Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Cloud Security

Cloud Security: Article

Cloud Computing: Is the Sky Really Falling?

Provocative Comments from Security Expert May Confuse the Issue

"It's long weeks to short months at best before there's a security meltdown," Thus spake Brian Snow, the former technical director of the Information Assurance Directorate of the United States National Security Agency (NSA) and a prominent critic of Cloud Computing.

His remarks were part of a presentation he delivered at a university talk in Alberta, Canada. This was not the first time he's offered such an opinion. He had noted his distrust of the Cloud earlier this year at the RSA Security Conference, noting that "you don't know what else is cuddling up next to it."

This is not some random Chicken Little trying to panic everybody off of Facebook and into the streets: according to his biography, Brian "spent much of his early NSA career in research - developing cryptographic components and systems. Many of his algorithms are used today in cryptographic systems serving the U.S. government and military. These systems provide capabilities not previously available, and span a range from nuclear command and control to tactical radios for the battlefield. He has garnered patents and many awards and honors attesting to his creativity."

But the idea that a major cyber-meltdown is imminent does give one pause. It seems to me that with respect to the Cloud, he's talking along the lines of something like the famous Blackberry blackouts, only on a bigger scale; perhaps something will go drastically wrong with Yahoo mail or gmail, or God forbid, Farmville. Is he as concerned about the numerous Cloud installations that are in essence virtualized, offisite datacenters?

It is here that pesky semantics once again raise their head. What is the difference between the public cloud and the private cloud? Just when you thought a private cloud, for example, was an on-site datacenter that has been virtualized and perhaps charges departments only for their usage, a Fujitsu crops up and offers an outsourced private cloud. Just one example.

We've shot off a note to Mr. Snow over the week-end, asking for some expansion and clarification of the comments he made in Alberta.

Specifically, we've asked him:

* Do you believe therre will be a meltdown this soon?

* Would it be in the nature of the Blackberry outages we've seen in the past, or something more catastrophic?

* What would be behind such a meltdown: criminal activity, cyberwarfare, or plain old incompetence?

* What should individuals and businesses be doing to either thwart or obviate such a meltdown?

It's a holiday week in the US, so we didn't expect answers to come immediately. If and when he responds, we'll let you know.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Early Bird Registration Discount Expires on August 31, 2018 Conference Registration Link ▸ HERE. Pick from all 200 sessions in all 10 tracks, plus 22 Keynotes & General Sessions! Lunch is served two days. EXPIRES AUGUST 31, 2018. Ticket prices: ($1,295-Aug 31) ($1,495-Oct 31) ($1,995-Nov 12) ($2,500-Walk-in)
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...