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Ripoff-as-a-Service: Robo-Cons From the Cloud

The low cost of the cloud attracts some riffraff. Telemarketing companies are signing up for “outbound interactive voice response” plans. In turn, we are entering the brave new world of ripoff-as-a-service (ROaaS). Amy Calls Sean to Talk about Some Money The Sad Truth about Amy Enter Ripoff-as-a-Service (ROaaS) Fighting Back – Also from the Cloud Why Not Nicer-Things-as-a-Service (NTaaS)? Amy Calls Sean to Talk about Some Money When Sean Gallagher’s cell phone lit up one day with a number he’d never seen before, he assumed it was one of his children calling from a buddy’s phone. However, when he picked up, he realized that he was speaking with the newest Prince of Nigeria. From the other end of the line, an eerie voice said, “‘This is Amy! … I’m a senior account representative for American Direct Services!‘” When Gallagher asked Amy if she was a computer, she claimed that she was not. Plus, she had exciting news: she was calling to let him know that he was eligible to win $1 million… just for picking up his phone. Gallagher was intrigued, especially since the company was local and had the word “American” in its name. Always having appreciated ladies who work [...]

Reports: Cloud is an Emotional Roller Coaster

Cloud computing is a mixed bag. I think we all know that. But a couple of reports released in the last 30 days demonstrate the ambivalence IT decision-makers feel toward the technology, by the numbers. Vormetric/Ovum – Cloud Half-Full & Half-Empty Hacking Safeguards are the #1 Concern NTT Communications – Cloud Turbulent at Lunch 2015 Cloud Trends Strategic Use of Cloud Vormetric/Ovum: Cloud Half-Full & Half-Empty Okay, so on-premise hardware is where you keep the important stuff, and the cloud gets all the development data and other low-risk information, right? Wrong. A collaborative 2015 whitepaper by Vormetric and Ovum revealed that three in five American tech executives (60%) and more than half of IT directors worldwide (54%) keep private data (such as user details or trade secrets) on cloud VMs. Although cloud seems to be widely trusted, it was at the top of the list for data vulnerability among the 800 executives polled for the report: Cloud – 47% Databases – 37% File servers – 29% “Cloud and big data concerns remain ‘genuine’ and ‘deep rooted’ according to the study,” explained James Bourne in Cloud Tech. “The numbers revealed worrying findings about why [organizations] were moving data into the cloud.” [...]

NSA Skips the Oscars to Beef Up its Cloud Storage

HBO’s Citizenfour Casts Spotlight on Edward Snowden & NSA NSA Building Stronger Cloud Storage to Thwart Whistleblowers GovCloud: Big Brother’s Little Helper A Huge Step Forward HBO’s Citizenfour Casts Spotlight on Edward Snowden & NSA When the Academy Awards were held in February, the National Security Agency was nowhere to be seen, even though it was the subject of an award-winning film. Citizenfour, a movie about the agency’s whistleblower Edward Snowden, took home the prize for best feature-length documentary. “The disclosures of Edward Snowden don’t only expose a threat to our privacy but to our democracy itself,” said director Laura Poitras in her acceptance speech. “When the decisions that rule us are taken in secret we lose the power to control and govern ourselves.” The film really is incredibly well-done. The majority of the footage was collected in Snowden’s Hong Kong hotel room, providing an extraordinarily detailed record of the moments leading up to and following the initial stories about the former NSA contractor that were published in The Guardian. Snowden speaks calmly, clearly, and convincingly to reporters Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill, while Poitras records the entire interaction. Essentially, the movie does exactly what the NSA did not want [...]

Salesforce CEO Benioff: Capitalism Should Be Compassionate

Business Versus Government Walmart, RuPaul not Benioff’s Only Allies Hybrid Program Unanticipated It’s Getting Hot in the Kitchen Setting an Example Business Versus Government The inclusive, benevolent approach of Marc Benioff has been known to those in the San Francisco Bay Area for some time. Now that he finds himself under the glare of the national spotlight, many people want to know more about this guy who takes immediate action when anyone tries to discriminate against his employees and friends. In late March, the chief of cloud computing giant Salesforce gathered support from other tech company leaders to stand up against Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act for opening the door to LGBT discrimination and making it difficult for companies to hire people who now feel that the state has an established anti-gay policy. Supporters of the bill, signed into law by Republican Gov. Mike Pence, “sought legal protection for business owners if they denied services to the LGBT community based on religious beliefs,” explains Marco della Cava of USA Today. Benioff asked users of the Salesforce cloud-delivered system not to visit Indiana and gave stipends to Indiana-based workers to move elsewhere. If part of you thinks Benioff is a loopy [...]

Report: Compliance is the Thorn in the Side of the Cloud

Compliance the Top Cloud Business Concern Special Considerations for HIPAA Pulling Out That Thorn Compliance the Top Cloud Business Concern Nearly two out of every three companies represented in a CipherCloud poll said that maintaining compliance and meeting auditing standards are the top cloud security concerns. The statistic is from the company’s first-ever Global Cloud Data Security Report, which was generally focused on data protection but also particularly discussed the threat landscape for the world’s biggest public companies. The general issues of data safety and adherence to regulations were the main factors preventing companies from migrating to the cloud. Specific results when respondents were asked for the primary data protection issue were: Compliance – 64% Accessibility of data – 32% Malware – 2% Collaborative environment vulnerabilities – 2% Far and away the most frequently listed hurdle slowing down companies’ transitions to cloud technology “was a regulation that a country imposes upon an industry or organisation,” reports James Bourne of the UK’s Cloud Tech, “often referencing the collection of data on their citizens and utilising cloud apps to process and store the information.” European cloud outfits and divisions are constructing datacenters in close proximity to users, explains Bourne, to address issues [...]

Survey: Three in Four Experience Cloud SLA Letdown

Reliability is a Huge Priority Other Cloud Disappointments GE: Stop Slamming the Cloud, You Fools Building the Solutions You Need Reliability is a Huge Priority Three out of four companies (76%) told Illinois-based technology company CDW that they have had providers not fulfill the parameters of their SLAs. The poll results were included in CDW’s Cloud 401 whitepaper. The paper, published in February, also revealed the top concerns of cloud clients: Reliability – 43% Affordability – 28% Interoperability – 27% In other words, the descriptions within the SLA indicate the most critical measurement, since uptime is typically central to the agreement. “Cloud services go down for a variety of reasons,” explains James Bourne of Cloud Tech, “from the preventable, such as a fat finger, to the less preventable, like adverse weather conditions.” It’s rare for a cloud-based company to deliver per the terms of its SLA, says Bourne, as indicated by information from CloudHarmony’s uptime monitoring service. Just about every cloud provider, especially in the case of infrastructure-as-a-service, uses its SLA as a marketing tool. However, it can backfire when companies aren’t able to meet expectations. Email management provider Mimecast experienced an outage in the United Kingdom in 2013, leading [...]