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Posts tagged "IT"

April 9, 2013

Is PDF Application Security really that important?

Cyber attackers today are intent on not only stealing data, but also crashing systems, damaging reputations, or just simply showing off their hacking prowess. As a result, businesses, schools and government agencies have to spend more resources to battle those attacks. It’s not only expensive from an IT perspective, but also in the potential loss of trust in that organization by their customers and constituents. A recent survey by PWC found that 28.6% of respondents claim their company suffered financial loss due to a security breach incident. That’s a worrying statistic for sure.


Universally-accepted file types – including PDF, unfortunately – are one of many ways these hackers gain entry to systems by embedding malicious code into the files. So choosing a PDF software application that fully uses modern mitigation techniques to reduce risk is obviously important. To help you understand the risks and evaluate a vendor’s approach to security, we have recently updated and published the white paper PDF Application Security – How to minimize your risk. It’s available for free from Adobe’s web site.


The white paper contains results of independent third-­party testing on the entire Acrobat family of products, specifically related to security. Adobe Reader X and Adobe Acrobat X produced excellent results in security testing by implementing what security experts call a “defense-in-depth” approach within the software and as offered by the operating system. Adobe Reader XI and Adobe Acrobat XI have improved security and sandboxing even further, and Adobe continues to invest in security. This investment has helped reduce the need for out-­of-­cycle security updates. Note in the diagram below, Adobe Acrobat X only had two out-­of-­cycle security updates, while Adobe Acrobat 9 had seven. Deploying a software patch is a timely and expensive process, so we want to help IT professionals minimize those costs by reducing the number of out-of-cycle patches for the Adobe Acrobat family of products.

Chart showing the number of Acrobat and Adobe Reader update releases


If you are considering PDF software based on the licensing cost, please be careful. The days of making software choices based on the quoted price alone – without thorough consideration of security – are long gone. You should be asking vendors about operating system mitigations built into their PDF software, processes in place for addressing security threats, and even how involved the vendor is with the broader security community. To get more details about all the ways the Adobe Acrobat family helps organizations do more with PDF, while also providing advanced security, lower costs, and easier software management, download and read the free white paper, PDF Application Security – How to minimize your risk.

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5:53 AM Permalink
March 21, 2013

IT Tips and Tricks: New How-To Videos Posted

I am a very fortunate individual indeed, for many reasons, most of which wouldn’t be appropriate for me to divulge in a public place like this one. One of the reasons I am so fortunate is that I get to work with talented and dedicated people on a daily basis. Take Steve Cordero, for example. Steve has just posted three new how-to videos on Adobe TV just for IT professionals like you who need to configure, deploy, update and manage Adobe Acrobat XI and Adobe Reader XI within their organization.

Steve is one of our technical support managers, who tirelessly helps our largest customers through their Acrobat deployment needs. But he doesn’t bottle that knowledge up in some kind of magical memory store [due to international copyright laws I am probably not able to make a direct reference to a famous wizarding professor in a famous castle with a famous student wizard that stumbles across a famous magical memory store]. We’re grateful that Steve has been able to share with us all how to get things done.

The latest videos from Mr. Cordero are:

There are also many other videos within the Acrobat IT Tips show on Adobe TV to help you be successful with Acrobat XI in your organization.

Now, time for me to go back to brewing butterbeer…

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4:45 PM Permalink
February 19, 2013

Adobe Reader and Acrobat updates planned for week of February 18, 2013

UPDATE for FEBRUARY 20, 2013: Patches are now available for Adobe Reader and Acrobat XI for Windows and Macintosh, X for Windows and Macintosh, and 9 for Windows, Macintosh and Linux. Please refer to the Security Advisory section of the Adobe website as well as the Adobe PSIRT blog for details.

Adobe plans to make available updates for Adobe Reader and Acrobat XI (11.0.01 and earlier) for Windows and Macintosh, X (10.1.5 and earlier) for Windows and Macintosh, 9.5.3 and earlier 9.x versions for Windows and Macintosh, and Adobe Reader 9.5.3 and earlier 9.x versions for Linux during the week of February 18, 2013. Adobe will continue to provide updates on these issues via the Security Advisory section of the Adobe website as well as the Adobe PSIRT blog. Please refer to these resources for any details.

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9:40 AM Permalink
February 15, 2013

Taking Our Own Medicine: Deploying Adobe Acrobat XI at Adobe

Just like other large organizations, Adobe, with over 11,000 employees worldwide, has requirements and challenges when deploying new software. Adobe’s IT department began deployment of Acrobat XI within 48 hours of its release back in October of 2012. Talk about a challenge! Fortunately, thanks to resources like these on the Acrobat Solutions for IT pages, they were prepared and shared some of their experiences with the Acrobat team.

Adobe IT began testing of Acrobat XI during the pre-release phase with approximately 1,000 employees worldwide and some pre-release volunteers. The test plan was focused on making sure that the previous version uninstalled properly, and that Acrobat could be used successfully for day-to-day tasks, such as accessing documents stored in enterprise systems, completing and submitting forms, and participating in shared reviews.

A big part of preparing to deploy any software application is the customization of the installer, and Acrobat XI is no different. Adobe IT had requirements around customizing the installation that included applications and document security settings, such as rights management and Protected View, and a desire to make the install smoother and faster for all users. The deployment of Acrobat XI at Adobe translated to approximately 9,500 systems, with almost half of them on Mac. Adobe IT made the decision to use SCCM for Windows deployments and Casper from JAMF software for Mac deployments.

How was the customization done? With the Adobe Customization Wizard. Most customization decisions were made based on previous installations. This included using the company wide serial number, setting Acrobat as the default PDF viewer, disabling registration, and customizing the User Name and Organization. Another important customization was to include the Adobe Addressbook and Directory Acrodata files. Adobe IT teams from across the world worked together to create and test the installation packages. In addition to deploying straight to desktops, an installation needed to be created for Adobe’s Citrix XenApp environment for those users who prefer or need to run internal applications virtually via Citrix Receiver.

Within six weeks of deployment, Acrobat XI was installed to over 85% of machines within Adobe. Adobe IT is very pleased with the deployment and directly attributes this to the installation speed. Migrating from Acrobat 8 to 9 took about 45 minutes to install, while the Acrobat XI migration took only 4-5 minutes. Another positive is that they have had no significant support issues with Acrobat XI.

When asked what they would do differently, Adobe IT states that getting familiar with the customization settings during the testing prior to release would have made things even easier. Doing so would have also given them a greater appreciation for installation dependencies of other applications. Did anything impact the deployment schedules? Only a small number of stubborn users who declined to upgrade right away or refused to restart their Windows machine so SCCM could do its work.

The deployment of Acrobat XI within Adobe was a big success due to the hard work of Adobe IT. Their focus on testing the prerelease and customizing the installation led to a quick deployment with minimal issues. If you need help with deployment of Acrobat XI, everything you need to know is located right here: It’s like having the Acrobat team right by your side!

Lisa Croft, product  marketing manager, Acrobat Solutions

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4:45 AM Permalink
February 1, 2013

Updates in Acrobat & Reader 11.0.1: Page Syncing with

Back in the olden days when we all worked with paper documents and read paperback books, the matter of keeping our place in a multiple-page document was straightforward: dog-ear the page, or add a bookmark. If that bookmark falls out, though… well, you’ll be digging through that document saying to yourself “I think the last sentence I read started with the word ‘also’…”. A pain in the neck, and a waste of your time.

Nowadays, we’ve got simpler ways of keeping track of our documents and our progress within them. If you’re reading a PDF file in Adobe Acrobat, for example, you can place bookmarks the same as ever (and these ones won’t fall out); you can also use the navigation bar to jump straight to a page in the middle of the document. Our challenge now is this: what happens when you close that document and reopen it on a different device? You don’t want to have to remember where you were and have to flip to the right page, and you definitely don’t want to have to do that every time you reopen that 60-page contract full of legal-speak.

Today’s solution is If you’re using Acrobat or Reader 11.0.1 (the latest and greatest), you can now set your preferences to allow for picking up right where you left off. Read through that contract at your own pace; if, at page 43, you find you need to leave your desk for an appointment across town, upload the document to with a single click. Then, from the train or the cab or the waiting room, use Adobe Reader Mobile on your tablet or smartphone to open that document from – and you’ll see that the document opens to the same spot you’d left it when you uploaded it from your desktop computer. Now your page number is just one less thing to think about – with no bookmarks to keep track of.


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5:30 PM Permalink
January 10, 2013

Update to Acrobat XI (11.0.01), X (10.1.5) and 9.5.3

We released our “Patch Tuesday” update to Acrobat & Adobe Reader earlier this week.

For information on the security updates see Security Bulletin APSB13-02 for details.
For detailed Release Notes, please see the Enterprise Toolkit.

A few highlights to be aware of:

New Updater Mode Added to Acrobat XI for Windows
The Adobe Acrobat XI for Windows updater now has a fully-automated mode. As a reminder, “fully-automated” mode will regularly check for important updates, download them to your machine, and install them automatically. When finished, you will be alerted via a small message in the system tray that your software has been updated. This method is the recommended best practice for keeping Adobe Acrobat up-to-date and more secure given the fact that it does not require user intervention.

Handling Flash in 10.1.5
As mentioned in Three Common Adobe Reader and Acrobat Security Questions, unknown Flash will now be rendered by the system Flash Player (NPAPI version), when using Adobe Reader and Acrobat 10.1.5. Note: This has already been done for Reader and Acrobat 11. As stated before, this means that Adobe Reader/Acrobat users will no longer have to update Adobe Reader/Acrobat each time we update the Flash Player. This is particularly beneficial to customers in managed environments, because fewer updates means a lower cost of ownership, while maintaining a vigilant security posture.

And as a reminder, support for Adobe Acrobat 9.x will end on June 26, 2013.

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6:24 AM Permalink

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