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  • One in five Android-device users may be at risk of a malware attack, according to a study conducted by Kaspersky Lab in collaboration with Interpol. At the greatest risk are Android users in Russia who often pay for online services and content using Short Message Service, making them attractive targets for cyber-criminals. But Kasperksy's "Mobile Cyber-Threats" study, based on data collected from August 2013 to July 2014, shows that users of Android devices in the United States were also at risk of attacks, but to a lesser degree than those in other countries. "While security solutions are a must, criminals will always find other victims and devices that are not so well protected," said John Murdock, vice president of channel sales for Kaspersky. "We expect to continue to see not only individual cyber-criminals targeting the Android platform, but organized criminal groups, as well. The only thing that can stop them is wider adoption of security solutions to make it harder for them to attack and the involvement of law-enforcement organizations." Study results were tabulated using Kaspersky's cloud-based Security Network, which includes more than 5 million users of Android-based devices. Here are key takeaways from the study.

  • This week's briefs include Tech Data's cloud-focused education and enablement program, CompTIA's free IT security assessment tool and more news.

  • A new survey finds that half of information security and network operations professionals polled admitted they have little confidence in the controls put in place by managed security service providers. As troubled as these tech pros may seem, however, nearly two-thirds said that manual processes limit their security visibility, which results in poor change-management processes when it comes to security, according to the survey, conducted by firewall management software specialist AlgoSec. One challenge they all face is that they are running more business-critical applications in their data centers than ever—which, in turn, increases the footprint of the IT environment they are trying to secure. In addition, three-quarters of them report they are not making use of the cloud to host some of those applications to one degree or another. The trouble is that about a third are unsure about how to go about securing those clouds. As troubling as all this may be, however, it also suggests there is a significant security opportunity for solution providers in the channel that can clearly demonstrate they know what they're doing.

  • NEWS ANALYSIS: The upcoming Apple Pay NFC system will complement, not disrupt, the current card and mobile ecosystem by using current infrastructure.

  • This week's briefs include Westcon Group's acquisition of Verecloud, ANPI's new customer lifecycle platform and expanded partner network, and more news.

  • Hewlett-Packard unveiled new print management and security offerings to help businesses safeguard their IT environments and prevent security breaches.

  • Mergers and acquisitions in the tech sector mirror the transitions companies undergo as they address industry advances. A new report from Ernst & Young illustrates the frenzied pace M&As in the IT space grew in the second quarter—and reflects the industry's increasing focus on the cloud, mobility and big data. "Cloud/SaaS [software-as-a-service] technology was a key enabler for a broad spectrum of deals, and many had security or big data analytics aspects or both," the report said. "The volume of deals targeting those three technologies all increased" rapidly as companies added to their arsenals of new technologies. Yet, even in the enterprise IT arena, the acquisitions of Micros Systems by Oracle and Fusion-io by Sandisk show continued M&A moves by traditional IT vendors. Although the valuation of tech deals in the second quarter dropped 21 percent from the prior quarter, Ernst & Young noted that, overall, for the first half of 2014, the valuations of M&As were still 70 percent higher than a year ago. Year-over-year valuations of IT M&As rose 57 percent for the quarter. Only a dozen deals were valued at $1 billion or more for the quarter. Channel Insider examines key trends and examples of deals outlined in the report.

  • Both line-of-business and IT professionals see benefits in bring-your-own-identity (BYOID) initiatives, in which social networking or digital IDs are used for application log in, according to a joint study conducted by the Ponemon Institute and CA Technologies. The 3,115 IT and business professionals surveyed for the report also agreed that more security is needed to increase BYOID adoption. Although the report, "The Identity Imperative for the Open Enterprise 2014," finds that BYOID deployment using social IDs is still in the early stages, interest is high. Both IT and business users agreed that an important reason for BYOID adoption was to achieve stronger identity credentials. However, business users cited capturing attributes about users as the biggest benefit. This indicates that identity is now considered a value asset that can provide data, drive incremental revenue and help maintain customers, according to the report. Here is a look at the survey's top findings that indicate the benefits that BYOID can offer to both line-of-business and IT teams.

  • NEWS ANALYSIS: Many IT organizations are desperate to leverage identity access management services in the cloud to help regain control of their environments.