Code and Concept – Monthly update November `18

It’s come a little late, but still: with one foot already in December – our monthly update for November! There is quite a bit to talk about – a possible issue with upgrading the Filr 3.4.2 Desktop Client has been found, but has already been given a remedy, there was an interesting talk about the psychological background of „being phished“  by our own Werner Degenhardt at the “netzblicke” – series of events, and this month’s Use Case Spotlight sheds light on the subject of „Distribution Lists and Vibe“: how can distribution lists be managed in the best way to enable recipients to filter out unwanted  noise, but to provide all the important information to all the relevant people?

Filr Client for Windows issue after upgrading to Filr 3.4.2. The problem and the solution:

A problem was found on some client machines, where the contents of the Filr folder did not show up or seemed broken after the upgrade to Filr 3.4.2 under Windows. After an upgrade or installation of the Filr Desktop Client using the MSI-version of the installation program, either manually or through a desktop management solution, the data in the Filr merged view did sometimes appear as “$DATA” or as “Zone.Identifier”. Also, in some cases, the error message “Filr Service is not working” could be seen – then with the Filr folder showing up completely empty. All other clients of Filr in version 3.4.x (mobile applications, web and macOS) are functioning perfectly. The solution to this issue is to either reinstall the Filr 3.4.2 desktop client using the EXE installer file, or to update the workstations Microsoft .NET Framework to version 4.6.2 (or higher). Also, if a desktop management system like ZENWorks is managing the clients, then Microsoft .NET 4.6.2 or higher should be set as a dependency of the Filr client package! The cause of this problem is a rather simple one – if the .msi file is used in unattended mode, Microsoft .NET is not installed in or upgraded to version 4.6.2 automatically, as it is with the EXE installer – and Filr 3.4.2 needs .NET 4.6.2 or higher to function properly. The MSI installer per se is often meant ot be used by professionals in controlled enviroments, so this behaviour was not caught in testing beforehand. More information about the issue and the solution can be found in TID #7023516 (link:

Human Factors in Information Security: Lecture at “Netzblicke”

As we already announced in our last blog post, Dr. Werner Degenhardt – our specialist for Human Factors in Information Security – gave an interesting and well-attended talk titled “Why we fall for phishing and what you can do about it” at the event series “netzblicke” of the Chamber of Commerce for Munich and Upper Bavaria. The focus of the talk was placed around questions about the structure and inner workings of a malware attack using phishing emails on humans, the „weakest link“. The talk covered the human way of handling such a situation, the human being‘s cognitive and social heuristics, and last but not least, the question of why , in certain circumstances, people make not only wrong decisions, but bad decisions.The event series “netzblicke” leverages strong partners of the Munich Chamber of Commerce to  inform attendees in a a general fashion on topics from the fields of Internet, online and media. This was the final event for this year, before taking a winter break – in February 2019, however, more events are already schedule!

Use Case Spotlight: Micro Focus Vibe and Email – Session Two

In one of our recent Use Case Spotlights, titled “Micro Focus Vibe and Email – Session One”, we used Micro Focus Vibe as an email archive to keep distribution list contents available and searchable in one place for a long time. This „Session Two“  deals with replacing a distribution list altogether using a Vibe folder with ist e-mail functionality.

The Challenge

Email distribution lists are one of the standard means of enterprise broadcast communication, and have followed seamlessly in the footsteps the of postal distribution lists. There are distribution lists for teams, distribution lists for departments, distribution lists for security bulletins, distribution lists forcafeteria menus, distribution lists for facilty management information and many more. Back in „paper times“, only a consciously selected group of people was included in a postal distribution list, because an increase in the number of people caused a lot more work and cost. In times of “free” and fast e-mail, a much larger number of people is aded to a distribution lists – sometimes even at a whim – , and someimes an individual is a member of so many lists that even important information posted to a list can produce the same emotional reaction as a SPAM email. But don’t despair – Vibe has a remedy to this affliction of modern communication.

The Solution

Every folder in Vibe offers the fucntionality of “subscribing” to it, meaning  to receive emails when changes in that folder happen. It’s up to the subscriber whether the email received is a 140-character email, an email with or without attachments, or just a daily digest of all changes, reducing email volume greatly. But not only the user can subscribe to a folder, a person managing a Vibe folder has the ability to „subscribe others“ to the folder, with the same granularity of control. That is what we will use to our benefit, here. The first goal is to replace distribution lists that have content classified as “for your information” only. This is done by creating a Vibe folder with a nice, descriptive name and then use “subscribe others” to inform all former distribution list  members via “push” at set times. So every participant still gets emails (no change for the user to get used to, at first), but there are a lot of advantages:

* The time of delivery is easier to control

* The emails have a consistent design, powered by Vibe email templates

* The contents are, as already described in Session One, already archived and ubiquitously available

* Each recipient can use the “subscribe to this folder” function to change the preferences regarding the type of email and email timing  to fit their needs

* Each recipient can even block the subscription, e.g. if they visit  the folder regularly anyway. This is a proper “opt-out” functionality.

These are just the largest and most immediate benefits – you can achieve even more improvements of the status quo by clever organisation of folders to leverage multi-folder subscriptions.As you can see, Vibe helps with making life easier in any organization. Even in the area “Vibe and E-Mail”, there is still much to cover – but more about that in the future, in Session Three on this topic. This is all for our Monthly Blog Post of November 2018. Of course, we will keep you up to date and deliver valuable news and information here on the site. And as always: if you have any questions, remarks, or comments: feel free to get in touch.