Heroes of the Cloud – Part 9
A study of Cloud Computing should include not only the companies and entrepreneurs who have raised the Cloud from a concept to “the next big thing” in Information Technology. The study should also include those who have come to depend on the power of the Cloud.
Earlier in our look at the pioneers of Cloud Computing… (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8) we partially defined “The Cloud” as a metaphor for the Internet. Another very workable definition would be that the Cloud is a tool for handling Big Data. Big Data is loosely defined as data sets that include from a few dozen terabytes to several petabytes. How much information is that? If you carry your contacts, pictures, music, games and files on an 8G microSD card in your smart phone, then 131,072 of your friends would need to combine their phones to equal a single terabyte.
Spy movies and James Bond gadgets aside, the national intelligence services are built around information, that is to say data. To perform their mission, a huge amount of information must be gathered, stored, analyzed, and eventually disseminated to the proper parties. At every stage, the information must also be protected ion the interest of national security.
While all of the intelligence services are in the information business, perhaps the most data intensive is the National Reconnaissance Office. The NRO develops and operates “overhead reconnaissance systems”. In other words, the NRO runs spy satellites.
The NRO is a hybrid organization composed of military members, Central Intelligence Agency staff, and DoD Civilian personnel. The NRO’s Chief Information Officer, , was recently awarded a Life Time Achievement “Legacy” Award from CloudNOW.
CloudNOW (Network of Women) is a non-profit consortium of leading women in Cloud Computing. The award was announced in conjunction with the March 2013 Women’s History Month Celebration.
Ms. Singer has held a number of Senior IT Leadership positions in the Federal Government. Previous to joining the NRO, she was Deputy CIO with the CIA, responsible for ensuring that the Agency had the Information Infrastructure necessary to accomplish its mission. Ms. Singer also served the State Department as the Director of Diplomatic Telecommunications Services.
With her background in the Intelligence service, Ms. Singer is intimately familiar with Cloud Security concerns. She writes Recent trends in cloud computing demonstrate the architecture has matured and offers distinct advantages for cyber security defense.”
By Peter Knight
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