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Security News & Analysis

AWS Message is Clear: Get Your Head Into Cloud for Agility

2014-16-July-Ostrich.jpgIt’s amazing that I still hear companies say cloud computing is not part of their strategy or they can't run the risk of storing secure data in the cloud. It's kind of like saying they still work by candlelight despite the invention of the light bulb. It’s time to come out of the dark ages!

The attendance at last week's AWS Summit 2014 held in New York City may be an indication that the tide is finally turning. The event drew a record attendance and claimed to have more than 10,000 registrations. The attendees clogged registration lines to the point where they actually ran out of badges. Thousands of others also watched the event remotely in real time. Maybe this is all a sign that people are finally getting their heads out of the sand and into the cloud!
 

Facebook's Mind Experiments: Just Media As Usual

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Yes, "furor erupted" over Facebook's massive psychological experiment to control user emotions by changing the configuration of posts.

How naive are we, really? Of course Facebook wants to control your thoughts — that's the whole point of media.

Emotional manipulation in the media is nothing new. That's why we have Rush Limbaugh. Perhaps Facebook's experiment was more disturbing because of its scale, and the fact that it failed to alert or gain the consent of its users.

But anybody thinking that the trend of media companies using real time user data to control reactions of its audience is something new is mistaken. 

Microsoft Tightens Email Security

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Edward Snowden has done more for electronic security than anyone else. Singlehandedly, he has forced some of the biggest IT vendors to take a close look at data, data transfer, and how it is stored.

This follows the revelation that security agencies across the world were systematically scanning emails.

In response, Google has made much of its email encryption practices and its efforts to secure the contents of the email itself.

Last night, Microsoft, in turn announced that it has upgraded its encryption standards across all its networks.

The Enterprise Mobility Showdown

To achieve competitive advantage, large organizations today are developing mobile applications that meet three key objectives: 1) enable new mobile business processes for employees, 2) meet the growing mobile demands of customers, and 3) unlock new revenue potential within their business and with partners.

To accomplish this, organizations often need to integrate mobile apps with enterprise systems and data — collectively referred to as the backend.

Organizations that do not integrate mobile apps securely and effectively with their existing backend infrastructure will face competitors whose employees are more productive, whose customers are more satisfied and whose ecosystem fuels new business opportunities.

Tradeoff Between Control and Simplicity

At the crux of many management decisions today is the tradeoff between control and simplicity.

Box Watch No. 2: $100M More, Please

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Maybe Re/code has a bug  (of the non-insect variety) planted in Aaron Levie’s hair or an electronic tracking device imbedded in his shoes. But somehow the site has learned — and is now reporting —that Box is considering taking on $100 million from investors.

Re/code reported that Box is in the early stages of talks with private equity firm TPG. It quoted “sources familiar with the matter,” adding that “no final decision has been made on whether or not to accept the funding”.

World Cup Website Hacked: Is Yours Vulnerable, Too?

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Hacktivists have delivered on their promise to take down Brazil’s official World Cup website, effectively disrupting this year’s competition and adding significant weight to their ongoing global threats to use of computers and computer networks to promote political ends,

This is no surprise, according to Incapsula, a cloud-based website security and performance service. Last week, Incapsula Co-founder and Chief Business Officer Marc Gaffan warned the FIFA site was at risk in the wake of two other incidents.

On June 11, feedly announced it was under attack by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack refusing to pay the ransom demanded. At the same time, Evernote announced it too had been struck by a DDoS attack.

Big Data Bits: We're Hooking-Up, But That's Not All

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Does an alliance or partnership between two tech companies have as much impact as a new software release? We wonder if anyone has ever done the calculations. If so, please share.

As for us, we’ve taken our valuation hats off for the day to report on the big data and analytics news, which is all about (surprise!) new alliances, new capabilities and new releases.

Box Watch: We're Talking About the IPO Again

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You know Box boss Aaron Levie can’t be sleeping too well — every time the guy blinks (or doesn’t) there’s news about his company’s impending IPO.

And as much as Levie would probably like to comment every now and then, he’s got to keep his lips zipped.

You can almost picture Box advisors and investors like former Microsoft bigwig Steve Sinofsky, Glen Tullman, former US Government CTO Aneesh Chopra and others like venture capitalist Ben Horowitz, taking turns following Levie around with a roll of tape or a gag of some sort chanting “not a word.” Or maybe they’re threatening to break his Twitter finger. Horowitz recently wrote a book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things.

Well, Aaron, not saying anything back when people are saying things about you is hard.

How Much Is Your Data Worth?

2014-19-June-Froggy-Love.jpgIn today’s age of information, data is currency. Information about our preferences, habits and everything in our life is a valuable commodity for companies trying to learn more about us in order to make us their customer. The value of our personal data seems to rise every day.

If our personal data is valuable, shouldn’t we guard our privacy more closely? If we are giving away information for free, how much are we getting in return? Data for services is the business model for both Google and Facebook. They provide you a free service and in return, they mine your data to drive advertising revenue. The question people don’t seem to be asking is this, “Is the average consumer aware of the value of their information to make an informed decision?”

Talkin' Trash: Curbing Comment Spam and Crazy People

2014-11-June-upside-down-man.jpg.jpgNothing like the illusion of anonymity to give the nastiest, angriest, most disagreeable people on the planet a voice. From slanderous, libelous and racist comments to the simply offensive and juvenile, trash trolls and link baiters create never-ending challenges for content producers.

Addressing comment spam is a frustrating and time-consuming task for organizations. Typically, companies are required to manually edit spam out of content after it has been posted or rely on moderators to filter individual posts to ensure they are legitimate, Internet security firms concur.

And every decision to delete a comment creates at least a momentarily struggle between conflicting goals. What's more important: free speech or the overwhelming desire to stomp out stupidity?

Yes, content producers have a difficult job — and it extends far beyond the challenge of finding writers who actually know how to write. Now a new report from Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Imperva reveals 80 percent of comment spam traffic is generated by 28 percent of attackers.

On the Eve of Box's IPO, Dropbox Raises Its Enterprise Play

While the battle between BYOD and company issued mobile devices is pretty much over (BYOD takes it all), the competition between Enterprise File Sync & Share providers seems to be getting more and more intense.

It’s a bit unfortunate for Aaron Levie’s once red hot Box which is trying to go public (Quartz reports that this is supposed to happen within weeks) because its competitors, and would be competitors, keep upping their plays, adding appealing end-user facing features as well as safeguards to suit the CIO’s fancy.

Consider that last week Salesforce’s Mark Benioff and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced plansfor a tight integration between their products (including EFSS), and that SAP and OpenText made arrangements to offer TempoBox to certain mutual customers for free.

Add to that Microsoft’s recent announcement that it’s increasing OneDrive for Business storage from 25GB to 1TB per user.  Levie finds himself in a crowded field (Apple may join soon) that includes not only the 100+ existing players (see our recent EFSS update), but also 300 million user Dropbox that seems to be getting serious about the Enterprise.

Do You Know When Your System Is Breached?

Information security professionals are always chasing to catch up with the bad guys.

Traditional information security (or cybersecurity) is focused on preventing unauthorized access to your network, systems, applications, infrastructure and data.

But, as we all know only too well, the people trying to get in are exposing and exploiting vulnerabilities faster than we can plug the holes. 

Surveys of security professionals around the globe report that more than 80 percent of companies know they have been hacked. The roughly 15 percent who did not report being hacked probably don’t know -- they just haven’t detected it yet.

Is NSA Leaker Edward Snowden the Info Governance Champ?

AIIM information governance in the enterprise 320 x 240.jpg Whatever you think of US National Security Agency leakerEdward Snowden, you have to concede he has done a lot for information governance (IG). He didn't build the ultimate IG technology.

But his behavior over the past 12 months have forced a large number of organizations to sit down and ask themselves, "What if?"

What if your information is not governed properly?

New research from AIIM shows only 10 percent of organizations have an effective IG policy in place, while 21 percent have polices that are mostly ignored. Most of the rest consider IG a work in progress.

2 Cities in US, France Join IBM Smarter Cities Initiative

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Two more cities are capitalizing on advanced analytics and big data technology to manage their transportation, water and emergency services. IBM announced today that Minneapolis, Minn. and Montpellier, France have both signed up for its Smarter Cities program.

The initiatives include cloud-based management centers that bring together IBM’s portfolio of Intelligent Operations software and IBM Global Business Services expertise.

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