From Illusion To Reality: Up Personal On Cloud Computing Privacy

We are under an illusion around the cloud computing. Without a doubt the benefits are incredible. However, cloud impacts personal user privacy and potentially exposes their private data in ways they may not have anticipated. Given that users don’t usually read the terms of service and privacy policies, it is unclear how many users are actually aware of the risks.

Cloud usage has soared both for business and personal use. And, while security and privacy concerns around cloud computing for enterprises have risen to the fore and are being addressed, we don’t see the same level of attention around cloud for personal usage. Cloud providers offer a broad array of services for personal use that span online storage, online desktop and web applications. People are flocking to these services for entertainment, new ways of communicating and sharing information and the convenience they offer and with tremendous upside. However, users may be under an illusion about the levels of privacy that they are afforded with cloud usage.

Sometimes users may not even realize that the services they are using are cloud-based especially those who are not technology savvy and where the service does not have a name that may imply that. And, many may not recognize that the underlying concept of cloud is that of multiple users sharing computing resources. When users post their data and files on centrally hosted servers they lose a degree of control over those files such as who might have access to it, how they gets replicated, or even after a user has terminated their service, whether their data is deleted. Additionally, centrally stored data can be easily shared with others, creating the risk of third parties accessing the data and of that data being used in ways that users had not planned.


Just as enterprises have recognized that data is not a one-size-fits-all category, users need to apply that same categorization for their personal data. There is no one single approach that will fit every user and users will need to consider the tiers or categories that their data falls under according to their own sensitivities. For instance, songs and movie files may not need to same level of protection as banking information or backups of other personal files.

Users should ensure that the data which is most sensitive or private, should be hosted with a reputable provider that has mature privacy and security practices. This information can often be gleaned online under the support section. The good news is that an increasing number of providers are looking to differentiate themselves on their security and customer data handling practices. Also ensure that you are connecting securely, that your information is encrypted securely and that you don’t link or daisy chain accounts for your most private or critical data.

AloneTime(FP)-02Many users assume that nobody else would be interested in their personal photographs or movie files and that it’s only the photos of celebrities that get hacked into. You’d be surprised. Data brokers or marketers who increasingly want to understand your interests and lifestyle could find these a treasure trove. The recent spate of personal photos ranging from women breastfeeding to wedding photos that sparked someone’s interest and that have gone viral on the Internet is evidence of how personal data can fast become a part of the public realm.

As of 2012, two-thirds of American users were using webmail, storing data online or using cloud applications. That number is sure to have risen significantly across the globe as the Internet becomes ubiquitous in developing countries. Rather than live under an illusion, it’s important we start to develop stronger standards around the protection and privacy of our personal data.

By Evelyn De Souza

  • About
  • Latest Posts
Evelyn de Souza

Evelyn de Souza

Evelyn de Souza focuses on developing industry blueprints that accelerate secure cloud adoptionfor business as well as everyday living. She currently serves as the Chair of the newly formed Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) data governance and privacy working group. Evelyn was named to CloudNOW’s Top 10 Women in Cloud Computing for 2014 and SVBJ’s 100 Women of Influence for 2015. Evelyn is the co-creator of Cloud Data Protection Cert,the industry’s first blueprint for making data protection “business-consumable” and is currently working on a data protection heatmap that attempts to streamline the data privacy landscape.

Evelyn has recently been added to the CloudTweaks 12/12 Program where her valuable insight can be enjoyed, shared and discussed each month.

Evelyn de Souza

Article source:

A Wide Moat in Cloud Computing

Rick Summer: In our technology landscape, one of the most important trends that has been going on has been around cloud computing, and no company has better represented that than Salesforce (CRM). Through our lens, though, we look more importantly at those competitive advantages. Clearly, it has grown quickly, but we’ve recently upgraded its economic moat rating to wide.

That’s primarily dependent upon two factors. Whether companies are adopting sales-force automation technology or marketing technology, these are long-dated decisions–ones where they have to train employees and they have to train their users. They don’t want to be renewing contracts on a regular basis.

Secondly, we look at a company like Salesforce as really being integrated more deeply into the processes of companies, much in the same way that Microsoft (MSFT) and Oracle (ORCL) are deeply embedded into their enterprise customers. Today, the company is rated 3 stars. It’s basically appropriately valued. But if there were to be a sell-off in the stock, we would gladly recommend the shares.

Article source:

Cisco acquires Piston Cloud Computing, will use to ramp up Intercloud offerings

Cisco on Wednesday said it would acquire Piston Cloud Computing, a startup known for its OpenStack cloud distribution.

In a blog post announcing the deal, Cisco’s business development head Hilton Romanski said Piston will play a key role in the company’s “ambitious Intercloud vision.”

Special Feature

The Art Of The Hybrid Cloud

Cloud computing is insatiably gobbling up more of the backend services that power businesses. But, some companies have apps with privacy, security, and regulatory demands that preclude the cloud. Here’s how to find the right mix of public cloud and private cloud.

Launched in 2014, Intercloud is Cisco’s effort to create a connected network of clouds. It’s made up of two components: the Intercloud Fabric, which allows workloads to be migrated among various public clouds; and the Application Centric Infrastructure software, which automatically provisions resources depending on the workload.

“The Intercloud is designed to deliver secure cloud services everywhere in the world,” Romanski said. “The Intercloud provides choice of services, all with compliance and control. In a nutshell: we’re delivering cloud the way our customers need it.”

Piston fits in because it gives Cisco more muscle around distributed systems and automated deployment, in addition to adding another level of infrastructure to the Cisco OpenStack private cloud. It’s unclear how many members of the Piston team will head to Cisco, but Romanski said Piston will eventually merge with Cisco’s Cloud Services team.

Piston was co-founded by Joshua McKenty, a former employee at NASA. McKenty played a key role in launching the OpenStack Project at the space agency, but has since left Piston to join Pivotal and Cloud Foundry.

The Piston deal is the second acquisition for Cisco in the last month. In early May the networking giant bought Tropo, a company that provides a cloud application programming interface platform.

No financial terms were not disclosed on either deal.


Article source:

Information security and personal data protection in cloud computing – an …

May 2015 – Issues that businesses in Bulgaria should consider when using cloud computing services

Cloud computing services for business purposes are rapidly gaining popularity. Gartner, an internationally renowned technology consultant, expects 33% of all companies to use cloud-based office systems in 2015. The reason for this growth is undoubtedly the flexibility of the solution: cloud services are generally provided based on the client’s demands and increases in the size of stored data do not generally incur significant incremental costs. Although the cloud computing industry is not as strictly regulated as, for example, telecommunications, the provision of cloud computing services in Bulgaria must comply with certain personal data protection and information security requirements. Proper risk management can help business users and service providers minimise any potential commercial and/or reputational risks related to cloud computing.

The legal dimensions of the technical solutions

What are the key measures that business users and cloud service providers in Bulgaria must take in order to ensure appropriate personal data protection, information security and quality of the service provided? The response can vary substantially, depending on the service model and the deployment method for cloud services, as these allow for different levels of control for the business user over the operations conducted in the cloud. The following chart visualises this correlation in the context of, e.g., a financial institution as the business user.

The different types of cloud computing services (private, hybrid or public cloud) lead to different levels of risk associated with data administration and data storage in the cloud. The risks result, in particular, from the way data is processed and protected from unauthorised access. Business users exercise the highest level of control over processes in private clouds, as they manage and administer such clouds themselves (usually through their own IT team). Business users exert the least control over operations in a public cloud, as in this case the service provider administers and processes the stored data.

These risks can be managed by implementing adequate measures for information security and personal data protection. Regardless of whether the business user stores and processes data on its own infrastructure or on a cloud, it must guarantee the implementation of the appropriate measures. Otherwise the business user (as well as the cloud services provider in some cases) is responsible for any damages caused to third parties due to the unauthorised access to personal data (see below).

The implementation of adequate information security measures and measures for personal data protection is usually secured by the inclusion of certain clauses in the cloud services agreement – either in the main agreement or in an appendix to it (e.g. a service-level agreement, data privacy and information security policies).

Below are the key points that a business user and a cloud service provider need to bear in mind when negotiating the terms of their agreement.

Personal data in the cloud?

  • The first question is whether personal data is being stored in the cloud.
  • If the answer is yes, the next question is whether personal data has been collected and processed in the cloud on valid grounds (e.g. legal, contractual, explicit consent of the affected person)?
  • If the cloud is either hybrid or public, what is the scope of data processing by the service provider?
  • Joint and several liability of the client (business user) and the service provider regarding unlawful data processing and access to data.
  • Does the client control the selection of potential subcontractors of the cloud service provider, given the fact that their actions could also lead to the client’s liability for data breaches?
  • Is the cloud hosted on infrastructure that is physically situated outside Bulgaria? If yes, where exactly is that – in the European Union, in the USA or in a third country? Depending of the exact location, it may be necessary to inform the competent personal data protection authorities of the transfer of data and request their permission to do so.
  • How is the data subject’s right to demand the alteration and/or deletion of the data guaranteed?
  • Is the data stored in compliance with the upcoming European Union Privacy Regulation, including the required minimal approach to data collection, requirements for anonymity and technical protection?

Information security

  • What measures for protection from unauthorised access have been implemented in the cloud? Both Bulgarian and European regulations prescribe certain measures such as identification processes, authentication, session control, encryption, access monitoring, etc. Even though they are all industry standards, they need to function adequately in each specific cloud.
  • If the cloud is hosted in the USA, is the provider certified under the Safe Harbour Principles and, in effect, does it comply with the relevant information security standards?
  • Are there adequate mechanisms created which allow for timely notification of the business user about data breaches in order for misuses of data to be prevented?

Risk management

Risks associated with cloud computing can be effectively managed if:

  • Business users conduct technical and legal due diligence of their cloud service providers as part of the selection procedure;
  • Guaranties are included in the cloud services agreement to the effect that:
    1. The provider implements and supports specific and adequate technical and functional measures  ensuring information security and personal data protection;
    2. The client has control over the selection and actions of the provider’s subcontractors, if any;
    3. The client is entitled to conduct regular technical audits of the security systems and processes for data processing in the cloud;
    4. The provider must not process personal data outside the scope of the agreement;
    5. The provider must inform the client in a timely manner of any data breaches;
  • The scope of the cloud services provider’s liability, when its actions or omission to act cause damages to the client or to third parties, is clearly defined. In cloud service contracts, liquidated damages/penalties due are often capped, especially in cases when technical obligations are breached (e.g. continuity of access and minimal service levels). From a business user’s perspective, it is advisable to resist such caps in cases when there are intentional malicious actions, gross negligence or breach of personal data protection rules by the provider. By doing so, it would be possible to claim any damages in the full amount and to minimise adverse exposure for the business user.

Article source:

Cloud computing firm Montech lists on the ASX after successful capital raising

Mr Shein said the business would continue to invest in organic growth, but also indicated the company would look to make more acquisitions.

“That growth will be complemented by making strategic targeted acquisitions that enable an integrated business model capable of delivering services and solutions on a state by state basis to clients,” he said.

“We’re looking for businesses which are a cultural fit, not ones that just impact the bottom line. We’ve had a lot of companies approach us, but we really wanted to bed down the two acquisitions we’ve just made and then we’ll be more aggressive.”

The new chief executive of the merged entity, Ms Page, said Technology Effect and Breeze would work towards a full integration of the companies.

Article source:

Nvidia says cloud computing revenue will reach $1bn in a matter of years


Nvidia says increased demand for Big Data collection and analysis will prompt a spike in cloud computing revenue within the next two to three years.

As reported by Reuters, the chip maker’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang told reporters ahead of the Computex conference in Taipei that cloud computing is the firm’s fastest-growing area, and revenue is expected to reach $1 billion in the next few years.

The increase in demand for processors and graphics chips able to process and run data-heavy applications is the result of Big Data analysis growth. As the enterprise utilizes Big Data more fully within business operations, chips capable of coping with high-powered computing and cloud applications necessary to mine Big Data are required — which in turn will continue to boost Nvidia’s profit line.

In Q1 2015, Nvidia reported net income of $134 million, or 24 cents per share.

What’s Hot on ZDNet

In February, Huang said the company’s push into the enterprise market, propelled due to its partnership with VMware, has allowed it the chance to reach up to 80 percent of corporations.

Nvidia’s graphic processor units (GPUs) are used to power computers and data centers which handle data-heavy tasks, and Nvidia’s new partnership is expected to accelerate the firm’s reach into the lucrative corporate market. Many enterprises use virtualization software supplied by VMware, and Nvidia’s Tesla processor and GRID platform can assist the enterprise in high-powered computing virtualization tasks.

In related news, at the end of May Nvidia launched the latest product in the GTX family, the GeForce GTX 980 Ti. The new GPU is designed with gamers in mind and features 6GB RAM, CUDA cores able to drive games at 4K resolution and support for Microsoft’s DirectX 12 graphics application.

Read on: Nvidia deep dives into deep learning with Pascal, Titan X GPUs

Article source:

Microsoft to create cloud computing centre in Quebec City

TORONTO – Microsoft Corp. says it will establish two new data centres in Toronto and Quebec City that will store sensitive online information from businesses and consumers.

The company says the centres will run its cloud services and be operational by the end of the year.

Concerns about moving important data to servers in the United States and overseas, as well as federal and provincial privacy legislation, have been a barrier for the adoption of cloud computing by businesses and government agencies.

But Microsoft Canada president Janet Kennedy says companies and government agencies can be confident that their data will stay in Canada and under Canadian jurisdiction.

Kennedy declined to say how many jobs would be created or how much the company was spending on the centres.

Article source:

SAFEXchange – The Safe Multi

  • Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on PinterestEmail a friend


SAFEXchange ensures that the shared safety related data is correct, timely and trusted.

Bristol, UK (PRWEB UK) 2 June 2015

SAFEXchange is a fusion of a Data Distribution Service and an integrity layer. It maintains flexibility and isolation between Producers and Consumers of data by protecting the data shared rather than the commu-nication channel itself, meaning that SAFEXchange is safe to use in conjunction with black channel communication mediums.

SAFEXchange protects the data by forming a Safety Communication Layer between the Application and the Communication Software, which adds integrity information to data packets before transmission. On reception, the additional integrity information is used to verify the correctness of the data packet before it is made available to the application layer.

“One of the challenges when developing a multi-processor architecture is how to efficiently share data of different Safety Integrity Levels across a common communication system.” said Andrew Longhurst, Business Development Manager at WITTENSTEIN high integrity systems. “SAFEXchange ensures that the shared safety related data is correct, timely and trusted. Additionally, using SAFEXchange results in a modular and cost effective system design, allowing for modifications and upgrades to occur to specific cores without the need to re-certify the complete system.”    

SAFEXchange operates independently of the underlying communication system and is easily integrated with most embedded host operating systems.

SAFEXchange is one of a number of Safety Components from WITTENSTEIN high integrity systems. Safety Components are delivered as full source code, with a Design Assurance Pack containing all the design and verification certification artefacts required by IEC 61508 SIL3 and ISO 26262. For more information on SAFEXchange please see our website at

About WITTENSTEIN high integrity systems

WITTENSTEIN high integrity systems are experts in embedded RTOS and Middleware technology with a specialisation in safety certified software. Supplying advanced RTOS and Middleware components across a broad range of market sectors and applications, from basic embedded designs, up to complex safety systems demanding the highest levels of certification. For more information, please visit

Contact: Andrew Longhurst

WITTENSTEIN high integrity systems

Brown’s Court, Long Ashton Business Park

Yanley Lane, Long Ashton, Bristol, BS41 9LB UK

Tel: +44 1275 395 600


Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on PinterestEmail a friend

PDF VersionPDF

Printer Friendly VersionPrint

Article source:

Nvidia (NVDA) Stock Gains Today on Anticipation of Increased Cloud …

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Nvidia
(NVDA – Get Report) shares are up 1% to $22.35 in early market trading on Monday after the PC graphics card manufacturer said that it expects to see annual cloud computing revenue of $1 billion in two to three years, according to Reuters.

Cloud computing is the company’s fastest growing segment with revenue from the sector expected to increase between 60% and 70% annually, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang told reporters ahead of the company’s presentation at Computex, Asia’s largest tech trade show.

The company’s cloud computing graphics technology allows users to play graphics heavy games over the Internet.

Computex runs for five days this week in Taipei, Taiwan and features over 1,000 exhibitors at over 5,000 booths and features presenters such as Intel
(INTC), Broadcom
(BRCM), Nvidia and Taiwan Semiconductor

TheStreet Ratings team rates NVIDIA CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

“We rate NVIDIA CORP (NVDA) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.”

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • NVDA’s revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.4%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company’s bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.31, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 5.94, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 62.89% to $246.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 20.26%.
  • The gross profit margin for NVIDIA CORP is rather high; currently it is at 61.42%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 11.64% trails the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: NVDA Ratings Report

Article source:

Intel buys into chips powering cloud computing, smarter cars

Intel is buying chip designer Altera for about $16.7 billion in cash to expand its reach into new chip markets that are powering the wireless revolution, smarter cars and more.

The deal is the biggest in Intel Corp.’s 47-year history. It is the latest in an industry that is looking to acquisitions to boost lackluster sales and cut costs. Sales are falling for personal computers because people are increasingly turning to smartphones and tablets.

While Intel already works with Altera on the manufacturing of certain kinds of high-end chips, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said that owning the company will allow Intel to fully integrate that manufacturing and put in place design and production improvements, ultimately lowering costs and improving the products.

Altera is known for making chips used in phone networks and cars, markets in which Intel has been looking to expand.

“Their PC chip business is going downhill, and so here’s a way to bolster their earnings by getting into a different type of business,” says Tony Cherin, finance professor emeritus at San Diego State University.

The recent wave of deals in the chip industry could have a downside for consumers, Cherin added. As the big players buy up smaller companies, he warned, there’s a danger that competition will diminish and consumers could see higher prices for electronics products.

Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, is the world’s largest maker of PC chips and dominates the market for chips used in servers, a much more profitable product.

Mark Hung, an analyst at the research firm Gartner, noted that Intel’s offerings of communications chips, which send data from mobile devices to servers, are limited. The acquisition of Altera, which gets about half of its revenue from the communications industry, should help with that, he said.

The deal is also a way for Intel to strengthen its business in server chips.

Altera makes a type of chip, known as “field programmable gate arrays,” that can be configured for specific functions and brought to market more quickly than some of Intel’s traditional server chips, tech analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights Strategy said. They can also be used to speed up certain tasks within a computing center.

“What Intel is doing is finding ways to accelerate cloud applications,” Moorhead said. “There wouldn’t be a Facebook or Twitter or your smartphone without these monster data centers behind them.”

Meanwhile, chip demand from the automotive industry, which Altera serves, continues to grow as cars get increasingly sophisticated. Vehicles with autonomous features, like automatic braking and lane-keeping systems, need significantly more computing power to operate those systems. Google’s self-driving car, for example, uses the equivalent of five high-end laptops’ worth of computing power.

According to IC Insights, a semiconductor research company, just 8 percent of chip sales will go to the auto industry this year. But that segment is expected to grow by around 10 percent each year through 2018.

Under the deal announced Monday, Altera Corp. stockholders will receive $54 per share, an 11 percent premium to the San Jose, California, company’s closing price of $48.85 on Friday. Its stock rose more than 6 percent Monday.

The deal, which still needs the OK of Altera shareholders, is targeted to close in six to nine months.

Intel’s shares fell 60 cents to $33.86 in afternoon trading.

AP Technology Writer Brandon Bailey in San Francisco, AP Business Writer Michelle Chapman in New York and AP Auto Writer Dee-Ann Durbin in Detroit contributed to this report.

Article source: