Category Archives: Business
As we’ve seen in recent years, natural disasters can lead to long-term downtime for organizations. Because earthquakes, hurricanes, snow storms, or other events can put data centers and other corporate facilities out of commission for a while, it’s vital that companies have in place a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.
Disaster recovery (DR) is a subset of business continuity (BC), and like BC, it’s being influenced by some of the key trends in the IT industry, foremost among them:
- Cloud services
- Server and desktop virtualization
- The proliferation of mobile devices in the workforce
- The growing popularity of social networking as a business tool
These trends are forcing many organizations to rethink how they plan, test, and execute their DR strategies. CSO previously looked at how these trends are specifically affecting IT business continuity; as with BC, much of the impact they are having on DR is for the better. Still, IT and security executives need to consider how these developments can best be leveraged so that they improve, rather than complicate, DR efforts.
Head over to the source and see how IT disaster recovery is being impacted by each of the four.
- 33 Cloud Service Providers Join Zerto Cloud Disaster Recovery Ecosystem (sys-con.com)
- Symantec and Microsoft team for disaster-recovery service (techworld.com.au)
- Colocation’s role in Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity (cashzilla.wordpress.com)
Symform, a revolutionary cloud storage and backup service, today announced enhancements to its Cloud Storage Network that improve the performance, security and international capabilities of Symform’s innovative peer-to-peer backup model. The new version accelerates data upload times for large data sets, offers more options for privacy control and supports long file path names and international characters. These features are in direct response to the global adoption of Symform’s Cloud Network by small and medium businesses in 150 countries and the continued explosive growth of digital data needing to be protected and stored.”At Symform, we are constantly searching for new and better ways to serve our fast-growing global customer base by offering a solution that is widely accessible and more affordable than costly, traditional cloud storage models,” said Praerit Garg, president and co-founder of Symform. “We take pride in offering the industry’s first decentralized cloud back-up and storage solution, and are continuing to innovate and perfect that model with each new release.”In a recent Symform survey, respondents overwhelmingly cited the cost of cloud storage as a top concern, particularly among resource-strapped small and mid-sized businesses SMBs. Symform offers a dramatic alternative to traditional ‘data center-reliant’ cloud storage models, using a peer-to-peer network of contributors and consumers that keeps costs to a minimum while ensuring the highest levels of security and reliability.
One of the keys with technology is to improve and enhance while remaining secure and reliable. It looks as if Symform is doing that while also keeping their service cost-effective. Check the source to see what innovations came with the latest release.
- We Need More Peer-to-Peer Shared Cloud Infrastructure (sys-con.com)
The third largest e-commerce company in North America is moving much of its operations to the cloud.
Live Nation Entertainment, which operates online ticket sales site Ticketmaster and three other entertainment-related businesses, is clouding up its Ticketmaster and Live Nation Concert and Network operations to achieve the efficiencies of virtualization and speed time-to-market with new offerings. The company is in the very early stages of its private cloud implementation, however, so efficiencies are currently difficult to quantify.
But it’s a sizable undertaking. Live Nation has 7,000 employees in 153 offices spread across 18 countries. Its revenue in 2011 was $5.4 billion, of which Ticketmaster accounted for $1.56 billion and other Live Nation operations $3.8 billion.
It will be interesting to see the efficiencies once the implementation has been completed.
- Ticketmaster books a private cloud with Cisco (pcadvisor.co.uk)
- Cloud Service Usage Now Mainstream in UK and Ireland: Report (cloudcomputing.sys-con.com)
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- Black Friday 2011: the best apps and services for holiday shoppers (venturebeat.com)
- Black Friday Now Featuring Mobile Madness (whitehouse.gov)
Great piece over at the CompTia blog regarding the “private cloud”:
What is the “private cloud?” Well, it’s where the IT department is where the company itself provides all of the cloud-based services, but from within its own firewall. Remember when the term “Intranet” was coined to describe how IT could provide the best Internet-based services behind the firewall? Private cloud computing is basically the same sort of approach. Again, some folks think that private cloud computing is an oxymoron. Like Eric Knorr over at InfoWorld, I think the definition of the “private cloud” is a bit fuzzy, but it’s worth talking about.
The private cloud involves virtualized services offered as a service independent of any single hardware platform, usually through a Web browser. When offered privately, cloud services remain behind the firewall, and they are offered on a metered basis. This means that the IT department becomes the “X as a service” provider.
As well as skills that one should have to be an expert in the “cloud”:
If you want to become a private cloud computing expert, check out the following skills you should learn:
- Understand business issues, including the concepts of the Service Level Agreement (SLA), and chargeback. Yes, chargeback. Yeah, it’s kind of a weird word. The first time I heard it back in 1997, I thought someone was talking about some sort of new defensive lineman position for the NFL. Basically, chargeback means metering services and then charging departments, making your IT department a business within your business. This way, your IT department becomes less of a cost center and more of a revenue generator, in a sense. Pretty cool idea if you can get it to work.
- Know how to read a bill from a cloud provider, no matter which side of the firewall it comes from. From the people I’ve talked to, the numbers change pretty radically
- Learn virtualization.
- Get some consulting skills.
- Cloud computing: Gaps in the ‘cloud’ (physorg.com)
- Silicon Alley Insider: What Is Cloud Computing? (businessinsider.com)
- Shared security flaws of cloud computing (ritcyberselfdefense.wordpress.com)
Check out what securing a garden from rabbits has to do with this?
The lesson, my friends, is that breaches are never truly over. You may have recovered and gone back to business, but there may still be a subtle back door in your network. The information that was lost still has to be accounted for and damages repaired. The lessons learned only build on previous lessons learned and contribute to the overall improvement of your security program. The recovery and lessons-learned stages may be the final stages of handling an incident, but, to borrow upon a favorite phrase of mine, eternal vigilance is the price of security.
- Banks Face Ongoing Cyber Threats (informationweek.com)
It’s been a week since RSA dropped a vaguely worded bombshell on 30,000 customers that the soundness of the SecurID system they used to secure their corporate and governmental networks was compromised after hackers stole confidential information concerning the two-factor authentication product.
For seven days, reporters, researchers, and customers have called on RSA, and its parent corporation EMC, to specify what data was lifted – or at the very least to say if it included details that could allow government or corporate spies to predict the one-time passwords that SecurID tokens generate every 60 seconds. And for seven days, the company has resolutely refused to answer. Instead, RSA has parroted Security 101 how-tos about strong passwords, support-desk best practices, and the dangers of clicking on email attachments.
It comes down to two simple questions.
Were the individual seed values used to generate a new pseudo-random number exposed and, similarly, was the mechanism that maps a token’s serial number to its seed leaked?
Without the answers to those two basic questions, RSA customers can’t make educated decisions about whether to continue relying on SecurID to prevent unauthorized logins to their sensitive networks. After all, if the breach on RSA’s servers exposed the seeds and the mapping mechanism, SecurID customers have lost one of the factors offered by the two-factor authentication product.
Go to the source to read more on this important issue regarding network security.
- RSA SecurID – What’s the Risk? (itsecurityexpert.co.uk)
- Should You Stop Using RSA SecurID Tokens? (pcworld.com)