Yesterday, we started our annual look back at the news, events, happenings, and fun stuff here at Devolutions in 2023. Today, we resume our journey, exploring July through December.
We kicked off the second half of 2023 with a major announcement: we welcomed ITmanager.net as a technology partner! Founded in 2009, ITmanager.net is a pioneering mobile-first RMM software company. We’ve spent the last several months working with their incredible leadership team to enhance Devolutions’ mobile app capabilities. We will continue these efforts throughout 2024, and we have plenty of more good news on the horizon. Stay tuned!
Also in July, Matthieu, a certified OSCP security specialist here at Devolutions, explored the improvements in CVSS version 4.0, which is the next generation of the Common Vulnerability Scoring System standard. Matthieu focused on how CVSS version 4.0 provides better accuracy, granularity, and flexibility when assessing the severity of a vulnerability. He also highlighted the effects of these enhancements on our security practices.
Our IT specialist Adam continued his popular comparison series with “RDP Management Showdown: MobaXterm vs. Devolutions RDM.” Adam assessed each respective solution in five key areas: protocol support, RDP support, connection organization, cross-platform support, and security features. He concluded that while MobaXterm can be used as a basic remote connection organization client, unlike RDM it is fundamentally not suitable for individuals and teams that require comprehensive connection organization and security features.
We also had the opportunity in July to do something we love around here: telling customer stories! This one featured HES-SO//Fribourg (University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland // Fribourg) and discussed the key reasons why the organization selected Remote Desktop Manager + Devolutions Server: user-friendliness; simple implementation; the ability to manage passwords without prior training; the ease of launching remote sessions; the capacity to access passwords in a single, centralized location; and the ability to establish robust, all-in-one privileged account and session management platform and infrastructure.
Later in July, Max, our fantastic VP of Sales and Marketing and one of Devolutions’ earliest employees (a.k.a. “pre-beard Max”), looked at 7 IT security best practices for supporting remote workers. Max’s timely advice included installing remote desktop management software, establishing complete network visibility, using a secure file-sharing system, addressing shadow IT, and more. It’s a must-read for any company with remote workers, who in the last few years have become a major target for hackers.
July 28 was an important date on the Geekian Calendar: SysAdmin Appreciation Day! We marked this sacred occasion with a special sale honoring the release of Wave 5 of the Mario Kart™ 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass. Plus, in keeping with this gaming theme, we put together a list of our favorite games that were released in the first half of 2023 — two of which, Resident Evil 4 and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, were nominated for the 2023 Game of the Year (eventually won by Baldur’s Gate 3).
And for even more fun, Sysadminotaur #132 “Workation” reminded us that an IT pros work is never done (poor Maurice!).
In our part of the world, the temperature outside in late August is sizzling — but things were even hotter inside (figuratively speaking of course; Devolutions HQ is climate-controlled and very pleasant!).
We started by looking at the results of one of our favorite poll questions of all time: what technology was once vital, but is now obsolete? The two most popular responses were Walkmans and pagers. Talk about old school cool!
We also updated the Devolutions event calendar for late summer, fall, and winter, which included stops at Kaseya DattoCon in Miami, it-sa Expo&Congress in Nuremberg, and more. Our frequent-flying Event Team is really getting a lot of practice putting their “seats and tray tables back into a fully upright position"!
On the product front, we were thrilled to introduce our newly revamped UI for Remote Desktop Manager mobile (iOS and Android). Key improvements included a better user experience and functionality, a sleek new design, and a much-requested dark mode option. The new UI is still in the works so please stay tuned to discover more and more changes in 2024.
Speaking of much-requested features, the 2023.2 release of Remote Desktop Manager introduced something that many users had been asking for: the option to link two accounts to one license. In August, we published a tutorial covering this simple workflow.
We also looked at how to invite a guest user in Devolutions Server. The tutorial further highlighted the advantages of using Azure AD’s guest management functionality in Devolutions Server.
France, a longtime member of our Product Marketing team, announced the new PAM Module in Devolutions Hub Business (Beta), plus we published “20 Shocking Cybercrime Statistics — 2023 Edition” (it’s scary stuff, so perhaps you want to read it with the lights on). And Coralie looked at some interesting real-world challenges that could be solved with VR, such as recreating historical events and virtual tourism.
Since all work and no play leads to dull geeks, Patrick made sure we had some fun and laughs with Sysadminotaur #133 “Commercial Infrastructure Management Comics.”
In September, instead of a poll question, we launched a contest that awarded users $50 for trying the new PAM Module (Beta) in Devolutions Hub Business. The response was great, and we thank everyone who participated. We hope that you spent your $50 wisely and prudently (in other words: we hope you bought some new LEGO® sets, or perhaps that R2D2 toaster you’ve been craving).
Also, in an effort to better serve our French-speaking users and partners in Quebec and around the world, we also announced that effective September 30 we would consolidate French and English social media communications on a our official X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook accounts.
In mid-September we announced a new webinar: “Beyond Remote Desktop Manager's Basics: Guide to Real-world Use Cases.” Our dynamic duo — Yann and Adam — covered aspects such as workflow automation, multi-platform integration, enhanced security measures, scalability, collaboration, and user success stories. In case you missed the webinar, or wish to re-watch it, you can find it here on our YouTube channel (and yes, this is the webinar where the legend of Yann’s slick “Devolutions hat” was born!).
Historians tell us of a time when “all roads led to Rome” (unless one had a flaky GPS, in which case they could have just as easily ended up on a garbage barge heading out to sea). Well, here in the Devolutions Empire, Erica, a member of our legendary Support Team, published an article with a slightly different paradigm: “All Roads Lead to PowerShell”! Erica looked at PowerShell’s versatility as an integrated feature in Remote Desktop Manager supporting various entry types such as PowerShell Session, PowerShell Remote Console Session, PowerShell (Local) Macro/Script/Tool, and PowerShell (Remote) Macro/Script/Tool. This was one of the most popular and commented-upon blogs of the year. All hail PowerShell!
Wait a moment — did you think we could possibly overlook Sysadminotaur? No way! One of the reasons for the comic’s popularity among IT pros around the world is that many of the scenarios are mini-documentaries that capture the “so sad it's funny” nature of real life in the IT world. In September, Patrick provided a perfect example of this with the brilliant #134, “Ransomware” (hey, sometimes end users really aren’t to blame!).
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. In keeping with this theme, we published our “Frequently Asked Questions — Security Edition.” Since day one at Devolutions, we have made robust security a priority. It was great to see so many positive comments from the community. We take security as seriously as you do (maybe even a little bit more!).
We were also happy to announce the availability of the Devolutions State of IT in 2023/24 Security Report. For the 4th consecutive year, we contacted executives and decision-makers in SMBs worldwide to learn about their experiences, practices, and predictions regarding IT security and cybersecurity. Some of the results matched our expectations, while others were quite surprising. Check out the report to get all of the insights, as well as recommendations on strengthening your overall security profile.
Our VP of Business Solutions, Maurice, who is also one of the company’s longest-serving employees (and just an all-around really nice guy!), explained that if your company needs cybersecurity insurance, then you’re probably going to need PAM, too. Maurice also provided a helpful table that highlights both the minimum and advanced controls that insurance providers typically want to see as a pre-condition of providing cybersecurity coverage.
In addition, we shared 7 essential cybersecurity tips to stay safe, such as using PAM to bridge the authentication-authorization gap, using a just-in-time gateway instead of a VPN, and more. We encourage you to review and share these tips with your end users, so they can be part of the solution instead of unintentionally part of the problem (it’s MUCH more enjoyable to read about end user cybersecurity blunders in Sysadminotaur than it is to experience them yourself!).
Speaking of Sysadminotaur, in September Patrick nailed it once again with #135 “CTRL+ALT+Escape Room” (we’ve said it before and we’ll surely say it again: POOR MAURICE!).
And on the product front, we announced that in order to streamline operations, UX, and development, as of October 31 Devolutions Hub Personal and Hub Business would operate on the same backend. We also provided instructions to make the transition smooth and fast for Devolutions Hub Personal users.
Simon, one of our Certified Cloud Security Professionals, shared a tutorial on securing a Microsoft Teams administrator with PAM in Devolutions Server. This was requested by many users, who enjoyed Simon’s tutorial from earlier in the year on securing the Slack Primary Owner with PAM in Devolutions Server. If you have any new tutorial requests for Simon, let us now and we’ll see what we can do!
The globe-trotting Devolutions event team made an appearance at the Cybersecurity Summit in New York City on November 17. Devolutions was a Gold Sponsor, and the experience was a total success!
However, the event team didn’t put their luggage into storage, because they headed “across the pond” to London for Black Hat Europe in early December. We were a Silver Sponsor of the event, which was even better than we had hoped. We can’t wait to attend Black Hat Europe 2024 (early rumors suggest that it might be held again in London).
Also in November, we announced that the Workspace browser extension (formerly Devolutions Web Login) and the Workplace application (formerly just Workspace) are now consolidated. We made this change to make things easier for our users, who now only need to manage and access one companion tool instead of two. In addition, this consolidation helps sharpen our focus with respect to ongoing additions, improvements, and integrations.
As part of our commitment to providing IT security advice for SMBs that makes sense both operationally and financially (not just the former while ignoring the latter!), on November 22 we delivered the webinar “Tackling IT Security in Small Business: Mitigating Risk with Devolutions.” Our presentation team comprising Maurice, Adam, and Yann shared valuable advice and insights from the Devolutions State of IT Security in SMBs in 2023/24 Survey Report. The trio also explored how to discover, evaluate, and eliminate known and hidden IT infrastructure vulnerabilities, and discussed effective strategies and tools to reduce the risk of cyberattacks and data breaches. If you missed the webinar or want to re-watch it, then you can find it on our YouTube channel.
Speaking of the Devolutions State of IT Security in SMBs in 2023/24 Survey Report: in November we published an infographic highlighting some of the good news (such as more SMBs are implementing PAM), and some of the bad news (such as fewer than 60% of SMBs are utilizing basic security measures like 2FA and cybersecurity training).
Plus, our IT specialist Adam of RDM Showdown fame announced that Delinea Secret Server single sign-on (SSO) is now supported in Remote Desktop Manager. Many users are happy with this improvement. As we like to say around here: your wish is our command!
We wrapped up the month with some advice on what InfoSec geeks should buy on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, along with some tips to avoid getting caught by hackers or having a bad case of buyer’s remorse.
Oh, and of course there was another gem from Patrick with Sysadminotaur #136: “POW3R_US3R_78 Strikes Back” (thankfully we don’t have the same problems as Phil and the crew, because our users are phenomenal and we always want them to stick around!).
And here we are in December! Marc, a member of our Subject Matter Expert Team, got the ball rolling by announcing that have integrated Lansweeper in Remote Desktop Manager.
Sebastian, a member of our Application Security Specialist Team, also shared that starting in January 2024, Remote Desktop Manager’s software installers and updates for Windows OS will be signed with a new extended validation certificate issued by GlobalSign. The change is part of our ongoing commitment to robust security. Marc also advised all Remote Desktop Manager users who have not already updated their instance to v2023.2.34 (or later) to do so at their earlier opportunity, in order to avoid any disruption or issue once the new validation certificate takes effect.
France, a member of our Product Marketer team, saw how much fun Marc and Sebastian were having, and joined the blog party with her article “Devolutions Hub: The Credential Manager of Choice for IT Professionals.” It’s a great insight into our strategic approach to evolving a password manager that balances the need to securely manage credentials in a centralized repository, with the flexibility that organizations require to drive productivity and efficiency.
We also looked a list of the worst passwords of 2023, which are even more awful than you probably think. To put a positive spin on this pervasive problem, we also shared some password management best practices that all companies — especially SMBs — should adopt right away.
To add to the festive flair, Patrick crafted the holiday-themed Sysadminotaur #137 “Ugly Sweaters" (ah yes, beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder!).
We are tremendously grateful for your loyalty, trust, and support. And in the new year, have no doubt that we will continue working hard to help you secure and control the IT chaos. While 2023 was a great year at Devolutions, be assured that the best is yet to come!