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. 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.

FTC Recommends Limits on Data Collection Via Internet of Things

Elizabeth Dwoskin, Wall Street Journal,  Tuesday, January 27, 2015

In a much-anticipated report on the so-called-Internet of Things, the Federal Trade Commission laid out on Tuesday steps businesses can take to protect consumers’ privacy. The first is to build security into devices at the outset, rather than as an afterthought. Other recommendations include: vetting partners for how they handle consumer data, taking measures to keep unauthorized users from accessing personal information stored on the network, and monitoring and patching connected devices throughout their expected life cycle.

For Cloud Computing Guidance, Look To Washington (Seriously)

Joe McKendrick, Forbes,  Monday, January 26, 2015

The U.S. federal government took a leadership role early with cloud. In fact, since 2010, federal agencies have been under a mandate to adopt a “cloud-first” approach to setting up new applications. So, there’s a lot that can be learned from the experiences of these agencies. For starters, there’s been an innate fear of lock-in to cloud vendors. In fact, 75 percent of federal cloud users in a new survey say they want to move more services to the cloud, but are concerned about retaining control over their data. Additionally, 53 percent say fear of long-term contracts hold them back.

Cop cameras take hold thanks to the cloud

Brandon Butler, Network World,  Monday, January 26, 2015

Ever since the tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri, Vievu has seen a lot more interest in its product. The Seattle-based company makes a custom video camera that is meant to be worn by police officers to capture video of exactly what cops are doing. With this technology, if an incident like what happened in Ferguson occurred again then judges, juries and the general public would have video evidence.But videotaping the movements of busy police officers produces a lot of data. And where better to store it than the cloud. Vievu recently signed a partnership with Microsoft to create a platform in the Azure Government cloud specifically for storing, managing and analyzing the data produced by the Vievu cameras.

OTA Releases Guidelines On Privacy Assessment, Best Practices

Laurie Sullivan, Media Post,  Friday, January 23, 2015

Dependency on cloud computing, outsourcing requirements and interconnected devices will eventually force the advertising industry to follow comprehensive security controls and practices to reduce the risk of data breaches. More than 90% of the 500 data breaches that occurred from January to June 2014 could have easily been prevented, per a report released Wednesday from The Online Trust Alliance (OTA).

Interview: Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s new competition chief

Lewis Crofts, MLex,  Friday, January 23, 2015

In an exclusive interview with MLex, Margrethe Vestager talks of her political past in Denmark and of her plans as European Commissioner for Competition. She explains the need for fair tax policies, the power of data in technology markets, and the prospect of a sector-wide antitrust inquiry. This interview examines topics including: •The ongoing antitrust investigation into Google and the pending cases of “tax deals” concerning Apple, Amazon and Starbucks •The European Commission’s review of companies buying minority stakes •Vestager’s view on data as the “new currency of the Internet” and its impact on privacy

Federal IT Leaders Want Cloud Vendors to Provide Clarity

Kenneth Corbin, CIO,  Friday, January 23, 2015

Federal agencies are actively shopping for new cloud computing technologies, but vendors will help their cause by packaging their services to be more readily implemented in a government environment that is highly security conscious and almost preternaturally cautious about rolling out new IT systems.

The key to understanding the gap between the vision and reality of cloud computing

Chris Widemann, Washington Technology,  Wednesday, January 21, 2015

In the 1990s, Alan Greenspan, then chairman of the Federal Reserve, referred to the attitudes surrounding the overvalued dot-com market as “irrational exuberance.” I’m beginning to feel the same way about cloud technology as a sales cure-all for government clients. Not that the bottom is going to drop out of the cloud market – far from it. There does seem, however, to be some “unmerited optimism” about relying on the technology as a door opener. The cloud has taken on almost a magical quality among those who sell to government. Many vendors and integrators believe that having a cloud story is the key to winning government contracts, no matter what their core business may be.

Signing the Pledge

Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed,  Tuesday, January 20, 2015

On Friday, we learned that Google quietly signed the Student Privacy Pledge – almost a week after President Obama called them out by name to ask why not. That is a good thing. Why did it take so long? Hubris first. Google thinks itself above association with other companies when such association is not intrinsically within its business interest. Joining the Pledge when it was first announced three months ago would have seemed unseemly.

Cybercrime deterrence: 6 important steps

Stephen Cobb, WeLiveSecurity Blog,  Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I am not under any illusions in laying out these steps. Taking them will be hard and not everyone will agree with them, particularly when moving from the general approach described here to the specifics of implementation. But I do believe now is the time to push this agenda, before the erosion of trust in networking technology undermines its effectiveness and we start to lose the benefits of its deployment. And so that we’re clear, when I say now is the time, I mean now is the time to actually do something instead of just talking about it. Let’s be honest, the right time has come and gone many times in the past without sufficient action being taken, but we can address that lack of commitment elsewhere. Here is what we need to do now...

Getting IT Right? How State Governments are Approaching Cloud Computing

Kevin Desouza and Gregory Dawson, Brookings,  Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cloud computing is far more than just a simple technology change and requires a close examination of governance, sourcing, and security. We sought to understand how well state government is prepared to address the challenges of cloud computing.