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AWS security best practices: Multi-factor authentication and beyond

Last week, the news that Code Spaces suffered a breach that overnight put the company out of business and cost their clients untold millions reminded everyone in the IT community how devastating a major data security breach can be for our companies and clients. 

At Logicworks, we manage highly available, compliant cloud infrastructure on Amazon Web Services, and in the wake of this catastrophe, we decided to publish a list of AWS security best practices.

Data security is not binary.  Best practices are to use defense in depth and continuously evaluate what improvements can be made and how the threats are changing.  AWS, and public cloud computing in general, provide many new capabilities, but along with that come new threats and new tools to counter them.  Here are some of our recommendations to improve AWS security and build a good foundation for a secure scalable environment.

Improving Amazon Web Services …

Autotask hits the skids, leaves customers in the dark

CRM and business IT solutions provider Autotask has reportedly gone down, with the company citing “a known issue in a few zones”.

The company posted this tweet 18 hours ago at the time of writing, but has since gone deathly quiet to customers’ ire, including not replying to a request for comment from CloudTech:

It would seem, however, that this hasn’t quite been the case:

Frugal and Agile DevOps – the cloud computing advantage

Accomplish much more, very rapidly, while spending less – this is the business technology trend that savvy executives everywhere have embraced. Worldwide IT spending will reach a total $3.7 trillion in 2014, that’s a 2.1 percent increase from last year, according to the latest global market study by Gartner.

This forecast, however, is down from their earlier projections of 3.2 percent growth.

What’s driving the ongoing transition to lower business technology spending? The slower outlook for 2014 is attributed to a reduction in growth expectations for end-user devices, data center systems and IT related services.

Moreover, the typical IT investment is evolving. It’s transitioning from a legacy focus on technology and processes, to a focus on new business models and associated strategic outcomes that are purposefully enabled by digitalization.

Transition within enterprise mobile devices

The IT end-user devices market – which includes PCs, ultrabooks, smartphones, tablets …

SoftLayer launches London data centre, has Europe in its sights

IBM has announced a new UK data centre from SoftLayer will launch later this month – with France and Germany also in the IaaS provider’s sights for this year.

The new data centre will complement SoftLayer’s existing Amsterdam offering, as well as the Point of Presence London network. The move comes just a month after Salesforce launched their own London data centre.

IBM describes London as a key cloud market, with one third of the world’s largest companies headquartered in London and some of the world’s largest financial institutions operating from there.

The London server will hold more than 15,000 physical servers and will offer the full range of SoftLayer services, from bare metal to storage and networking, with SoftLayer offering $500 for the first customers.

Speaking to CloudTech at Cloud World Forum last week, SoftLayer EMEA managing director Jonathan Wisler explained how the company was …

Why data centre moves are an opportunity for service providers

Ian Redpath, Principal Analyst, Network Infrastructure

Internet content providers, stock exchanges, banks, communications service providers (CSPs), and others are investing billions of dollars to build data centre space. The proliferation of data centres in new geographic locations is fundamentally changing network demands and driving larger volumes of traffic. Data centres (DCs) with thousands of servers will require terabits of optical transport. CSPs have an opportunity to serve these new high-capacity transport network demands.

Data centre headlines and new connectivity required

Data centre investment announcements have been impressive over the past few years. Recent expansion activities include the following:

  • Google invested €450m for a DC in Hamina, Finland, 150km from Helsinki
  • ATT built a $200m DC in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, 50km from Charlotte
  • IBM invested $1.2bn in 15 DCs, including one in Barrie, Ontario, 100km from Toronto
  • NYSE built a 400,000-square-foot DC in Mahwah …

Couchbase secures $60m in funding, toots own horn with benchmark figures

It’s been a pretty good couple of weeks for Couchbase. Not only has the NoSQL database provider rounded up $60 million (£35.2m) in series E funding, but has also released benchmark figures which significantly outperform the competition, including MongoDB and DataStax.

The latest round of funding featured two new investors, WestSummit and Accel Growth Fund, along with existing venture capital investors, to bring overall figures to $115m (£67.6m).

It’s not often that companies get to the series E funding stage. As Marc Andreessen cited earlier this month, it’s generally accepted among venture capitalists that series A funding is to build the product and get first beta customers, while series B funding is to build the business around the product and get to revenue.

Noted VC Fred Wilson wrote a blog post expanding on this, saying series C funding was to get to profitability so cash …

Five reasons to consider moving law firm data to the cloud

By Kenneth N Rashbaum Esq. and Jason M. Tenenbaum of Barton, LLP.

This blog post is for informational and educational purposes only. Any legal information provided in this post should not be relied upon as legal advice. It is not intended to create, and does not create, an attorney-client relationship and readers should not act upon the information presented without first seeking legal counsel.

Following Superstorm Sandy in October, 2012, many lawyers in Downtown Manhattan found that they could not get to their offices.  Those attorneys with paper-based practices, or those whose IT was housed within the four walls of their law offices, were, in many cases, unable to provide billable services to their clients for several days or even weeks. 

Those firms with data in the cloud, though, were able to work unimpeded (that is, if they had an Internet connection) and sustained far less loss of revenue in …

Cloud outages: Are they excusable?

A world built on cloud is a world that is dependent upon the availability of the datacenter. If cloud services are unavailable for any amount of time, the cost to the cloud provider and the business ventures running within the cloud can become astronomical. In fact, an outage and loss of data contributed to cloud based becoming recently defunct.

When went down for just under an hour in 2013, Amazon’s bottom line was hurt by over 4 million dollars. What would happen if your cloud went down for any amount of time? Do you know how much money your company would lose? More importantly, have you reviewed your cloud providers SLA to ensure you feel comfortable with the terms presented to you?

Microsoft’s statistics show that about 50% of organizations “Believe that data accounts for up to 75 per cent of their total value …

More than half of data stored is inactive, report finds

A survey of more than 250 IT professionals from cloud storage provider TwinStrata has found that more than half of organisations have at least half their data as inactive, taking up valuable storage space.

The report defines inactive or passive data as data which has been untouched for 60 days, and found that 56% of those polled had more than half their data inactive. A quarter (22%) of respondents added that three quarters of their stored data was inactive.

Digging down further into the survey data the researchers found that 59% of companies who stored more than a petabyte of data had more than half of that data inactive – a slight increase. “Given the rate at which data creation overall has increased, we expect these numbers to grow,” the report notes.

There were other interesting findings in the report. Storage area networks (SAN) are the most popular places to store …

Salesforce and Philips hook up to deliver connected healthcare

Remember Marc Benioff’s connected toothbrush? There’s more where that came from. Salesforce and Philips have announced a strategic partnership to deliver a more collaborative health system.

In a media roundtable this morning, the companies revealed two clinical applications which have already been created and will be available on the platform this summer. Philips eCareCoordinator and Philips eCareCompanion will sit alongside Philips’ Hospital to Home telehealth operation, improving what the healthcare provider calls a “crisis” today, with over 171 million people expected to be living with chronic conditions in the US by 2030.

The solution, evidently, is greater transparency and communication between patients and healthcare providers, with the two companies plotting a future whereby apps will be central to healthcare, from self-care and prevention to diagnosis and treatment.

We have entered a new transformative era for healthcare

“We have entered a new transformative era for healthcare, and technology is …