Credits : Gulfnews



Apple’s event on Tuesday is looking be to slightly unusual.

It will not be in California. It will not be livestreamed.

And there will be no new iPhone — unless the analysts and internet rumor mongers are wrong.

Tuesday’s event will focus instead on education and is even being held at Chicago’s Lane Tech College Prep High School.

The invitation read “Let’s take a field trip.”

Ars Technica is reporting the school has previously taken part in Apple’s Learn to Code program.

Apple is not saying anything official yet about the event, but Bloomberg is reporting that Apple will be offering both software and hardware launches that are educationally focused.

According to the Ars Technica report, this includes software that teachers can use to assign homework, monitor tests and conduct other classroom activities.

Newer, cheaper iPad?

On the hardware front, Apple is expected to launch a newer, cheaper iPad.

Bloomberg is reporting the Apple’s event may be part of an move to regain lost ground in the classroom.

Apple share of the kindergarten to Grade 12 market is only 17 percent, which is slightly behind Microsoft and massively behind Android tablets and Chromebooks, which command 60 per cent market share.

Apple’s entry level iPad price is $329.

Chromebooks can be had for half that price.

The new iPad is expected to work with the Apple pencil, although there are rumors that Apple will drop the price on that too.

The Pencil is a wireless stylus that currently retails for $99 (Dh367).

There is also the possibility of an MacBook Air update, but details are scarce on whether this is an update or a redesign.

Did we say ‘No iPhone’?

Well, most analysts are saying this is only an outside possibility — but we might see them release an iPhone SE2.

The SE is the smallest of the iPhone line, which comes with a 4-inch screen.

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Digital Geekaship, a sister company of technology  company Infoware Studios, has introduced online  development .

The courses, Introduction to Software Development Basics, and Full-stack Web Development, will offer practical, industry-aligned, software development training.

Classes will be delivered virtually via an online learning management system and online mentoring.

Tania Van Wyk De Vries, MD of Digital Geekaship, says the courses are entry-level, aimed at those wanting to embark on a career in software development.

She says Geekaship is focusing on building practical, industry-relevant, software development skills.

Incorporating their industry knowledge into the content, the facilitators who are all software developers, software engineers and development managers, designed the learning programme applying industry practices.

“Through practice and mentoring, course participants learn fundamental software engineering skills, concepts and principles used in a real-world development environment – without having to do a three-year technical degree,” adds Van Wyk De Vries.

Eighty percent of the content will have a practical focus, where candidates work through industry-relevant real-work exercises and projects and the balance on coaching and feedback from the instructors.

“We are passionate about building a skilled software development workforce in Africa that matches global standards, and will help to bridge the ICT skills gap we have in Africa,” she concludes.

Registration is open to anyone looking to start a career in software development, and the online courses are also open to corporate companies who require coaching for their junior developers.

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Oracle announced the general availability of Java SE 10 (JDK 10) this week. This release, which comes barely six months after the release of Java SE 9, is the first in the new rapid release cadence Oracle announced late last year.

The new release schedule, which the company is calling an “innovation cycle,” calls for a feature release every six months, update releases every quarter, and a long-term support (LTS) release every three years. Java 10 is a feature release that obsoletes Java 9. The next LTS release will be Java 11, expected in September. The next LTS version after that will be Java 17, scheduled for release in September 2021.

“Oracle is committed to rapidly evolving and delivering new innovations in the Java platform – this being the first in our newly adopted release cycle and licensing model,” said Georges Saab, vice president of Software Development in Oracle’s Java Platform Group. “We’re especially proud of the simplicity of this release, which introduces useful new features, removes unnecessary elements, and is easy for developers to use.”

The six-month feature release cadence is meant to reduce the latency between major releases, explained is Sharat Chander, director of Oracle’s Java SE Product Management group, said in a blog post.

“This release model takes inspiration from the release models used by other platforms and by various operating-system distributions addressing the modern application development landscape,” Chander wrote. “The pace of innovation is happening at an ever-increasing rate and this new release model will allow developers to leverage new features in production as soon as possible. Modern application development expects simple open licensing and a predictable time-based cadence, and the new release model delivers on both.”

This release comes with 12 new enhancements defined through the JDK Enhancement Proposals (JEP) process, which is Oracle’s version of the Java Specification Request (JSR) process of the JCP, including:
Local-Variable Type Inference: Enhances the Java Language to extend type inference to declarations of local variables with initializers. It introduces var to Java, something that is common in other languages.
Consolidate the JDK Forest into a Single Repository: Combine the numerous repositories of the JDK forest into a single repository to simplify and streamline development.
Garbage Collector Interface: Improves the source code isolation of different garbage collectors by introducing a clean garbage collector (GC) interface.
Parallel Full GC for G1: Improves G1 worst-case latencies by making the full GC parallel.
Application Data-Class Sharing: To improve startup and footprint, this JEP extends the existing Class-Data Sharing (“CDS”) feature to allow application classes to be placed in the shared archive.
Thread-Local Handshakes: Introduce a way to execute a callback on threads without performing a global VM safepoint. Makes it both possible and cheap to stop individual threads and not just all threads or none.
Remove the Native-Header Generator Tool: Remove the javah tool from the JDK since it has been superseded by superior functionality in javac.
Additional Unicode Language-Tag Extensions: Enhances java.util.Locale and related APIs to implement additional Unicode extensions of BCP 47 language tags.
Heap Allocation on Alternative Memory Devices: Enables the HotSpot VM to allocate the Java object heap on an alternative memory device, such as an NV-DIMM, specified by the user.
Experimental Java-Based JIT Compiler: Enables the Java-based JIT compiler, Graal, to be used as an experimental JIT compiler on the Linux/x64 platform.
Root Certificates: Provides a default set of root Certification Authority (CA) certificates in the JDK.
Time-Based Release Versioning: Revises the version-string scheme of the Java SE Platform and the JDK, and related versioning information, for present and future time-based release models.

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MySQL is gearing up for its 8th version, expected to be released in 2018. A full 28 months have passed since the first general release for MySQL 5.7.9, and there have already been five release candidates for MySQL 8, ranging from 8.0.0 to 8.0.4. These release candidates are only intended for development purposes and should not be used in production systems — they are not supported for upgrades, and users may experience data format incompatibility between release candidates and general availability versions.

The first thing a user of MySQL might notice is the jump in version numbering. This is because version 6 was dropped and version 7 is reserved for the enterprise product line. Window functions is one of the most interesting features of MySQL 8. Already present in other database engines, window functions can perform aggregations on a group of query rows, producing a result for each row. Similar to window functions, Recursive Common Table Expressions lets users perform subqueries referring to its own name without the use of cursors. This presentation explains the subject in detail.

The default character set support is also changing from latin1 to utf8mb4. utf8mb4 uses up to four bytes per character and is the character set of preference for most use cases, as it supports extended collations like utf8mb4_ja_0900_as_cs for Japanese and also, emojis. On storage side, the default storage engine will be InnoDB.

Invisible indexes allow DBAs to exclude an index from the query optimiser in order to test if this index is improving performance or not, and stage indexes before actually enabling them for users. JSON support has improved significantly, with the addition of the JSON_EXTRACT() function that can extract data from a json field based on a path query argument. JSON_ARRAYAGG() and JSON_OBJECTAGG() aggregation functions can be used to combine data into JSON arrays and objects respectively.

Finally, MySQL 8 provides flexible roles support, with create, drop and grant to roles functionality and even granting roles to roles. Limiting roles per session and specifying hosts that can use roles are all available with MySQL 8. DBAs can also get a GraphML visualisation of the roles by calling the ROLES_GRAPHML() function.

MySQL 8 was scheduled to be released in October 2017, and while 8.0.4RC was released on 23rd January 23 2018, there appears to be at least another two release candidates scheduled before the GA version rolls out.

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Guido van Rossum is one of the three honorees who become Fellows of the Computer History Museum this year. His award is for the creation and evolution of the Python programming language and for leadership of its community.

Guido van Rossum is one of the three honorees who become Fellows of the Computer History Museum this year. His award is for the creation and evolution of the Python programming language and for leadership of its community.

The Fellow Awards were established in 1987 as part of the Computer History Museum’s vision to explore the computing revolution and its impact on the human experience. They:

honor exceptional men and women whose ideas have changed the world.

Grace Hopper, creator of Cobol, was the first ever recipient and the number of Fellow Awards has reached 80 this year. Other computer language creators honored include John Backus (Fortran) Dennis Richie and Ken Thompson (C) in 1997; John McCarthy (Lisp) in 1999; Niklaus Wirth (Pascal and Modula) in 2004; Tony Hoare (Algol) in 2006 and Bjarne Stroustrup for C++ in 2015.

Guido van Rossum (Python) joins the line up for 2018.

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Credits : Internetofthingsagenda.techtarget


Businesses and organizations today are always on the lookout for new tech that uplifts excellence, but is cost-effective. Software or apps that are Java-based help companies realize these values.

Java is an open source, platform independent and most preferable technology, as well as global standard, for implementing every kind of app, including web-based, client-server, cloud, mobile and enterprise. Organizations are adopting Java app development to drive innovation, lower costs and boost services.

The rise of the internet of things
The internet of things and the rise of M2M ecosystems are in the process of converging with big data and cloud computing, which requires a seamless platform that runs from the device to the data center with Java. Oracle offers a secure, comprehensive, integrated platform for the whole IoT architecture across all vertical markets, with key features that include:

Faster market time
Real-time response capabilities for millions of devices
IT systems integration
End-to-end security
Worldwide, coordinated partner ecosystem
End-to-end compatibility, as well as lifecycle management
Java, the go-to language for the internet of things
Java remains the number one choice among developers and is the leading development platform in the world, with millions of Java developers worldwide. It’s the go-to language for IoT apps. According to Oracle, one of the biggest perks of Java is the robustness of the app code. While C makes use of explicit pointers to reference memory, all object references in Java are implicit pointers that could not be manipulated by app code. This rules out potential concerns automatically, such as memory access violations, which could inevitably cause an app to stop suddenly.

Developers choose Java for IoT gateways
A recent survey suggests that Java is gaining strength for developing embedded IoT apps. Java programmers are often using the programming language for IoT gateways. The data makes clear that a huge percentage of Java developers are working on IoT or planning to work on or partner for IoT efforts.

The Java programming software was designed to be easy to use and thus easy to write, compile, debug and learn compared to other programming languages. This helps in creating modular programs, as well as reusable code. One of the most significant benefits of the Java language is its ability to move easily from computer system to computer system.

Top reasons to use Java in embedded apps
It makes use of the extensive library of standard APIs. Java SE7 has almost 4,000 standard APIs, which can be used for anything from networking to concurrency. What this means is that one already has almost everything needed written already and there is no need for minimal rewrites to make the applications work.
To be platform independent. Java enables writing one and running apps on any other application. This means that one could use it on desktops and embedded systems, with no worries on platforms or devices where it’s going to run. Furthermore, even if porting the app to a later Java version, all it takes is to recompile the code.
It avoids segmentation fault. Java is one very robust app programming language. Unlike C or C++, Java uses implicit pointers for all object references, which helps avoid buffer overruns, violations of memory access and other possible problems that could cause the app to hang or stop. Java, in effect, can help avoid a whole lot of headaches.
The language is low maintenance. Java can be run with only 64 MB of RAM on a machine that runs Windows XP. Embedded machines have better specifications, meaning that Java applications could run on these systems efficiently. As a matter of fact, the Java ME Embedded from Oracle runs on systems with just 130 KB of RAM and 350 KB of ROM.
To forget the small things. The Java virtual machine can deal automatically with memory management, so there is no need to keep track of object references or reallocate memory manually. Ultimately, one could avoid memory leaks. The Java virtual machine can also handle concurrency support.
To deploy applications anywhere, easily. Embedded systems are not the same as desktop computers as typically they do not have screens or displays. Java enables using a desktop or laptop computer for developing the app and then deploying it somewhere else. One could compile the code anywhere, with no need to write complex cross-compilation codes. Furthermore, one could use remote debugging to work out errors in the deployed applications.
To become more productive with Java. Working with Java allows one to have the best tools in the market. One can use Eclipse or NetBeans to make writing code not just easier, but faster as well. One could have code automatically completed and the syntax could be checked instinctively even before one finishes typing it out. With no need to rely on text editors , one could cut development time drastically.
Java is everywhere. Java can be used anywhere, and it is everywhere — from device to data center. The embedded system would be networked to other embedded systems and a data center where the data that it gathers can be analyzed, compiled and then searched. The great news is that enterprise-level apps are also written using the Java platform.
Why Java is needed for IoT
Java is a platform that offers network portability. It’s also one of the few programming languages that developers can easily learn. These two aspects merge to make Java the perfect program to help devices connect. Almost all devices, from personal computers to mobile phones, use Java. It’s an integral part of the internet world, making it a great choice for the internet of things. It offers every device the best functionality level and gives it a high security level, as well as a good amount of scalability in the industry.

Java developers and programmers are working on developing innovative IoT applications, which help in achieving the goal of a connected world. Java programmers jobs are plentiful, thus there is always room for more talent to join.

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Java is still one of the most popular coding languages for developers, but drops in the job market and slow growth mean it may need to evolve for use cases like machine learning and IoT.

Java may be ready for a new beginning after spending the past two decades as a general purpose programming language mainstay. While it remains one of the most popular programming languages in use today, its demand in the enterprise has diminished in recent years, and other languages are beginning to outpace it in terms of growth.

Java decreased in popularity by about 6,000 job postings going into 2018 compared to going into 2017, according to an analysis from Coding Dojo. In Q1 2018, it remained the no. 2 most popular programming language behind JavaScript, according to RedMonk, but Swift and Kotlin were growing the most rapidly.

“Java is at a bit of a crossroads,” said Forrester vice president and principal analyst Jeffrey Hammond. While it’s still one of the five most popular programming languages used by developers, a push toward microservice-based architectures are making alternatives like Node.js or Go appealing, he added.

SEE: Job description: Java developer (Tech Pro Research)

Java is used most often in cloud computing, data science work, web development, and app development, said Karen Panetta, IEEE fellow and dean of graduate engineering at Tufts University.

“I still see it evolving, and very popular,” Panetta said. While languages such as Python are growing as well, Java is adapting to the increasing number of deep learning and machine learning workloads. “There’s becoming a lot of libraries out there that are compatible for deep learning,” Panetta said. “I think the fact that we keep talking about cloud computing and all of those things, that Java is still going to be the dominant player.”

Java also has built in more security options than Python, so it’s a good option for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, Panetta said.

Java has a foothold everywhere, and large user groups and libraries already written, making it a natural pathway for machine learning, Panetta said. “It’s evolving to meet the needs,” she added. “It’s always been valuable because of its cross-platform functionality. But now it’s becoming even more valuable because it’s also built up this repository of really solid usable free software that’s out there. So you can jump into any big, giant project you want because most of it’s already written for you. You just put the pieces together.”

Indeed, if you search GitHub for “machine learning,” you’ll find 2,915 Java repository results.

SEE: IT Hiring Kit: Programmer (Tech Pro Research)

The future of Java
Java should be one of the first three languages new developers learn, Hammond said. The others might include JavaScript, C, C#, or even Racket, which is what MIT uses in its intro to computer science courses, he added.

“Java is one of the best examples of a classic object-oriented static language,” Hammond said. “Knowing both the strengths and weaknesses of a static languages versus a dynamic language like JavaScript is very useful for aspiring developers.”

And despite drops in job postings, Java is also still one of the top languages businesses look for when hiring developers, Panetta said. “Businesses are recognizing they need to move into deep learning and artificial intelligence, and Java is the key language they are using right now to do that,” Panetta said. Java was the language that saw the biggest rise in demand from businesses in the UK and Ireland during the second half of 2017, according to Stack Overflow.
In the future, Java will likely continue to be used as the basis for infrastructure and microservice development, Hammond said. It will also likely move to the cloud, along with most workloads.

“I think you’ll continue to see new developers learn Java, but I think that it will also have to really continue to focus on coexistence with other programming languages and technologies as they continue to grow as well,” Hammond said. “The most important thing is that Java is changing, and it’s starting to pick up innovation speed again.”

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JavaFX, Oracle’s 10-year-old rich client development technology for Java, will be decoupled from the Java Development Kit (JDK) and broken out into its own separate module.

Making JavaFX its own module will make it easier to adopt and clear the way for new contributors, Oracle said. The company added that with the faster release schedule being implemented for standard Java and the JDK, JavaFX needs to be on its own pace driven by contributions from Oracle and others in the OpenJFX community.
JavaFX will be removed from the Java JDK as of JDK 11, which is due in September 2018. It is bundled in the current JDK 9 and will remain in JDK 10, due this spring. Commercial support for JavaFX in JDK 8 will continue through at least 2022. Featuring a set of packages for graphics and media, JavaFX has been part of the JDK download since 2012.

JavaFX was introduced in May 2007 by Java founder Sun Microsystems in an attempt to bring Java to the forefront of rich client development for desktops and mobile devices, competing with Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight. Oracle took control when it acquired Sun in 2010. The technology, which was open-sourced in 2011, has maintained a following but never really took the industry by storm. Like Silverlight and Flash Player, JavaFX receded to the background as developers looked to more standards-based technologies, particularly HTML5, to deliver rich internet applications.

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The open source database company MariaDB is aggressively courting Oracle customers, offering more portability and ease of migration to help enterprises make the switch.

The open source database company MariaDB is aggressively courting Oracle customers, offering more portability and ease of migration to help enterprises make the switch.

MariaDB was developed by some of the original developers of the MySQL relational database, including Michael “Monty” Widenius, who jumped ship after MySQL was acquired by Oracle. It has always been developed as an open source ‘drop in’ replacement for MySQL.

Michael Howard, who worked at Oracle for four years between 1996-2000, has been CEO of MariaDB since December 2015.

Speaking on stage at MariaDB’s M18 user conference in New York last week, Howard acknowledged his experience in the proprietary technology world, and admitted that “it’s hard to change. Resistance is everywhere, inside or outside the organisation. The very complexity of migrating, the physical reality of them, the mastering of skills, the establishment of processes and the fear of mystery of the unknown.”

“If you do not change, you will be beholden to a company who doesn’t have your best interests in mind. I know this, I was there. You will pay 10 times more for that privilege,” he said.

Speaking to Computerworld UK, Howard added: “When we’re talking to Oracle customers, they’ve already made the decision to switch. We don’t go into a customer site to compete mano-a-mano on features; rather, there is a predisposition to change, and it usually begins with decisions regarding infrastructure, which for the most part, are based on open source or commodity technologies.

“For us, there are two important parts of the Oracle marketplace – the MySQL base and the Oracle Enterprise base. Typically, Oracle customers transition from MySQL to MariaDB first then they start addressing their proprietary and more complex environments as the conversation continues.”

He does, however, admit that certain customers still have doubts about open source.

“There is always skepticism when a company has never used open source, although that is more of an exception than a rule these days,” he said. “If you were to partition the world into those that embrace open source and those that are skeptical about it – it’s probably somewhere in the 95 percent range that wholeheartedly embrace it.

“For those companies, there are new things to be learned such as contracts that are different from proprietary models and the way in which companies relate to one another, which is collaborative versus being dictated to.”


MariaDB has recently been buoyed by a $54 million funding round which included Alibaba and the European Investment Bank.

Howard said during his keynote: “With these resources comes bigger expectations, we have to make it easier for global enterprises to be able to easily change and migrate.”

Ease of migration to MariaDB will always be a vital part of the company’s plans for growth, but Howard also spoke about “creating momentum” and “solving hard problems”. That last point links nicely with the announcement the company made on Monday that it was investing in a new set of labs with the aim of solving some of the industry’s hardest problems.

Read next: MariaDB launches innovation labs

Speaking about the latest release of MariaDB Server, version 10.3, Howard said it is vital the company continues to provide “portability and familiarity in terms of code, but also portability and familiarity in terms of skill sets.”

Channelling his inner Alanis Morissette, he added: “Isn’t it ironic that MariaDB is offering an Oracle compatibility layer when MySQL, a part of Oracle, doesn’t?

“Isn’t it ironic that Oracle Enterprise, MySQL’s bigger brother, provides data warehousing yet it is MariaDB that is delivering it to you, this community? They don’t want you to succeed with MySQL, they certainly don’t want MySQL to cannibalise things like Exadata.”

Autonomous database

Oracle, for its part, is focusing on machine learning and automation to help it hold off these new open source competitors. The company announced a new ‘self-driving’ database at its OpenWorld conference late last year, promising the “world’s first autonomous database”.

Howard isn’t concerned though. “It’s going to be more difficult for Oracle to fulfill the requirements of an autonomous database due to the severe complexity of the Oracle environment,” he said. “An autonomous database cannot exist if there are literally thousands of bugs that exist and even if the most qualified people have a hard time using it.

“I adore the notion of an autonomous database and I truly believe that MariaDB has a much better place to start than Oracle to live up to that expectation.”

What the customers say

Howard spoke about how the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) has been “forklifting out Oracle Enterprise and moving transactional environments to MariaDB and they were the ones who collaborated and motivated us to build an Oracle compatibility layer.”

The bank has already moved 54 percent of critical applications to MariaDB and wants to run primarily on MariaDB by the middle of 2019. The bank is set to save $4.1 million in net savings over five years after initial investment by moving to the open source rival.

When Computerworld UK spoke to Peng Khim, head of technology and digital innovation at DBS, he explained that the bank had tried to move to a more scalable version of Oracle Enterprise but that it “doesn’t work” due to the development effort required and cost constraints of licences.

Similarly, US financial services company Financial Network spoke at M18 about the limitations of Oracle RAC for smaller, fast-growing organisations.

William Wood, director of database architecture at Financial Network, said: “Your Oracle licence is based by processor. That’s not very scalable from an economic, fiscal standpoint.”

“We can’t afford to upgrade hardware because we go from a quad-core processor to the latest and greatest that has 96 cores in a single CPU,” he said. “Can you imagine the cost of that at $47,500 per core? That is a big chunk of money.

“It’s astronomical just to get that licence. Then once you’re licensed you’re hit every year after for support and if you want to expand then you’re hit with more licensing, and some very interesting sales strategies.

“We are a small company, if we had to keep investing in Oracle we would eventually probably go out of business.”

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Credits : Newburghgazette


The announcement also marks the introduction of the first joint solution following McAfee’s acquisition of Cloud data security company Skyhigh Networks in November a year ago. Cybersecurity firm McAfee on Wednesday announced that its Cloud Security Platform will now protect Microsoft Azure and claimed to deliver the industry’s most extensive solution to secure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) computing. Skyhigh now is part of McAfee’s cloud security business unit. Anand Ramanathan, McAfee’s vice president of product development, tells Channel Partners the latest security service for Azure creates “tremendous new opportunities” for McAfee’s partners. McAfee’s partners work with large multinational enterprises who have complex architectures in Azure. And these very customers will require a comprehensive cloud security solution to help them fulfill their end of cloud security’s shared responsibility model. McAfee’s solution is created to indicate security misconfigurations, with the ability to track “60 Azure security configurations across all Azure services”, according to McAfee. There are multiple aspects in securing cloud infrastructure that includes securing applications, users, hosts, storage and networks, Ramanathan said. CASBs are also used to control data access and prevent the uploading of sensitive data. This solution is created to check for threats in virtualized infrastructure and block them. These workloads are typically mission critical, and Microsoft’s service updates are aimed at making it easier to run them in Azure, which could motivate more customers to move their applications onto the tech titan’s cloud. Microsoft Corp. today announced a slew of new services and updates to its Azure public cloud platform created to make it easier for users to migrate database workloads to its cloud data centers. “The Azure cloud ensures we are best placed to make this happen and offer our customers robust technology on a secure and proven platform”. The McAfee Cloud Workload Security product became available for use with Azure earlier this year. “One of the biggest challenges for enterprise security teams today is that they’re using so many different cloud environments”, Gupta said. “At the same time, the adoption of cloud allows organizations to transform their business”. “We’re extending numerous security controls we have for AWS to Azure”, Rajiv Gupta, senior vice president of McAfee’s cloud security business unit and former CEO of Skyhigh, told SearchSecurity.

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