14
Sep 17

ZDNet – Security Features Built into Cloud Services

Public cloud providers go to great lengths to secure their infrastructure, but organizations are still responsible to protect their apps and data. We look at Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

As we discussed in an earlier post [link to cloud fears entry], it’s a little late in the game to be wholly suspicious of cloud computing. However, there’s still a lot to talk about in terms of securing the cloud.

The security features offered by public cloud providers represent only a part of the shared responsibility model; the other part falls within your organization’s responsibility. For example, your public cloud provider may offer security groups for identity and access management (IAM) and firewalls that scan traffic on specific ports and to and from specific IP addresses.

More of the ZDNet article from Larry Seltzer


13
Sep 17

Fast Company – RIP, Jerry Pournelle, a pioneer of tech journalism for the non-geeky

In 1980, anyone who used a PC was, by definition, something of a nerd. But Byte, the leading computer magazine of the time, saw a need for a column that emphasized the benefits of the machines rather than their innards. It found its author in celebrated science-fiction author Jerry Pournelle, whose Byte writings–best known by the name “Chaos Manor”–were not very technical; profoundly first person-y and opinionated; focused what you could do with a PC; and prone to going off on extended tangents that were as defining an aspect of the columns as the parts that more obviously belonged in a publication called Byte.

More of the Fast Company article


12
Sep 17

Customer Think – Software Developers Fear That A.I. Will Soon Replace Them

Since its inception in the 19th century, Artificial Intelligence is a growing topic of conversation in both science fiction and intellectual debate. To Cut a long story short, AI turns out to be the most disruptive and pervasive technologies of the current digital revolution. Right from automobiles to health care, home automation, aerospace engineering, material science, sports, the technology has been used very creatively, in hitherto unheard of sectors and has the potential to profoundly affect how we interact across the globe. As a result, the tech industry’s interest becomes stronger than ever.

According to the Oxford dictionary “The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.”

More of the Customer Think article from Nishtha Singh


11
Sep 17

Continuity Central – Gartner publishes ‘Hype Cycle for Cloud Security in 2017’

The Gartner Hype Cycle for Cloud Security aims to help security professionals understand which emerging technologies are ready for mainstream use, and which are still years away from productive deployments for most organizations. The 2017 edition of the Hype Cycle for Cloud Security is now available and a summary is below.

“Security continues to be the most commonly cited reason for avoiding the use of public cloud,” said Jay Heiser, research vice president at Gartner. “Yet paradoxically, the organizations already using the public cloud consider security to be one of the primary benefits.”

The attack resistance of the majority of cloud service providers has not proven to be a major weakness so far, but customers of these services may not know how to use them securely.

“The Hype Cycle can help cybersecurity professionals identify the most important new mechanisms to help their organizations make controlled, compliant and economical use of the public cloud,” said Mr. Heiser.

More of the Continuity Central post


08
Sep 17

The Register – ‘Other’ may yet become the biggest and most useful cloud

In recent weeks I didn’t write stories about Packet.net splashing down in 15 new nations to start an edge compute service, or the plans that Tata Telecoms shared with me to expand its data centre footprint by targeting partnerships with users of its submarine cables.

I skipped them both because the companies concerned are minor players in the big, big, drama that is the shift from on-premises computing to the cloud. Even if we’d loosed the crack Reg Punning Squad to work some headlining magic, I couldn’t imagine many of you would click on news of either company.

But a conversation with Zerto’s president Paul Zeiter has me thinking perhaps we all need to spend more time looking at small clouds.

Zeiter pointed out to me that in almost every enterprise IT category, there’s a couple of leaders, a few followers and then a big pool of “other” that often accounts for 40 per cent or more of the market. And sometimes the “Others” are more interesting than the mainstream: for example, The Register has often had good responses to our coverage of niche PC vendor Eurocom becuase the company makes stuff like server-class laptops that insist their batteries are actually an uninterruptible power supply.

More of The Register post from Simon Sharwood


07
Sep 17

Continuity Central – Crisis preparedness and its impact on shareholder value

All commercial organizations operating in the digital era exist within a challenging landscape. Underlying trust is weak; expectations of good, transparent governance are high; and acceptance of failure is low.

At the same time, communicating with stakeholders is becoming more complex as traditional addressable audiences fragment into ever-evolving, always-online socially-connected communities, guaranteeing that issues and crises play out very publicly and swiftly.

To navigate these challenges successfully and to protect value for shareholders as companies grow, it’s vital to enhance business resilience. Reducing risk and building trust should be as important as innovating and pursuing operational excellence.

What is a crisis?

The British Standard for Crisis Management (BS 11200:2014) defines a crisis as “An abnormal and unstable situation that threatens the organization’s strategic objectives, reputation or viability.” Understanding this definition is vital in helping an organization to prepare itself to deal with a crisis. Through worst-case scenario planning, organizations can identify what abnormal events they could be exposed to, the impact of abnormal events on the ability to execute strategic objectives, and the damage that could be caused to reputation and viability.

More of the Continuity Central post from Robert McAllister


06
Sep 17

IT Business Edge – Clouds Vie for Critical Workloads

Editors note: Like the Skytap illustration in the article, Expedient clients are using public and private cloud services RIGHT NOW to improve application performance, reduce maintenance workloads, and improve uptime. These organizations don’t have the luxury of waiting for their development teams or primary software vendors to rewrite their mission critical apps from the ground up.

It seems that cloud providers are no longer fooling around when it comes to getting enterprise workloads. With new migration packages and services optimized for mission-critical data and applications, CSPs large and small are eager for your business.

The question for most enterprises, however, is whether to stick with the hyperscale providers like Amazon and Microsoft, or go with a not-so-large firm that may have a bit more flexibility when it comes to matching infrastructure with customized user needs.

Skytap, for one, is hoping that the one-size-fits-all approach will not be enough for most enterprises as they embrace crucial service offerings like Big Data and the IoT. CEO Thor Culverhouse argues that the cloud giants are overlooking key market segments like the legions of mission-critical apps that are stuck on legacy systems but will have to move to hybrid infrastructure in order to keep up with the speed of business activity. His plan is to offer specialized infrastructure optimized for the 75 percent of the enterprise workload that is not likely to become cloud-native any time soon.

More of the IT Business Edge article from Arthur Cole


11
Aug 17

Fast Company – Employers, Your Employees’ Lack Of Productivity Might Be All On You

Think back to the last time you encountered a difficult challenge at work–one of those problems that requires hard, long thought and perhaps some focused drudgery to break through. What did you do?
If you work in the knowledge economy, chances are you interrupted yourself several times along the way –checked your email, went on Facebook, got up and chatted with a coworker.

On average, employees who do the majority of their work on computers are distracted once every 10 and a half minutes. Twenty-three percent of those interruptions come from email, but the biggest source of interruptions by far come from…ourselves. Voluntarily switching from one task to the next without finishing the original task first accounted for a full 44% of work interruptions.

More of the Fast Company article from Becky Kane


10
Aug 17

Data Center Knowledge – Zero One: Can the CIO Change IT’s Bad Rep?

Ask line-of-business executives (LOBs) what IT people really do, and you might get a blank stare. Sure, they troubleshoot email and website problems, but herein lies the rub. Tech workers only seem to jump into action whenever their technology breaks. We’ve always known about this perception problem, but it’s bigger than most people think.

Here’s an interesting stat from a recent McKinsey & Company survey: 51 percent of IT respondents reported undergoing a major transformation in the past two years, yet just 36 percent of their business peers reported the same. This means a good chunk of business people probably had no idea the tech people were stressed with a big project, nor did they grasp the project’s business benefits.

More of the Data Center Knowledge article from Tom Kaneshige


09
Aug 17

Continuity Central – To BIA or not to BIA is not the question…

Continuity Central recently conducted a survey to seek the views of business continuity professionals on whether it is feasible to omit the business impact analysis (BIA) from the BC process. Mel Gosling, FBCI, explains why he believes this is the wrong question to ask…

The Big Picture

It’s always useful to step back and see the big picture, and with the question of ‘To BIA or not to BIA?’ this bigger picture is that the BIA is an integral part the business continuity management (BCM) process specified in ISO 22301 and promoted by business continuity professional associations such as the BCI in its Good Practice Guidelines. Rather than looking closely at the detailed question, we should look at the bigger picture and ask ourselves whether or not we should use this specific BCM process at all.

More of the Continuity Central article