Blog posts by Mike Small

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Avoiding Data Breaches and Managing Big Data

Today information is the foundation upon which businesses are built and organizations need to prosper.  However, given its value, information is not treated with sufficient respect by everyone in the organization.  It sometimes seems that the only people that understand the value of information are those who are trying to steal it! Big data makes this problem worse - in addition to the vast quantity of data from the Internet of Things and social media, so much unstructured information is now being created within organizations.  Who owns this data and who is responsible for its security?...

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The Future of the Cloud

As a UK member of ISACA as well as an industry analyst I was privileged to participate in a round table on the subject of the future of the cloud and the results of this were published in a supplement to the Guardian newspaper on September 27 th . Here is a summary of my thoughts on this subject: The cloud is about efficiency and economies of scale.  The successful CSPs (Cloud Service Providers) will be those that can provide value for money to their customers.  For large enterprises the cloud will add complexity by becoming yet another platform to be accommodated.  However for...

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Oracle and Salesforce.com announce partnership

Oracle and Saleforce.com CEOs, Larry Ellison and Marc Benioff, hosted a briefing call on June 27 th to announce a partnership between these two highly successful companies.  What does this partnership cover and what does it mean? Salesforce.com is built on Oracle technology and so Salesforce is very dependent upon Oracle.  Marc Benioff confirmed that Salesforce has confidence in the latest releases from Oracle including Oracle 12C database, Oracle Linux and Oracle Exadata.  Larry Ellison announced that this partnership will ensure that there will be out of the box integration of...

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IBM acquires SoftLayer

On June 24th, IBM  announced that it is to acquire SoftLayer Technologies Inc. and at the same time announced the formation of a new Cloud Services division. Following the close of this acquisition the new division will combine SoftLayer with IBM SmartCloud into a global platform. So what is special about SoftLayer, why is this important and what does it mean? SoftLayer Technologies Inc., which was founded in 2005, has over 100,000 devices under management which makes it one of the largest privately held computing infrastructure providers in the world.  SoftLayer has redefined the...

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The Cloud Blossoms in Europe

A recent report commission by CA Technologies Inc. looks at the growth of the use of cloud services and the evolving attitudes to the security of these.  This report shows some interesting findings:  For instance:  Europe is catching up with the US, with “38% of the European respondents using cloud for two to three years.” As compared with “55% of the companies in the US have been in the cloud for three or more years”.  This finding is confirmed by the recent announcement by salesforce.com that they have signed an agreement to establish European data centre in the UK in 2014....

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Cloud: hope for the best but plan for the worst

The past couple of weeks must have been an anxious time for the customers of the outsourcing service run by 2e2 which went into administration on January 29 th .  This impacted on a range of organizations including hospitals . The good news today is that the Daisy Group plc . has been appointed to manage the 2e2 Data Centre business.  Organizations are now almost totally dependent on their IT services to operate. It is tempting to think that outsourcing the service absolves you of any responsibility.  This is not the case; an organization using a cloud service is still responsible for...

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Top Ten Tips for Negotiating and Assuring Cloud Services

KuppingerCole research confirms that “security, privacy and compliance issues are the major inhibitors preventing organizations from moving to a private cloud.”  Our report on Cloud Provider Assurance provides information in depth on how to manage these issues.  Here is a summary of our top ten tips on negotiating and assuring cloud services. Consistent IT governance is critical: The cloud is just an alternative way of obtaining IT services and, for most organizations; it will be only one component of the overall complex IT service infrastructure.  IT Governance provides a way to...

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Data Breaches during 2012 demonstrate the need for better information stewardship

Was 2012 a big year for IT security breaches? Whilst I don’t have quantitative information on exactly how many data breaches there were during 2012.  However, during this period, there were many prosecutions, enforcement notices and monetary penalties issued by the ICO (UK Information Commissioner's Office).  These included a record monetary penalty of £325,000 for a hospital in the UK where discs containing patient data were sold on the internet , a penalty of £150,000 for Greater Manchester Police where an officer lost an memory stick with unencrypted information relating to...

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Negotiating and Assuring Cloud Services

Adopting cloud computing means moving from “hands on” management of IT services within the organization to “hands off” IT management using governance, service level agreements and contracts. This approach sits uneasily with many IT people whose education, training and experience are in the delivery of services rather than negotiation and governance. Nevertheless the IT department is an important player in ensuring that an organization gets what it needs from the cloud.  IT Service and Security Management are key components of the KuppingerCole IT paradigm which identifies the important...

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RSA Conference 2012 Podcast: Cloud Provider Assurance

Cloud computing provides organisations with an alternative way of obtaining IT services. However many organisations are reluctant to adopt the Cloud because of concerns over information security and loss of control. This presentation covers assurance approaches to managing the Cloud including CSA Controls Matrix, SSAE16/ISAE3401, BITS Shared Assessments and ISO 27001. RSACE2012 Podcast: GRC-301: Cloud Provider Assurance Listen to the podcast now: [audio:http://rsa.edgeboss.net/download/rsa/rsaconference/2012/eu/podcasts/RSAC_08-30-12-GRC-301.mp3] Or download the audio file...


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