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US Patriot Act: Red Herring?

This Week in Cloud, March 1, 2012

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Cloud News
  • Is the US Patriot Act a red herring? Some European countries, as well as Brazil and China, have been using the U.S. Patriot Act as an excuse to set up barriers for the transfer of data into the U.S., but according to Business Software Alliance CEO Robert Holleyman, those countries have similar laws in place that allow them to inspect data when looking for evidence of terrorist activity. The reason for the barriers may be to stall America's growth in the cloud market, according to this InformationWeek article.
  • The major players in consumer cloud storage are bolstering their offerings by expanding functionality and offering their services on more devices. To learn more about the news and how the competition to lead the market is heating up, read this ComputerWorld article.
  • The US federal government issued a new report with guidelines on managing SLAs, privacy, and security for agencies migrating to the cloud, according to this InformationWeek article. The full report is located at cio.gov.
  • HP announced the HP Security Intelligence and Risk Management (SIRM) platform this week which aims to deliver increased visibility into enterprise business risk for on-premise, mobile, and cloud environments, according to this ZDNet article.
  • Harris Corp., an internal provider of IT and communication services, is closing down their 100,000 square-foot data center located in Virginia, according to this ComputerWorld article. The data center, which opened last year, was built to host data from government, healthcare and financial industries, but these industries tend to keep their data on-premise and if they migrate to cloud, it's typically through a private cloud.
  • Amazon is making it easier for enterprises to run their applications in the cloud with their new Simple Workflow Service (SWF), according to this Wired article. Amazon SWF blurs the line between on-premise and cloud services by executing tasks that are load balanced across available "workers".

Feature article
Cloud Security – Innovation Wanted

By George Hulme, Independent Writer

For the third year in a row, the Cloud Security Alliance kicked off the annual information security pilgrimage to California where security professionals discuss strategies to keep their IT infrastructure and data secure. No big surprise that this year's themes include cloud computing and mobile.

Today, the CSA announced to a packed audience the non-profit's latest initiatives, such as ways to better secure mobile devices and to help usher more security innovation. I had the opportunity to briefly talk with Jim Reavis, co-founder and executive director of the CSA, and trends he's seeing in cloud security and adoption. Read the full interview.

Cloud Views
  • Are cloud consumers taking Moore's law into consideration? In this InformationWeek article, Art Wittmann argues that consumers of cloud services should avoid long term contracts to take full advantage of the frequent cost reductions of cloud.
  • What are earnings reports revealing about the cloud market? In this New York Times blog, Quentin Hardy takes a look at the earnings reports from Dell and HP and compares them to Salesforce.com.
  • The cloud is having profound effects on the way companies are doing business. This Forbes.com blog reveals six examples of how the cloud is enabling companies to increase agility and performance.
MSP Corner
  • The majority of organizations have not properly vetted their cloud service provider, according to this article at ITWorld. The article references a CompTIA study that found that only 29% of companies comprehensively review their cloud service provider’s security practices.
  • Alert Logic, a Security-as-a-Service provider released a State of Cloud Security report which determined that when compared to on-premise environments, MSP environments face a lower level of risk, according to this MSPNews article.
  • CA Technologies is launching a backup service offering for on-premise and cloud backup and recovery. The CA ARCserve D2D On Demand service uses Microsoft Azure for to backup data to the cloud, according to this ChannelPro article.
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