Security

IT professionals continue to cite security concerns as one of the largest barriers to cloud migration. Uniform government standards specific to cloud computing have yet to be finalized, leaving important questions regarding data availability and integrity unanswered. SafeGov.org aims to provoke discussion related to these concerns as well as raise awareness of the ways in which cloud computing could ultimately strengthen existing security measures.

Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day: A roundup of accessibility resources

Nonprofit Technology Network,  Thursday, May 21, 2015

Recall a time when you encountered one of those websites where it was hard to read and navigate. You wanted to get some basic information or perhaps complete a simple transaction, and you ended up spending a lot longer than necessary, or maybe even left the site in frustration. For many people with disabilities, this is a daily reality when they encounter the common problem of non-accessible websites. In recognition of these challenges, May 21 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD).

International privacy standards for governments and schools?

Bradley Shear by Bradley Shear, Law Office of Bradley S. Shear
Thursday, May 21, 2015

While many think of state and local governments as just repositories of public records, they also store massive amounts of highly sensitive personal information, including tax returns, family services files, student records and health data. And as state and local governments move more data to the cloud, privacy concerns become paramount. It is imperative governments establish robust privacy standards for cloud storage to prevent the misuse of personal data. Moving forward, governments should require their vendors to follow the recently adopted International Standards Organization (ISO) 27018 cloud privacy guidelines. These standards foster transparency while increasing security and data privacy. Without adherence to ISO 27018, government entities — such as public schools, which collect, process, and archive tremendous amounts of student data — could have their data used for non-educational purposes.

Cloud Adoption Among Government Entities to Skyrocket, Says Report by Forbes Insights and Microsoft

Forbes,  Thursday, May 21, 2015

”From Promise to Reality: How Local, State and Federal Government Agencies Achieve Results in the Cloud,” a new report released today by Forbes Insights, in association with Microsoft, provides strong evidence that when it comes to cloud adoption, government agencies are fast approaching a tipping point. Many groups are moving from mere “toes in the water” to a true “cloud first” orientation, and the number and form of cloud installations in government is poised for explosive growth.

EU trades privacy reform for surveillance

H. Bryan Cunningham by Bryan Cunningham, Cunningham Levy LLP
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A strange — and strangely unnoticed — trend is emerging in the evolving global response to massive 2013 leaks about US surveillance activities. While our European cousins talk privacy reform, the United States is actually moving ahead with it, albeit more slowly than many would like. As the American side of the Atlantic inches toward self-restraint, many European governments are seeking sweeping new spying powers. Europe is at risk of falling behind the US in privacy reform.

Fed Cloud Computing Caucus Report Outlines Plan to Increase Cloud Services Adoption

Laura Stotler, TechZone 360,  Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The U.S. government has been slowly making a migration to the cloud since the Cloud First policy was instated in 2011, but the going has been tough and there has been a certain amount of resistance to making such drastic changes. Congress is trying to speed up the process and encourage cloud migration with a new report courtesy of the Congressional Cloud Computing Caucus.

Professors prepare national tool kit for police use of body-worn cameras

Paul Atkinson, Phys.org,  Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Two ASU criminology and criminal justice professors are the primary authors of a new online tool kit for police departments nationwide to implement the use of body-worn video cameras. Hosted by the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance, the website draws from the professors' own research and best practices adopted by police agencies worldwide. "This tool kit provides needed infrastructure to police agencies to efficiently and effectively adopt body-worn cameras," said professor Charles Katz, director of the ASU Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety, a unit of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

How To Modernize IT Without Leaving Legacy Behind

Julie Urban, B2C,  Wednesday, May 20, 2015

One of the big challenges facing government agencies today is the need to use updated cloud technologies whenever possible, per The Cloud First policy. This policy mandates that agencies take full advantage of cloud computing benefits to maximize capacity utilization and minimize cost. An underlying issue that comes with the implementation of cloud technologies is that Government agencies need to find a standardized way of fielding capabilities that don’t work that well in cloud.

‘Black Cloud’ darkens the enterprise to all but authorized devices

Brian Robinson, GCN,  Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Internet has a fundamental problem with security that’s a part of its very DNA. And if things stay as they are, that problem -- and Internet security -- can only get worse. The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and its industry partners intend to change that. If things go as planned, within two years the partners will produce the first “Black Cloud” -- an open source, software-defined perimeter (SDP) solution that will stop distributed denial of service attacks dead in their tracks and enable highly secure cloud-based applications.

Tech giants don’t want Obama to give police access to encrypted phone data

Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post,  Tuesday, May 19, 2015

“Strong encryption is the cornerstone of the modern information economy’s security,” said the letter, signed by more than 140 tech companies, prominent technologists and civil society groups. The letter comes as senior law enforcement officials warn about the threat to public safety from a loss of access to data and communications. Apple and Google last year announced they were offering forms of smartphone encryption so secure that even law enforcement agencies could not gain access — even with a warrant.

Google Drops Cloud Computing Prices By Up To 30 Percent, Launches Preemptible Instances

Frederic Lardinois, Tech Crunch,  Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Google today announced yet another round of price cuts for its cloud computing platform, as well as a new instance type that will allow businesses to save even more on some of their cloud computing tasks. Today’s cuts focus on the Compute Engine side of the service and include cuts of up to 30 percent for the smallest instances. A Micro instance on Google Cloud platform will now cost as little as $0.006 per hour under regular usage. For other instance types, the price cuts are somewhat less dramatic and range between 5 percent for High CPU instances and 20 percent for the Standard instances.