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The enterprise of things is not secure!

There is a lot of talk about how IoT will alter the way consumers interact and how businesses will function. But the truth is, most activity to date has been around IoT (consumer) and not EoT (enterprise). EoT is different. Companies deploying EoT must concentrate on devices that are in place for long duration (seven to 10 years) and not consumer-level throwaways. They must also be manageable, like other corporate technology assets, and many devices will have user interfaces of some sort requiring organizations to have an extended endpoint app strategy. All of these issues are important and require careful planning. But perhaps the biggest challenge will be in securing the devices and their interactions with back-end corporate systems.

Many organizations have deployed some level of “things” into their operations. Indeed, I estimate that as many as 75% to 80% of enterprises already have some form of devices deployed. Yet, I also estimate that no more than 10% to 15% of these “things” would meet acceptable standards of corporate security if they were typical enterprise-grade devices (e.g., smartphones, PCs or even server assets). This is a major problem as with such limited security, it’s relatively easy for hacks of devices to be initiated — and with potentially disastrous consequences. If a PC is hacked and crashes, it’s annoying. If an EoT device gets hacked and crashes, physical property and or persons are at risk.

In this short article, it’s impossible to talk about all of the issues regarding security in EoT. It requires a concerted effort to secure the things at the hardware level first (many of which are built on old and potentially insecure technology). But it’s also important to have a network infrastructure for these devices that can monitor and remediate any potential threats. And it’s equally important that proper management tools be implemented that can properly deploy, monitor and control these devices (similar to what’s done today for smartphones and PCs).

A useful model to look at for working with EoT, though not totally the same, would be the mobile environment where in the early days, the proliferation of smartphones was essentially equivalent to anarchy. There was little management and a minimal level of security. In fact, corporate IT was often not even involved. It took several years for the security and management of these devices to catch up to the level required in the enterprise. The good news is that using the smartphone as a model, the amount of time and effort to secure EoT can be much shorter. Indeed, several of the mobile security and management companies are already moving down the EoT path with a unified management approach (e.g., BlackBerry and Citrix), and this will benefit organizations in the short term.

There is much more to say about this and in subsequent articles, I’ll discuss more specifics. But for now, enterprises should be putting a strategy in place that deals with the inherent insecurity of the many devices now being put in place, and the plethora of devices that will appear in the next two to three years. If you don’t, it’s certain you’ll pay a significant price.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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Are you finding it difficult to use the My VMware portal?
The new portal is terrible, slow and cumbersome. I have made several complaints to support staff.
Convoluted and difficult to navigate...
Was nice when I was made "master" over all the vmware licenses in my company -- which I'm not the master and now can't get rid of the licenses that don't belong to me.
My company name is a very common one, so I have several users that do not even belong to my company. This also means I have access to several folders that belong to the other company.

I opened a support case and all they did was send me links to online tutorials. I am still fighting it.
While it's not as intuitive as it could be, I don't find it that hard to use. Use the menu to navigate, not your back button seems to help as well...
The conversion really screwed up our account. There are a number of completely separate businesses with very similar names and these accounts got merged with ours. It took almost 2 months to get it straightened out.
"The conversion really screwed up our account...."

We're having the same problem. We cannot determine which licenses/contracts belong to us.
I agree that an export for all licenses is needed. Doing screen shots of the many license folders is a pain!!
Finding license no, service request etc.
Complete lack of any HCI design.
simplify, to simplify
sometimes a pain. But it has to be said, in one case i had to transfer licenses, went very smooth thanks to the licensing support desk of VMware.
Thank you very much for posting this article, Mike. We at VMware are very interested in the thoughts, perspectives and feedback from our users, so an article like this helps us understand frustrations that people using My VMware may have. We welcome all feedback, so if there others out there that share these perspectives and have other input, we would like to hear from you.

Since My VMware went live back in April, we've been actively working on improving the experience. We are paying close attention to the survey data that comes in, as well as feedback that we get from customers directly and in-indirectly through our support channels.

There's good news for My VMware users. We are well aware of the issues that Mike talks about in this article. We are working with customers to evaluate possible solutions and help move the needle in the right direction.

Last comment – we all couldn't agree more with the statement that "The overall requisite should be to 'keep it simple, stupid' and make the lives of your customers easier, not harder. If your account portal site requires training just to use, you’re doing something wrong."
A fixed-size GUI built for low resolution tablet devices is a HORRIBLE way to manage a large number of licenses. Seriously - how hard would it be to autoscale? At least in the Y direction.

And only being allowed to select a single key when doing maintenance? Again, once you get a decent number of licenses in there it is a major hassle to reorganize them. You get a 3-step wizard per line, and once you complete moving one key you are back to the general overview - any filters you might have set are gone.

All in all a huge step backward compared to the old portal, which is saying something!
I'm just a single user with a few licenses, but for some reason my "My VMware" portal has three accounts, none of which has any licenses attached. I didn't worry about it (since I have my licenses in local text files), but it bit me - and VMware - when I tried to buy an upgrade to Workstation 9 during a recent 30% off promotion.

I had no ability to give VMware my paltry $83 for the upgrade. Talking to both sales and tech support on the phone for a couple hours wasn't any help.

Guess I'll just have to stick with VMware Workstation 7.
Update from the My VMware team: Thank you to all who have shared your insights, frustrations and suggestions regarding the My VMware site. We actively solicit and review feedback so we can continually improve the My VMware user experience. Here is a summary of some improvements we made a couple of months ago, as well as a sneak peek of additional functionality we are implementing in the very near future – all based on user input.
The November My VMware update release included the following improvements:
• Added “right click” menus to streamline access to frequent tasks
• Changed “gear” icons to the word “actions” plus a dropdown menu to make menus more visible
• Made the license key notes visible by default and added ability to filter on note keywords
• Provided context during License Key actions so you can see which product you are working with
• Made the currently selected account more visible so you can easily switch between accounts
• Streamlined the product download process when purchasing from our online store
For more information on the November release, visit:
The next release of My VMware will include:
• Reporting functionality so you can run reports on Licensing and User Permissions information, as well as the ability to "export to CSV" format
• "Liquid layout" so users with larger resolutions and displays can obtain more effective and usable real estate to work with
• Ability for Super Users to set the permissions for new users at the time they are added – no need to wait for the invitation to be accepted before setting permissions
• Ability to "bulk move" a range of licenses from one folder to another more efficiently
• System-generated alerts to Folder Managers or Super Users for permission/access requests, and the ability to "remove" yourself from an Account if desired
• Notification of future changes – users will be notified of upcoming My VMware changes before they occur

We’re excited about these new enhancements, and hope you will be, too. Please keep the feedback coming. We value your input so we can continue enhancing My VMware to meet your needs.