelonis said.
Microsoft closed the Defender ATP for Mac limited preview on April 1, and will open the preview to the public later in the month. It will include endpoint detection and response, as well as TVM capabilities.
Microsoft Defender ATP Mac OS and TVM are a part of the Microsoft 365 revamp. New features include: Windows Virtual Desktop, which is now in public preview; Microsoft Teams app addition to Office 365 ProPlus; ease of Windows 10 feature updates for deployment, Configuration Manager and Microsoft Intune enhancements; and Microsoft 365 admin center.