Author Archives: CloudTweaks

Manage Cloud Security Risks With Ease

Manage Cloud Security Risks With Ease

Manage Cloud Security Risks With Ease

Everyone seems to want to take advantage of cloud computing these days, but few people actually take the time to think about the risks that come along with this kind of service. To manage cloud security risks, you have to know which risks in the cloud actually pose a threat to your business. Different types of clouds will come with different problems, so you need to learn about your cloud service to be able to realize what could go wrong if you are not careful at all times.

Cloud Vulnerabilities

To manage cloud vulnerabilities, you must first think about the advantages of the cloud and weigh them against the possible pitfalls. Increased savings in time and money are the obvious advantages of the cloud, but these perks go out the window if you face an intrusion or data loss. When you lose all of the data associated with your business, it makes it easier for your business to realize just how dangerous the cloud can be when it is not properly secured. The question you need to ask yourself when it comes to cloud management is whether or not you will be able to control the cloud on your own while keeping all of your data in safe hands.

Manage Security Risks

The main reason that you should try to manage cloud problems on your own is that you cannot count on a third-party service to handle your needs around the clock. You need to have your own IT team to handle the cloud and make sure that it is on your own server that no one can access without going through an authentication process. Although services such as Dropbox require you to login to their cloud service, it is usually a better idea to have two different forms of authentication when someone needs to access the cloud.

It seems that everyone has to store data on external servers these days if they want to be able to keep up with the competition in their industry. The way that you are able to manage cloud servers is going to determine whether or not this business decision turns out to be a positive one in the long run. Cloud computing is definitely going to stick around for the future, but the security risks that come with it need to be managed for it to be effective for any kind of business that uses it on a regular basis.

By Kyle Torpey

Cloud 2020: What Does Cloud Computing Bring To The Table

Cloud 2020: What Does Cloud Computing Bring To The Table

Cloud 2020: What Does Cloud Computing Bring To The Table?

The internet and computer service related industries are the most versatile and flexible. Under the guidance of probably the most ingenious individuals, there is no telling where the industry is headed. However, most tech-enthusiasts, myself included are well aware that the possibilities are beyond imagination. It is common for inventions to leave human being awestruck, more so with regard to technology. However, it is only fair for us to postulate the expectations in order to enhance our preparedness to absorb the changes and unwrap the gifts of the ingenuity of human beings.

Cloud computing has advanced beyond what most people expected. In the next ten years, there is no telling what will become of the virtualization of computing services. However, some expectations can be posted, although I can promise you that these are based on what the human mind can fathom based on past experiences.

  • Cloud as part of the organization

Most organizations are bound to adopt cloud computing by 2020. Although the benefits of cloud computing are clear to most organizations, not many companies have taken up the practice. Lack of structural and logistical parameters has limited the expansion of the facilities. However, these issues are sure to be solved in the near future, making it possible for many organizations to join the cloud.

  • Divorce of hardware and software

Most PCs run on software installed on site. Well, cloud computing is sure to propagate the invisibility of computing. Since hardware and software components will be highly virtualized, one will not be able to determine the infrastructure of their network, and the need for that will be non-existent. Most of the technologies will become service-centered, thereby enhancing the utility drawn from computing.

  • Modulation of software

Modular software is built in elements that can be dismantled to enhance improvements without necessarily causing shutdown. The users of such computers will however require a novel mindset to handle such demands. The advantages of modular software are the continuity of service provision and the ability to remain versatile in the face of changing technologies. The ultimate federation of software is bound to make universal software available, making it possible for maintenance of universal standards for software.

  • Automation of services through social-software and the collaborative cloud

Advancements in software are bound to center around enhancement of compatibility of all hardware and software facilities. Ultimately, software and hardware resources will be available in intelligent syntax, allowing for automated match-making for service provision. In other words, services will mould themselves according to tasks, considering that the number of data centers will be limitless. Picture databases automatically selecting a server, or a specific set of servers, just the way you would like the status of a friend on a social network. Probably, the databases will eventually seek out ‘friend’ servers and assign tasks to such servers.

  • Faster connection speeds

Connecting to the cloud is bound to grow faster, considering that a huge number of individuals will be utilizing the services concurrently. Since the clouds will provide storage and software services, the need for faster processing speeds is bound to surface and a solution found. Currently, most individuals relying on the contemporary onsite hardware-software facilities will require a reason to move to the cloud. Processing speeds are bound to be a pull and push factor, depending on the scenario.

This is just a tip of the iceberg regarding what to expect from cloud computing. The rate at which changes are occurring makes it virtually impossible to state with certainty. More on this will be coming up, but meanwhile, be ready to find out exactly why every cloud has a silver lining and why this cloud could present a gold lining.

By Rick Watson

Cloud Infographic: The Cloud Games

The Cloud Games

Most cloud service startups rely on newer and more appealing technology than the bigger guys. The industry, however, has definitely changed. Dropbox, a startup cloud service provider, has been leading the way in cloud filesharing and has kept up with the big guys, including Google’s newest cloud service.  This infographic however shows a battle with another large competitor of Dropbox, and that being Box.com.

Who wins?

cloud-games

Infographic Source: Spice Works

An Enterprise’s Move To The Cloud – An Architectural Perspective

An Enterprise’s Move To The Cloud – An Architectural Perspective

An Enterprise’s Move To The Cloud

The cloud is not just some virtual server in the sky where one can just pick up an application and throw it in, consequently getting all the benefits associated with the app. The dare in this situation is that an enterprise has to re-architect its existing applications to fit the cloud in a way that maximum value can be mined from it. Placing a cloud into a broader context of an enterprise’s IT environment is the biggest issue, which is almost always overlooked.

Business objectives, which point to missions and goals of an organization, drive the technology strategy of an organization. So the strategy is based on the solution of an equation which comprises of the prevailing enterprise architecture, the stand point allied with the resources stacked up by an organization, and the way an organization moves forward. Helplessly, a cloud now has to fit into this story, as opposed to the general notion that a cloud solves everything by itself.

Three key areas have to tweaked and optimized by an enterprise from an architectural point of view.

  • Application modernization, being the first one, signifies taking something old and putting it through an evolution cycle to adapt to the up-to-date environment. As necessary as it may be, application modernization may sometimes not be the best option to consider, and hence, the second option of application rationalization comes into the limelight.
  • Application rationalization focuses on the concept of how a company extends its legacy capabilities, and leverages cloud based aptitudes, in order to extend existing assets the enterprise is not willing to retire, for commercial reasons.
  • Leveraging cloud based services is the third way of incorporating the cloud into the enterprise’s architectural strategy; whether they are SaaS, PaaS or IaaS, a business can extend its competences by using the cloud services.

Keeping these things in mind, the enterprise architect has to put together a cloud computing roadmap. The first thing is that the architect needs to decide the amount of risk that the organization is willing to take. After this, the specific goals of the business have to be found out; are they financial goals, operational goals or competitive goals. Moving on, the architect has to quantify the paybacks and see how much the enterprise is saving or how much value is added to the company, in the long and short run. Only then is an organization able to put together a tactical plan which will make it achieve what it plans to achieve.

By John Evans

Cloud Infographic: The Music Industry

Cloud Infographic: The Music Industry

Cloud Infographic: The Music Industry

The music industry has taken a bit of a pounding in recent years. Illegal downloading brought a once vibrant industry to its knees. Yet, despite being the first victim of the digital revolution, somehow the music industry is still standing, finding new revenue streams and branching out.

What the music industry had to find was how to make a generation who have never paid for music to start doing so. For a decade the music industry has been declining. So how do you manage to get people to pay for music?

how-the-internet-has-rocked-the-music-industry

Infographic Source: TotalBankruptcy

Security In Private And Public Clouds

Security In Private And Public Clouds

Security In Private And Public Clouds

While many people believe that private clouds are more secure than public clouds, the reality is that you need to think about more than just what kind of cloud you have when it comes to cloud security. There are also some people who believe public clouds are more secure than private clouds, but this is not necessarily true. You should never get too excited by the words of a cloud company if they are telling you that your information is going to be more secure with them because they offer both public and private cloud services.

When considering cloud security and protecting your data, you need to remember that there are more problems out there than just hackers. Most people just think about keeping other people out when it comes to the security of their data, but these people also need to think about whether or not their data is at risk from corruption or loss. Someone coming in and tampering with your data is actually the problem that you should be thinking about the least.

One of the main reasons that people think a public cloud will be more secure than a private cloud is that the company offering the service is going to want to keep the public cloud safe, since there are so many people who use it. They have the resources to deal with cloud security, so you should not have to worry about someone breaking in and causing problems. The problem with this kind of thinking is that there are still vulnerabilities out there that can be exploited, and these vulnerabilities usually open up because of something the customer has done.

The type of cloud you have is not really as important as what kind of security measures you put into place on the cloud. Some people like to think that cloud security is the responsibility of the cloud service provider, but you also need to remember that there are plenty of things you can do yourself to increase the security of your cloud. Mistakes can be made at both the service provider’s level and at the level where your own employees are accessing the cloud, so it’s important to remember that there is no service that will be able to stop all intrusions. The cloud is a powerful tool when it comes to keeping everyone connected and brainstorming, but you still need to remember that it can be your worst nightmare if you are not careful.

By Kyle Torpey

IT Outsourcing Services Meeting The Cloud

IT Outsourcing Services Meeting The Cloud

One of the most substantial trends in IT support services is that small and medium-sized companies prefer to shift their data to the cloud and let a third party handle the facility management, in Consolidated Data Centers.
Cloud computing blurs the lines among what had been conventional outsourcing and internal operations, and it will test IT’s management and control policies. After all, it’s all about expertise. IT outsourcing service professionals can deal with many tasks (such as data storage) more efficiently than in-house employees are able to.

By taking advantage of cloud support services, both small/medium-sized companies and large enterprises can cut costs and free up staff to keep the organization moving forward. Additionally, cloud technology is delivering the competitive advantage to SMB/SMEs which allow them to focus on their core competencies, enabling them to satisfy their client’s demands and compete with larger enterprises.

Cloud provides new ways in which you can provide outsourcing services to a company, but public and the hybrid cloud models require you to be aware of certain compliant issues you might need to address.

According to Information Services Group, there are 5 essential tips for making outsourcing risk management a part of your governance process:

1. Identify risk obligations in the contract.
2. Identify and document added risks in the engagement.
3. Rate the risks.
4. Manage your identified risks.
5. Publish your risk tracking tool, which can be as basic as an Excel spreadsheet.

Cloud computing migrations over the next five years will create an immense opportunity for IT outsourcing which will create a very different IT outsourcing marketplace.

Generally, IT service outsourcers provide the following types of cloud-based services:

  • offer consultancy around integrating organization IT with private and public clouds to create a hybrid environment
  • implement and manage private clouds to consolidate and optimize infrastructure
  • migrate organization applications to the cloud and the related testing, certification, and governance for risk and compliance
  • develop custom applications for the emerging cloud software platforms
  • develop new applications that integrate collaboration, communication, and cloud platforms

Cloud-based services will substantially change the outsourcing business from the service providers’ point of view. Many more complexities will appear that are involved in a provider’s offering to take control of your IT services and move it to the cloud.

The future of IT outsourcing services implies there will be vendors with a variety of cloud-based services that will include a large component of the customer’s IT infrastructure.

By Rick Blaisdell / Rickscloud

Cloud Infographic: Google Drive Vs The Competition

Cloud Infographic: Google Drive Vs The Competition

There are hundreds of cloud services available today, a fact which does not make it any easier for users to select a cloud storage provider that fits their needs.

Google is no longer the only kid on the cloud computing block. In fact, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and even private parties are entering into the cloud storage industry, and rather aggressively. The race is on for these cloud storage services to bring in the most customers and attract the most attention, but who is the best of the best? Answering this question is not as simple as one might hope. In fact, there’s a lot more to selecting the best cloud storage company than meets the eye. This is because cloud storage is customized to users based on their distinct needs, which means while a certain cloud storage may be perfect for one individual, it might not work well for another.

 

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Low Cost Cloud Computing Gives Rise To Startups

Low Cost Cloud Computing Gives Rise To Startups

Balancing The Playing Field For Startups According to a Goldman Sachs report, cloud infrastructure and platform spending could reach $43 billion by 2018, which is up $16 billion from last year, representing a growth of around 30% from 2013 said the analyst. This phenomenal growth is laying the foundation for a new breed of startup…

The Questions of Privacy In The Internet of Things Revolution

The Questions of Privacy In The Internet of Things Revolution

Privacy in the Internet of Things Revolution The Internet of Things (IoT) has been promising a lot to consumers for a few years and now we’re really starting to see some of the big ideas come to fruition, which means an ever-growing conversation around data security and privacy. Big data comes with big responsibilities and…

The Big Data Movement Gets Bigger

The Big Data Movement Gets Bigger

The Big Data Movement In recent years, Big Data and Cloud relations have been growing steadily. And while there have been many questions raised around how best to use the information being gathered, there is no question that there is a real future between the two. The growing importance of Big Data Scientists and the…

Lavabit, Edward Snowden and the Legal Battle For Privacy

Lavabit, Edward Snowden and the Legal Battle For Privacy

The Legal Battle For Privacy In early June 2013, Edward Snowden made headlines around the world when he leaked information about the National Security Agency (NSA) collecting the phone records of tens of millions of Americans. It was a dramatic story. Snowden flew to Hong Kong and then Russia to avoid deportation to the US,…

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

Botnets and DDoS Attacks There’s just so much that seems as though it could go wrong with closed-circuit television cameras, a.k.a. video surveillance. With an ever-increasing number of digital eyes on the average person at all times, people can hardly be blamed for feeling like they’re one misfortune away from joining the ranks of Don’t…

Utilizing Digital Marketing Techniques Via The Cloud

Utilizing Digital Marketing Techniques Via The Cloud

Digital Marketing Trends In the past, trends in the exceptionally fast-paced digital marketing arena have been quickly adopted or abandoned, keeping marketers and consumers on their toes. 2016 promises a similarly expeditious temperament, with a few new digital marketing offerings taking center stage. According to Gartner’s recent research into Digital Marketing Hubs, brands plan to…

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Analytics Trends

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Analytics Trends

Big Data Analytics Trends As data information and cloud computing continues to work together, the need for data analytics continues to grow. Many tech firms predict that big data volume will grow steadily 40% per year and in 2020, will grow up to 50 times that. This growth will also bring a number of cost…

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter The city of the future is impeccably documented. Sensors are used to measure air quality, traffic patterns, and crowd movement. Emerging neighborhoods are quickly recognized, public safety threats are found via social networks, and emergencies are dealt with quicklier. Crowdsourcing reduces commuting times, provides people with better transportation…

Five Signs The Internet of Things Is About To Explode

Five Signs The Internet of Things Is About To Explode

The Internet of Things Is About To Explode By 2020, Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion worldwide. It’s an astoundingly large figure given that the sector barely existed three years ago. We are now rapidly evolving toward a world in which just about everything will become…

Using Big Data To Analyze Venture Capitalists’ Ability To Recognize Potential

Using Big Data To Analyze Venture Capitalists’ Ability To Recognize Potential

Big Data To Analyze Using Big Data to Analyze Venture Capitalists’ Ability To Recognize Potential For those who are regularly involved with SMEs, venture capital, and company valuations, it is common knowledge that start-ups that exit for more than $1 billion dollars are extremely rare – often termed ‘unicorn’ companies. Despite their rarity, it should…

Three Reasons Cloud Adoption Can Close The Federal Government’s Tech Gap

Three Reasons Cloud Adoption Can Close The Federal Government’s Tech Gap

Federal Government Cloud Adoption No one has ever accused the U.S. government of being technologically savvy. Aging software, systems and processes, internal politics, restricted budgets and a cultural resistance to change have set the federal sector years behind its private sector counterparts. Data and information security concerns have also been a major contributing factor inhibiting the…

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Five Requirements for Supporting a Connected Workforce It used to be that enterprises dictated how workers spent their day: stuck in a cubicle, tied to an enterprise-mandated computer, an enterprise-mandated desk phone with mysterious buttons, and perhaps an enterprise-mandated mobile phone if they traveled. All that is history. Today, a modern workforce is dictating how…

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise of BI Data Every few years, a new concept or technological development is introduced that drastically improves the business world as a whole. In 1983, the first commercially handheld mobile phone debuted and provided workers with an unprecedented amount of availability, leading to more productivity and profits. More recently, the Cloud has taken…

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Cloud Email Migration In today’s litigious society, preserving your company’s data is a must if you (and your legal team) want to avoid hefty fines for data spoliation. But what about when you move to the cloud? Of course, you’ve probably thought of this already. You’ll have a migration strategy in place and you’ll carefully…

Beacons Flopped, But They’re About to Flourish in the Future

Beacons Flopped, But They’re About to Flourish in the Future

Cloud Beacons Flying High When Apple debuted cloud beacons in 2013, analysts predicted 250 million devices capable of serving as iBeacons would be found in the wild within weeks. A few months later, estimates put the figure at just 64,000, with 15 percent confined to Apple stores. Beacons didn’t proliferate as expected, but a few…

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Revenue Imperatives “Follow the money” is always a good piece of advice, but in today’s recurring revenue-driven market, “follow the customer” may be more powerful. Two recurring revenue imperatives highlight the importance of responding to, and cherishing customer interactions. Technology and competitive advantage influence the final two. If you’re part of the movement towards recurring…

Why Security Practitioners Need To Apply The 80-20 Rules To Data Security

Why Security Practitioners Need To Apply The 80-20 Rules To Data Security

The 80-20 Rule For Security Practitioners  Everyday we learn about yet another egregious data security breach, exposure of customer data or misuse of data. It begs the question why in this 21st century, as a security industry we cannot seem to secure our most valuable data assets when technology has surpassed our expectations in other regards.…

Using Cloud Technology In The Education Industry

Using Cloud Technology In The Education Industry

Education Tech and the Cloud Arguably one of society’s most important functions, teaching can still seem antiquated at times. Many schools still function similarly to how they did five or 10 years ago, which is surprising considering the amount of technical innovation we’ve seen in the past decade. Education is an industry ripe for innovation…

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Out-of-the-box Cloud Solutions Although people may argue that data is not safe in the Cloud because using cloud infrastructure requires trusting another party to look after mission critical data, cloud services actually are more secure than legacy systems. In fact, a recent study on the state of cloud security in the enterprise market revealed that…