The End-of-Support of Adobe Flash is Imminent: Here’s How Enterprises Can Deal with It

by in IT Operations Management

(Note-- the content of this blog has been graciously provided by Bozidar Protulipac from Do IT Wise and used with his permission.) 

The Adobe Flash Player will soon be history.

After Adobe and Microsoft’s decision – which was officially announced in 2017 but planned much earlier – to stop developing and supporting Adobe Flash after December 2020, most browsers will also phase it out and stop supporting Flash by the end of the year.

Their decision is mostly security-driven: the end goal is to replace the largely outdated Flash technology with other, more secure open web standards, such as HTML5, WebAssembly, or WebGL. This, however, poses unique challenges to enterprises who still rely internally on Flash technology.

At Do IT Wise, we’ve designed a solution to help our clients deal with the change, before it becomes too late.

So, how can you help your enterprise identify the software that is still using Flash, especially in the case of web-based applications?

How can you deal with 3rd party and in-house software using Flash after the phaseout?

We’ll answer those questions shortly.

 

Configuration Management as a Foundation

 

Having a configuration management database (CMDB) and a discovery tool is part of the solution.

Our goal is to identify the servers containing Flash files. This way, you will get a nice list of servers, Flash files, locations, permissions and owners:

Flasharticle1.jpg

For large enterprises, the list can contain thousands of servers. So, how can we distinguish installed software (which is not impacted by this change) from web-based software?

Having enterprise infrastructure discovery by your hand will assist you enormously. It allows you to identify Web Servers and to combine the data, which can then shorten the information delivery to other teams that need to take remediation actions.

Flasharticle2.jpg

This gives you a chance to address in-house and 3rd party software separately.

But, again, wouldn’t it be even nicer to have a wider business perspective on this problem? After all, it’s an enterprise problem at its core, which makes communication with the business and operational side of things essential.

 

Service Modeling as a Business Necessity

 

But what if you can address this problem vertically, letting application owners know whether their business applications and services are impacted?

Facilitating Service Modeling provides you with better visibility into your IT infrastructure. By entering application URLs, a new world opens for different users in a number of roles (ITSM, Security,…). In conjunction with infrastructure discovery, this gives you the power to quickly address any structural challenge in your organization.

This way, you’ll be able to identify each business application that needs to resolve the problems created by the Adobe Flash phaseout well before the deadline. Our approach gives business owners a list of actionable items and steps they can take to move towards the goal.

Flasharticle3.jpg

 

The beauty of the solution lies in the fact that once the remediation is done, you can verify it and get a final proof from a Configuration Management perspective.

 

Technical background

 

For this proof of value, we have been using

  • Micro Focus UCMDB and Universal Discovery, with its Automated Service Modeling capabilities

Having basic infrastructure and inventory discovery can be extremely helpful in this situation. Discovering different Web Server types and putting those in conjunction with Flash files will bring that needed information for generating reports

File Monitor by Shell adapter

Important to stress out – there is no need for extreme customizations, good old out-of-the-box adapters and bit of common sense.

Trigger Queries

We created 2 jobs covering UNIX like and Windows platform, each having different Trigger queries. Actually it is a business decision will you cover all servers or just servers having some Web Server role. According to that you can create your trigger query.
For this example we use query covering only UNIX like Web Servers:

Flasharticle4.jpg

 

Job Parameters

Common job parameters are:

Name Value
binary_file_extensions swf
extensions swf
recursively true

 

For UNIX platform we want to start from root folder, so we set parameter “folders” to “/”.

For Windows platform you just enumerate file systems you want to scan like “C:/,D:/,E:/”.

Here is one example of setting those parameters:

Flasharticle5.jpg

 

Customizations

We did encounter small issue of accessing folders and files that discovery user does not have permissions on. This would generate “Permissions denied” text in the results and make it impossible for discovery script to finish properly.

Changes were made to file_search.py file to overcome such situations.

Next step

Want us to help your enterprise to identify potential Flash showstoppers?
Contact us via:

 

Hopefully with these helpful hints, you can make the end-of-support of Flash be a fast transition for your organization using the Universal Discovery and UCMDB!  Many thanks for the great folks at Do IT Wise for the content!

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Discovery & CMDB
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