Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Is Artificial Intelligence Really Dangerous?

Is Artificial Intelligence Really Dangerous?

Artificial Intelligence

When Tesla CEO, Elon Musk was asked about artificial intelligence, he said it was like ‘summoning a demon’ who shouldn’t be called unless you can control it. Yes, this is the founder of the same company whose cars are pushing new limits of technology every day.

When Stephen Hawking was asked this same question by BBC, he cautioned the public by saying that any further advancement to artificial intelligence could be a fatal mistake. In another interview, he mentioned that AI has the power to re-design itself and take off on its own whereas humans have slow biological evolution, and they wouldn’t be able to compete.

Bill Gates, too, expressed his concern about this topic during a Reddit Ask me Anything session. According to him, AI devices will be fine initially, but as they start learning more and more from us, and about us, they will get more powerful and intelligent than the humankind.

Do we even need Artificial Intelligence

Ever since the beginning of time, we humans have had a desire for technological advancements and innovation. Through our vivid imaginations, we have been able to develop technologies that previously seemed impossible were just a part of our science fiction fantasies. Virtual reality, space tourism, self-driving cars and the much talked about artificial intelligence. Some of the most talented innovators have blurred the lines between fantasy and fiction for us.

Artificial intelligence is now a very real prospect that companies are focusing on. Now, for those of you who are still new to this concept, Artificial intelligence is a field of science which focuses on how hardware and software components of a machine can exhibit intelligent behaviour. Instead of being fed information from the user himself, they learn over the course of time and become more intelligent. Currently, many companies are working on AI projects including Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Minecraft. South Korea also has some high profile AI projects going on.

And these are just the companies that have made this official; there might also be companies that are secretly working on AI projects.

Why should humans be scared of Artificial Intelligence

If there is one thing we have learnt from every science fiction movie, then that is the fact that robots can become evil. If the robots learn to work autonomously, they can be an obvious threat to the people. It has been said that governments are developing AI robots for the military, but if these robots get control over major military weapons, it could be dangerous.

Another theory is that AI robots could take over all the standard jobs like watchmen, accountants, security guards, waiters and drivers. And this is already happening. Machinery has replaced industry workers in many verticals. Workers need monthly pay, bonuses, health insurance and what not but with robots, companies only have to pay one-time and then there are only the maintenance costs.


(Image Source: Anton Watman / Shutterstock)

One more issue with AI is that machines might be able to create codes for themselves. If these machines really learn from the environment, and they become autonomous, then they can also write their own codes and perform work that they weren’t even meant to do in the first place. So, even an AI robot that was initially built to handle minute kitchen work can code itself to become a military robot. But, what happens when the computers can completely teach themselves to run without any humans?

Though the worst threat to AI applications are the humans itself. The main focus of developing AI might just be to ease our everyday activities but what happens when these AI applications get into the wrong hand? After all, at the end of the day, these are just robots, and they can be reprogrammed as well. So, a robot that was initially built by the military, to fight for the country could get into the hands of terrorists, and they could make that robot fight against the country. That AI robot, would not just be fighting, he would also know a lot of secrets of the military which could help it defeat the opposition.

Final Word

While there are a lot of assumptions about AI being dangerous, we have to remember that these are just assumptions and not facts. Humans have always been doubtful about new technologies; there was a time when we were also hesitant about cell phones. But, it’s been more than two decades and cell phones are still here. All in all, it’s about how we create Artificial Intelligence and how we keep it under check.

By Ritika Tiwari

New MemSQL 5 Release Achieves Breakthrough Analytics Performance

New MemSQL 5 Release Achieves Breakthrough Analytics Performance

Kellogg Company Demonstrates Power of MemSQL 5 for Eliminating Data Latency at Strata+Hadoop World San Jose

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – Mar 30, 2016) – MemSQL (, the leader in real-time databases for transactions and analytics, today announced the release of MemSQL 5, delivering breakthrough performance on database, data warehouse, and streaming workloads. MemSQL 5 removes data latency barriers across queries, enabling real-time analytics so businesses can anticipate problems before they occur and adapt to changes as they happen. In the race to the digital enterprise, companies must move as fast as the world changes. MemSQL 5 makes that possible.

The Digital Economy

The business landscape is going through an extreme cultural shift. Companies that can adapt and learn in real time will thrive while those that cannot will fade. Built on the mature, enterprise-ready, distributed MemSQL database, MemSQL 5 ushers in a new era of capturing and querying data simultaneously for real-time analytics. Companies benefit by ingesting and serving critical workloads simultaneously, and enabling interactivity on live data for the most popular Business Intelligence (BI) tools. Combining BI tools with an operational database provides a window into business as it happens, accurate to the last transaction.

A real-time dashboard is no longer simply a competitive advantage, it is an absolute necessity,” said Eric Frenkiel, CEO and co-founder, MemSQL. “Enterprises achieving peak performance have their finger on the pulse of real-time data to win in the digital economy. With MemSQL 5, we help companies innovate, make every moment work for them, and pave the way for predictive applications.”

memsql ops cluster

At Strata+Hadoop World in San Jose today, Eric Frenkiel highlights driving forces behind this growing on-demand economy and the enterprise architecture needed to thrive in it. He is joined later in a tutorial session by JR Cahill, Senior Solutions Architect at Kellogg. In addition to sharing the technology solutions in place at Kellogg today, Eric and JR will discuss the company’s approach for moving from overnight to intraday analytics for distribution optimization. The session will also cover native integration with BI tools like Tableau.

Enterprises that adopt real-time solutions will overshadow those trapped by ETL,” said JR Cahill, Senior Solutions Architect, Kellogg. “At Kellogg, a primary mission in IT is to build a seamless platform delivering instant analytics to optimize cereal distribution nationwide. MemSQL 5 took us from a 24-hour process to one in under an hour. That time saved goes directly to the bottom line.”

From Datacenter to Cloud

Modern databases should meet hybrid cloud requirements. MemSQL 5 delivers unprecedented flexibility from datacenter to cloud through multi-cloud and on-premises deployments. With design architectures for high availability, disaster recovery, and cloud independence, users have the agility to fulfill hybrid cloud strategies for peak database performance.

Modernizing BI 

MemSQL 5 sets a new standard for how enterprises use BI tools, allowing for full granularity that brings data to life. The in-memory capabilities of MemSQL transform BI data access by enabling interactivity on live data for Tableau, Zoomdata, Looker, and other BI solutions, in ways that traditional databases simply cannot.

MemSQL shares our mission to help people see and understand their data,” said Dan Kogan, Director Product Marketing, Tableau. “MemSQL 5 will help to bring advanced query performance and real-time analytics to our customers.”

As the pace of business accelerates, businesses increasingly need to see and analyze information in real time,” said Nick Halsey, Chief Marketing Officer, Zoomdata. “Zoomdata’s Smart Connectors are optimized for the MemSQL database, and with the query advancements in MemSQL 5, we can hasten our customers’ access to real-time and historical data.

Organizations’ employees today now expect access to data instantaneously, in real time to make the most informed data driven decisions,” said Keenan Rice, Vice President Alliances, Looker. “With MemSQL 5, Looker can now offer companies a powerful BI and data discovery platform, accessing and transforming data as it is collected. This speed provides governed decision making, zero latency data, and democratized access to find your own insights in any type of data.

MemSQL 5 Technology Highlights:

  • New LLVM-based code generation architecture: MemSQL 5 delivers deterministic, low-latency query compilation and maximum performance for interactive data exploration through an advanced LLVM-based MemSQL Byte Code Compilation Architecture.
  • Breakthrough analytics performance: perform real-time queries under heavy write load with MemSQL for stellar results. Merge transactions and analytics into a single database through Hybrid Transaction/Analytical Processing (HTAP) with concurrent support for OLTP and OLAP queries.
  • Streamliner: with one-click deployment of integrated Apache Spark through MemSQL Streamliner, users can create real-time data pipelines through a graphical UI and eliminate batch ETL.
  • PAM-based authentication: MemSQL 5 includes Pluggable Authentication Module (PAM) based authentication with tools like Kerberos for advanced security.

Big data now powers new markets, driving more value for business intelligence dashboards, and making insights actionable. Forward-thinking organizations use real-time data to power emerging digital platforms. This proficiency will set leading companies ahead and CxOs should look for vendors that enable these key capabilities,” noted Holger Mueller, VP and principal analyst, Constellation Research.

Strata+Hadoop World

MemSQL will showcase MemSQL 5 at Strata+Hadoop World 2016 on March 30 at the San Jose Convention Center. Attend one of following talks or visit MemSQL booth #1019 for more details.

Driving the On-Demand Economy with Predictive Analytics

Keynote featuring Eric Frenkiel, CEO and co-founder, MemSQL
9:10am-9:15am on Wednesday, March 30, Grand Ballroom 220

Dash forward: From Descriptive to Predictive Analytics with Apache Spark Plus End-User Feature with JR Cahill, Senior Solutions Architect, Kellogg

11:00am-11:40am Wednesday, March 30, 210 B/F


MemSQL 5 is available today at Users can choose from the community edition which has unlimited scale and capacity, or the enterprise edition which also includes high availability, security, and support.

MemSQL licenses software based on the cluster RAM capacity. Customer installations range from gigabytes to terabytes of memory. With the MemSQL columnstore, SSD or disk-storage is free.

About MemSQL

MemSQL delivers the leading database platform for real-time analytics. Global enterprises use MemSQL to achieve peak performance and optimize data efficiency. With the combined power of database, data warehouse, and streaming workloads in one system, MemSQL helps companies anticipate problems before they occur, turn insights into actions, and stay relevant in a rapidly changing world. Visit or follow us @memsql.

Fallacies of Cloud Growth Hacking

Fallacies of Cloud Growth Hacking

Cloud Growth Hacking

Though growth hacking certainly works, it’s by now clear that tremendous company advancement through one or a variety of growth hacking strategies is limited to the lucky, and often early, few. Airbnb, Pinterest, Dropbox, and LinkedIn are just a few of today’s giants that successfully used growth hacking tools to engineer their success, but many more organizations have taken advantage of hacks such as exclusivity, referral programs, and piggybacking off free marketing platforms to encourage business development and expansion. An assortment of growth hacking devices have flooded the web, and with them many more misconceptions.


(Image Source: Shutterstock)

What Growth Hacking Isn’t

  • Growth hacking isn’t limited to startups though many of the success stories have come from this sector. Marketers across the breadth of businesses are using growth hacks to streamline the process of customer targeting, increase the flow of potential business, and create positive product impressions.
  • Growth hacking isn’t cheap and easy. The game has already changed, and the company making great strides from little or no investment or time in their growth hacks is highly unique. In order to build high volumes of traffic using only social media, businesses need sizeable budgets, and growth hacking experts agree that these tools are most useful when applied to projects that already have a good deal of public interest.
  • Growth hacking isn’t limited to a single division. The joint efforts of product management, marketing, engineering, and data analysis departments to improve growth are key to the development of any business, and tying growth hacking into this practice ensures a tight and streamlined course to customer satisfaction.
  • Growth hacking isn’t fanciful. Though often very imaginative and creative, growth hacking is all about the data and data-driven content decisions. Growth hacking calls for the use of tools like Google Analytics to measure website traffic, enhanced social media engagement through careful data analysis, and the judicious wording of email subjects to boost open rates. The try-and-see approach is a waste of time at the very least, and could even go so far as to damage company reputations.

Growth Hacking Misconceptions


  • Growth hacking alone will grow your business. Every company that’s successfully pulled off a growth hack has backed it up with a reliable product and a host of traditional marketing techniques.
  • Growth hacking results in fast growth. Though some organizations have been lucky enough to achieve rapid growth through growth hacks, it’s more about method and mindset.
  • Growth hacking only works if it goes ‘viral’. Though growth hacks work best when they reach a broad audience, the key is a targeted audience. 15 million YouTube views doesn’t mean business success.

growth-hackers-sean-ellisGrowth hackers may come from any industry and may sit in just about any position. They have an assortment of dissimilar skills, but their focus is always on growth. Says Sean Ellis, entrepreneur and startup advisor, “A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth. Everything they do is scrutinized by its potential impact on scalable growth.” From marketers to programmers, copywriters to engineers, this relatively new engagement encourages a creative and practical collaboration that is settling into a steady but active role in today’s marketing approaches.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Insider Threats and Sensitive Data in the Cloud

Insider Threats and Sensitive Data in the Cloud

The Age of Sensitive Data in the Cloud

A recent survey report conducted by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) revealed that cloud security had reached a tipping point: 64.9% of respondents (which included IT security professionals from enterprises across all industries and regions) believed that the cloud was as secure or more secure than their on-premises software. This is a watershed moment given that the single most influential item holding back cloud adoption has been the security concerns surrounding data stored in the cloud. However, in our latest Cloud Adoption & Risk Report, we found an alarming number of sensitive files that employees were storing in the cloud. This speaks both to the growing trust in the security capabilities of cloud service providers as well as potentially careless employees storing inappropriate data in the cloud.

According to a recent Gartner report, “through 2020, 95% of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.” The statistics regarding sensitive data stored in the cloud backs up this assessment. Across industries, companies have a responsibility to protect sensitive data from being hacked or accidently exposed. However, in analyzing cloud usage, we discovered that 15.8% of all documents uploaded to cloud-based file sharing applications had sensitive information.

58.4% of the sensitive files were a MS Office file type. 18.8% were adobe pdfs, and the remaining 22.8% were a mixtures of files types ranging from CAD diagrams to Java source code. All told, 29.2% of all files containing sensitive data were Excel files, 16.7% were MS Word files, while another 10.1% were Power Point files.


Of the 15.8% of documents that contained sensitive data, 48% were confidential files (including financial records, business plans, source code, trading algorithms, etc). 27% of documents containing sensitive were those that had Personally Identifiable Information (PII such as social security numbers, tax ID numbers, phone numbers, home addresses, etc). 15% of files containing sensitive data were one which are regulated by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), while a startling 10% contained data regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA-HITECH). One of the mandates of HIPAA is that if more than 500 individuals’ data gets hacked/leaked, the health care provider is required to inform the individuals as well as the press about the data loss. This can have far reaching impact both in terms of monetary fines as well as long term loss of trust and reputation.

One of the more alarming trends we uncovered was the naming convention of files that are being stored in the cloud. Cybercriminals are always looking for the types of data that can be sold in the darknet. The most valuable type of data is healthcare data, but anything from account credentials to credit numbers are common forms of data on sale in the darknet. It’s clear employees aren’t helping themselves or the organization they work for given the types of names uncovered for files stored in the cloud.

The average enterprise has 1,156 files with the word “password” in the file name. If these files gets breached, the hackers would essentially have the keys to the kingdom. A whopping 7,886 files stored in file sharing services contain the word “budget,” while 2,217 files contain the word “confidential.”


Internal and External Threats

Owing to the large amounts of sensitive data being stored in the cloud, the average organization experienced 19.6 cloud-related security cases each month. These may include anything from insider threats which may be accidental or malicious, privileged user threats, stolen credentials, or attempts to exfiltrate data using the cloud.

Sadly, nearly every company (89.6%) experiences at least one threat caused by an insider each month, which lends credence to the earlier Gartner quote regarding the role the organization itself will play in cloud security breaches. At the same time, 55.6% of organizations become victims of stolen login credentials each month. The average organization is hit by an unauthorized user attempting to exploit a compromised account a total of 5.1 times each month.

Detecting and preventing insider threats

If 95% of cloud security incidents are expected to be caused by an employee within an organization, then protecting data from within becomes one of the most important goals of the IT security team. However, the most difficult part of detecting insider threats is sifting through a sea of false positives to pinpoint an actual insider threat incident. As an analogy, credit card companies must detect suspicious credit card charges accurately or else the end user will be irritated by constantly having to verify their identity with the credit card company every time a “suspicious” transaction takes place. They’re mandated by their customer base to minimize false positives.

The solution that credit card companies have employed is called User Behavior Analytics (UBA), where they use machine learning to build a baseline for what is considered real credit card transactions. For example, they’ve realized that during the holiday seasons around Christmas time, both the amount and the frequency of credit card transactions increase for most individuals, so they use contextual clues to create the baseline normal behavior. The number of data points that is used is vast and can only be correlated using high performing computer algorithms. However, once this baseline has been established, they can accurately pick out fraudulent transactions, much like successfully finding the needle in a haystack.

Chasing false positive insider threats would be a major waste of resources, so IT security teams need to employ the same thing when attempting to detect and thwart insider threats. Every user’s cloud usage should be profiled and a baseline should be established that takes into account the location, device, time of the day, cloud service being used, and anything else visible to the security team in order to accomplish this.

You can find the full CSA report here.

By Sekhar Sarukkai

The FBI’s War On Encryption – Now What?

The FBI’s War On Encryption – Now What?

As of last night, Apple’s San Bernardino troubles are officially over. Yesterday, the FBI announced that it no longer needs Apple’s help in breaking into an iPhone linked to last year’s attacks, thanks to a new method for unlocking the phone submitted by an anonymous outside source. For the first time in weeks, Apple’s lawyers can breathe easy.

But San Bernardino was just one battle in a much larger fight. The FBI’s Going Dark Initiative has been pushing for encryption backdoors since 2014, and they have no intention of stopping now. As soon as last night’s filing came in, the Department of Justice announced its intention to continue challenging devices with strong encryption. “It remains a priority for the government to ensure that law enforcement can obtain crucial digital information to protect national security and public safety,” the department said in a statement. In other words, the fight is still going. The question is just how and where it will play out…

Full Article Source: The Verge

How Big Data Can Discover The Next Pop Star

How Big Data Can Discover The Next Pop Star

Big Data & the Music Industry

Have you heard about this new TV show called “Vinyl”? It has been created by Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese, and it depicts how the music industry was back in the 70s. It shows how talent hunters would go in dingy bars to scout new bands, and how they heavily relied on their gut when it came to signing new talent.

But all that has changed now. Record labels make data-driven decisions, and artists are signed on the basis of how much hype they can create on social media.

Big Data can predict trends in music

It’s no secret that record labels already decide who the next big thing should be, and they make sure that you are forced to listen to those songs over and over again on the radio and the TV. Studies have also proven that songs which have the same lines repeated again and again, or trap music, as the internet like to call it, are also more popular. This is the reason tracks like “Whip Nae Nae” and “Hotline Bling” go so popular, even when they make no sense. This is also the reason why Taylor Swift keeps making songs about break-ups even after five albums.

But, the question is – how do the big music companies select what is going to work out and what isn’t?

Apps like iTunes, Spotify and Shazam are helping record labels identify what is working for them and what isn’t.

Now, Spotify for instance obviously knows what you are listening to through its app. The music streaming service compiles data to be able to suggest new and similar music to its listeners. They have a Discover Weekly feature which is sort of like a fresh mixtape for its users. While the users might not like all the songs listed on it, they will surely like more than half of them.

Shazam is another powerful music app which lets users identify the song that is playing in the background. Instead of scanning each song through a library, the app turns each song into a unique algorithm which makes it easier to find and detect songs. Shazam was one of the first music apps on the scene and according to the statistics, it has been downloaded over 500 million times, and it has detected over 30 million songs. That is a huge amount of data.

These apps know what kind of music you are listening to and when you are listening to them. They know the duration after which you skip a song and move on to a new one. These apps also know what time you listen to a specific genre of music.

By following the searches on Shazam, companies can know what kind of music is getting popular at which place. This is a great feature to predict the next big song or the artist.

Hitpredictor is another music app which lets users vote on new music. Users get to listen to new music and win cool goodies; record label companies find out what the users think about their music. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. According to the stats, Hitpredictor has been able to predict 48 of the 50 top songs last year.

Power of the internet


(Image Source: Shutterstock)

With apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Periscope, becoming famous and viral isn’t as difficult anymore. If you have got talent, you can be spotted, even if you live in the middle of nowhere. Artists like Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, 5 Seconds of Summer, Artic Monkeys and Adele, were all discovered through the internet.

But, if big data can predict the next big pop star, can it also help create music that would be a big hit? The only logical follow-up of data-driven music is data-created music. Why should big labels wait for the next big thing when they can just engineer one?

Well, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Using an algorithm to create new music would only create similar kind of music. Also, when it comes to music, humans have a tendency to like a wide genre of music, which cannot just be put in a box. For instance, a person who likes Lionel Richie and Adele might also like Major Lazer.

Final Word

There is no denying that big data is helping music companies predict future trends and upcoming artists, but it seems that for now, the music creation part will be handled exclusively by musicians only.

Nevertheless, to be able to predict the next big pop star in the music industry is a big deal, and if big data can help in that, then more and more companies will be leaning towards it.

By Ritika Tiwari

Infographic: The Evolving Internet of Things

Infographic: The Evolving Internet of Things

Evolving Internet of Things 

The Internet of Things, or IoT, a term devised in 1999 by British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton, represents the connection of physical devices, systems and services via the internet, and Gartner and Lucas Blake’s new infographic (below) explores the evolution of the IoT industry, investigating its potential impact across just about every aspect of our lives in the coming years. Says W. Roy Schulte, vice president and analyst at Gartner, “Uses of the IoT that were previously impractical will increasingly become practical. The IoT is relevant in virtually every industry, although not in every application. There will be no purely ‘IoT applications.’ Rather, there will be many applications that leverage the IoT in some small or large aspect of their work. As a result, business analysts and developers of information-centric processes need to have the expertise and the tools to implement IoT aspects that play a role in their systems.


(Infographic Source: Lucas Blake)

The 5 Year View

By 2020, Gartner predicts that more than half of major new business processes and systems will incorporate some element of the internet of things, and analysts have disclosed a few more unexpected implications resulting from the Internet of Things. Until 2018, it’s predicted that 75% of IoT projects will take up to twice as long as planned, resulting in cost overruns. Unsurprisingly, more complicated and/or ambitious projects are likely to have greater scheduling overruns, and compromises made are liable to lead to weak performances, security risks and integration problems.

It’s also expected that by 2020 a black market exceeding $5 billion will exist selling fake sensors and video data. New security risks and privacy repercussions are occurring with the IoT solutions and the types of data they generate, and organizations are seeing a new kind of IT complexity which without adequate appreciation and comprehension could critically jeopardize organizations. “The IoT has enormous potential to collect continuous data about our environment,” states Ted Friedman, vice president and analyst at Gartner. “The integrity of this data will be important in making personal and business decisions… A black market for fake or corrupted sensor and video data will mean that data can be compromised or substituted with inaccurate or deliberately manipulated data. This scenario will spur the growth of privacy products and services, resulting in an extensive public discussion regarding the future of privacy, the means to protect individual privacy, and the role of technology and government in privacy protection.

Gartner also points to the expectation that 2020 will see an increase in IoT security costs to 20% of annual security budgets, a drastic increase from the 1% in 2015. Says Earl Perkins, research vice president at Gartner, “Major cybersecurity vendors and service providers are already delivering roadmaps and architecture of IoT security, in anticipation of market opportunity. Small startups delivering niche IoT security in areas such as network segmentation, device-to-device authentication and simple data encryption are offering first-generation products and services, including cloud-based solutions where applicable. Large security vendors have already begun acquiring some of these IoT startups to support their early roadmaps and fill niches in their portfolios.”

Noteworthy IoT Stats

  • According to Gartner, 20.8 billion connected things will be used globally by 2020.
  • This year, 5.5 million new things will be connected every day.
  • Gartner predicts IoT will support a 22% increase in total service spending this year, reaching $235 billion.
  • Regarding hardware spending, consumer applications will amount to $546 billion this year.
  • IoT use in the enterprise will reach $868 in 2016.

By Jennifer Klostermann

CloudLock Unveils Method For Isolating True Security Threats

CloudLock Unveils Method For Isolating True Security Threats

CloudLock New Method

Q1-16 Cybersecurity Report: The CloudLock CyberLab’s “Cloud Threat Funnel” Methodology Reveals Distinct User Behavior Patterns, Helping Businesses Lock Into Only the Real Threats

WALTHAM, MA–(Marketwired – Mar 28, 2016) – When is a security alert not a real security alert? With hacks and breaches a daily reality for businesses, security teams deal with a barrage of suspicious and anomalous user behaviors and have little time to isolate and focus on the true threats. Today, CloudLock’s security intelligence arm, The CloudLock CyberLab announced its breakthrough discovery that solves this challenge — the “Cloud Threat Funnel.” Following its extensive research of the daily behavior of 10 million users, 1 billion files and 140,000 cloud apps, CloudLock CyberLab detected distinct patterns of user behaviors and developed a new process for isolating truly malicious threats from the noise of other potentially suspicious or unusual behaviors. CloudLock’s findings and methodology are presented in its Q1-16 cloud cybersecurity report published today, “The Cloud Threat Funnel: Suspicious User Behavior That Matters.”

The report reveals that 99.6 percent of users accessed cloud platforms from just one or two countries per week. Establishing this as the norm, the team was then able to isolate the long tail revealing anomalies: 1 in 20,000 users, for example, logged in from six or more countries and, within this group, the CyberLab found some users logging in from as many as 68 different countries in a given week — real needles in the haystack. By applying the Cloud Threat Funnel methodology, the CyberLab was able to correlate these anomalous behaviors with other high-risk suspicious user activities and pinpoint compromised accounts.

How the Cloud Threat Funnel Works

It starts with all user behavior — looking at high-fidelity information from an array of sources. This data set can be enriched with third-party threat intelligence resources and run through anomaly detection algorithms to reduce the likelihood of false positives. The threat funnel then moves into anomalies, recognizing outliers that do not conform to expected patterns, like a sudden burst of activity. Anomalies are then distilled down to high-risk, high-impact suspicious activities, by coupling the results of anomaly detection with custom-defined rules and correlating access to sensitive assets and applications. An adaptive, self-learning model, the threat funnel reduces the number of alerts being generated to improve the signal-to-noise ratio and visibility. Using this approach allows security professionals to focus their efforts on true malicious threats.

Identifying Patterns of High-Risk Behaviors

CloudLock’s research determined the following user behavior patterns that are representative of the signal-to-noise challenge faced by security teams:

  • The activities of top offenders are significantly higher than the average user. Top offenders exhibit up to 227 times more anomalous activities than average users.
  • Only 0.02 percent (1 in 5,000) of all user activities represent suspicious behaviors.
  • Eight percent of all user logins fail or get challenged. Of these, 1.3 percent originate from risky countries.

What Now?

To embrace the Cloud Threat Funnel, organizations need to deploy an adaptive security model that can provide security teams with predictive, preventive, detective and responsive capabilities. Key components of an adaptive security model include threat intelligence, cloud vulnerability insight, cyber research, community intelligence, centralized policies, and contextual analysis. Leveraging these factors in unison will help avoid alert fatigue and improve the precision of identifying threats.

Starting with the highest impact incidents is the key to success. By narrowing the focus on top offenders and user activities that are the most indicative of true threat, security teams can make confident decisions much faster than ever before and avoid costly breaches with little effort.

To download the full report, visit

About The CloudLock CyberLab

The CloudLock CyberLab is a global team of leading security experts, analysts, penetration testers, incident responders, forensic investigators and security researchers focused on driving unique insight into cybersecurity threats related to the cloud. CloudLock is the only security vendor uniquely combining U.S. and Israeli Military Intelligence with real-time, crowdsourced cloud security insight, continuously monitoring over one billion files daily across more than 10 million users. Security professionals feed into CloudLock’s unique security insight through peer-driven, crowdsourced Community Trust Ratings™. This intelligence allows organizations to immediately respond to emerging cloud cyber threats and risky apps.

About CloudLock

CloudLock is the cloud-native CASB and Cloud Cybersecurity Platform that helps organizations securely leverage cloud apps they buy and build. CloudLock delivers security visibility and control for SaaS, IaaS, PaaS and IDaaS environments across the entire enterprise in seconds. Founded by Israeli Elite Cybersecurity Military Intelligence experts, the company delivers actionable cybersecurity intelligence through its data scientist-led CyberLab and crowdsourced security analytics across billions of data points daily. CloudLock has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as the fastest growing security product company in the U.S. and by Glassdoor as one of the top 3 best places to work in the U.S. Learn more at

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Cloud Computing – The Real Story Is About Business Strategy, Not Technology

Cloud Computing – The Real Story Is About Business Strategy, Not Technology

Enabling Business Strategies The cloud is not really the final destination: It’s mid-2015, and it’s clear that the cloud paradigm is here to stay. Its services are growing exponentially and, at this time, it’s a fluid model with no steady state on the horizon. As such, adopting cloud computing has been surprisingly slow and seen more…

Cloud Infographic: The Explosive Growth Of The Cloud

Cloud Infographic: The Explosive Growth Of The Cloud

The Explosive Growth Of The Cloud We’ve been covering cloud computing extensively over the past number of years on CloudTweaks and have truly enjoyed watching the adoption and growth of it. Many novices are still trying to wrap their mind around what the cloud it is and what it does, while others such as thought…

What You Need To Know About Choosing A Cloud Service Provider

What You Need To Know About Choosing A Cloud Service Provider

Selecting The Right Cloud Services Provider How to find the right partner for cloud adoption on an enterprise scale The cloud is capable of delivering many benefits, enabling greater collaboration, business agility, and speed to market. Cloud adoption in the enterprise has been growing fast. Worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow at a…

Business Analytics Vs Data Science

Business Analytics Vs Data Science

Big Data Continues To Grow Big Data continues to be a much discussed topic of interest and for good reason.  According to a recent report from International Data Corporation (IDC), “worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics will grow from nearly $122 billion in 2015 to more than $187 billion in 2019, an increase…

Moving Your Enterprise Apps To The Cloud Is A Business Decision

Moving Your Enterprise Apps To The Cloud Is A Business Decision

Moving Your Enterprise Apps Whether it be enterprise apps or any other, if there is any heavy data that is going to be transacted in and through an app, then affiliating it with the Cloud becomes a must. And then an important question arises: How do you decide when to integrate your enterprise app with…

Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

The Internet Of Things In 2020 The growing interest in the Internet of Things is amongst us and there is much discussion. Attached is an archived but still relevant infographic by Intel which has produced a memorizing snapshot at how the number of connected devices have exploded since the birth of the Internet and PC.…

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most Cloud computing is rapidly revolutionizing the way we do business. Instead of being a blurry buzzword, it has become a facet of everyday life. Most people may not quite understand how the cloud works, but electricity is quite difficult to fathom as well. Anyway, regardless of…

Do Small Businesses Need Cloud Storage Service?

Do Small Businesses Need Cloud Storage Service?

Cloud Storage Services Not using cloud storage for your business yet? Cloud storage provides small businesses like yours with several advantages. Start using one now and look forward to the following benefits: Easy back-up of files According to Practicalecommerce, it provides small businesses with a way to back up their documents and files. No need…

Infographic: The Evolving Internet of Things

Infographic: The Evolving Internet of Things

Evolving Internet of Things  The Internet of Things, or IoT, a term devised in 1999 by British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton, represents the connection of physical devices, systems and services via the internet, and Gartner and Lucas Blake’s new infographic (below) explores the evolution of the IoT industry, investigating its potential impact across just about every…

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services For Your Company

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services For Your Company

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services Business Intelligence (BI) services have recently seen an explosion of innovation and choices for business owners and entrepreneurs. So many choices, in fact, that many companies aren’t sure which business intelligence company to use. To help offer you a solution, we’ve compiled a list of 12 Business Intelligence companies…

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

There is a Difference – So Stop Comparing We are all familiar with the old saying “That’s like comparing apples to oranges” and though we learned this lesson during our early years we somehow seem to discount this idiom when discussing the Cloud. Specifically, IT buyers often feel justified when comparing the cost of a…

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,…

Despite Record Breaches, Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority

Despite Record Breaches, Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority

Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority Research has revealed that third parties cause 63 percent of all data breaches. From HVAC contractors, to IT consultants, to supply chain analysts and beyond, the threats posed by third parties are real and growing. Deloitte, in its Global Survey 2016 of third party risk, reported…

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups Cloud platforms have become a necessary part of modern business with the benefits far outweighing the risks. However, the risks are real and account for billions of dollars in losses across the globe per year. If you’ve been hacked, you’re not alone. Here are some other companies in the past…

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap You’re out of your mind if you think blocking access to file sharing services is filling a security gap. You’re out of your mind if you think making people jump through hoops like Citrix and VPNs to get at content is secure. You’re out of your mind if you think putting your…

The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions Running a cloud server is no longer the novel trend it once was. Now, the cloud is a necessary data tier that allows employees to access vital company data and maintain productivity from anywhere in the world. But it isn’t a perfect system — security and performance issues can quickly…

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud Cloud computing is more than just another storage tier. Imagine if you’re able to scale up 10x just to handle seasonal volumes or rely on a true disaster-recovery solution without upfront capital. Although the pay-as-you-go pricing model of cloud computing makes it a noticeable expense, it’s the only solution for many…