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Spring Journal

Volume 29, Issue 2

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Digital Realty has pre-leased the entirety of its first data center in Japan. The anchor tenant who signed the lease is a major hyperscale cloud provider whom the data center company did not name.

There’s currently a wave of high demand for large chunks of data center space in top markets around the world as the biggest cloud providers race to increase the scale of their infrastructure and win share of the quickly growing enterprise cloud market. This wave has fueled a boom for wholesale data center providers like Digital Realty.

It’s difficult to deduce which of the hyperscale cloud providers has signed the multi-megawatt lease in Osaka, but the top players in this category are Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, as well as IBM and to a lesser degree Oracle. Some Software-as-a-Service providers, such as Salesforce, could also be considered hyperscale.



In the early years of the internet, it was often recommended, when addressing the question of security in the net, to disconnect the connected computer to the Internet from the rest of the working processes. That way, the malware from the net would not corrupt the data of the companies. It used to be a simpler and more efficient suggestion, obviously no longer practicable in the current era of almost total connections: rarely can a firm avoid having a computer network. However, the constant connection to the Internet – also from mobile devices – makes these nets easily vulnerable and this is why sensitive data must be more and more protected.

What are the threats?

Cybercriminals use unprotected web protocols to launch their attacks. These protocols are responsible for the exchange of data between computers and net providers, the most popular being the TCP/IP protocol. Under an insufficient protection, what is known as man-in-the-middle attacks can be started. If an attacker has obtained access to a computer network he or she can stand between two communication partners without being noticed. That way the intruder can hear – or rather read – the whole communication content, impersonate one of the communication partners or intercept confidential data.



When Joseph Latouf was in high school, a challenge sparked his curiosity. His algebra class was informed that if anyone could come up with a prime number generator, they would win a $100,000 reward. Latouf got fast at work, and after some intense analyzing and deliberating, uncovered a clever method of creating a prime number generator. A professor at a nearby university was called in to prove that his prime number generator worked—and indeed, it did. Sadly, however, there really wasn’t a $100,000 prize.

Latouf said he tucked away the fruits of his labor in his back pocket, hoping that it would someday lead to something of value. After all, he knew that a prime number generator was important, since it holds the keys for encryption.

Fast forward many years later, when Latouf was wrestling with the idea of security and encryption and feeling uneasy about the fact that if he had a prime number generator, others likely do too. And, that meant that there were people out there who can crack encryption.



Friday, 29 April 2016 00:00

The Demands for Cyber Security

We’re under attack and to say organizations across the board are slow to respond is an understatement. On average, it takes the Enterprise anywhere from nine to eighteen months to identify that a security breach has occurred.

How much data do you think the bad guy is able to exfiltrate in that period of time? All of it!

The demands for Cyber Security amid the ever-increasing pressures in the enterprise for bigger, better, faster and yesterday, have become a huge challenge for any administrator and/or security professional.

Within the plethora of technologies, demands from users and compliance, keeping the organization’s most prized assets – their data – safe is a highly complex task. Time and again, the age old problem perpetuates a weakened security posture. Is this Groundhog Day reality, the result of highly sophisticated and innovative threats? Are attackers all of a sudden much smarter and more coordinated?



Friday, 29 April 2016 00:00

My Technical Learning Curve: Encryption

Resilience professionals, particularly those from a non IT background, really need to step up and develop their overall understanding of technology, especially focusing on how we all communicate with one another in the modern age. I mean, how else are you going to be able to fully appreciate the magnitude of risks potentially facing your business?

I hear you say “my IT guy will tell me” but even then beyond the tech descriptions you’re only ever getting their individual perspective. How confident are you of their awareness of the business process that’s using the technology? or the impact to customer experience? Or how it might affect the long term leadership strategy as to why you have that technology in the first place? In my experience, very technical employees are often very skilled in one particular area of focus and tend to think in a very linear way. I therefore think it’s vital that resilience professionals who face off to senior management and leadership need to have a basic understanding of how some of it actually works.

Oh and by the way I’m not just talking about all the buzzwords you see coming out from half-baked vendor blogs repeatedly referencing cool words like “Brute Force,” “Spear Phishing” or “Whaling” or “Social Engineering.”



When I started in this business more than 30 years ago, it took a supercomputer to do what a laptop can do today, and networks were in their infancy in places like Stanford. Storage is a lot more complicated these days, and storage architects and administrators need to be on top of a whole lot more than they used to. So with a nod to the now-retired David Letterman, here is my list of the Top 10 things storage architects and admins need to be monitoring and doing.



Friday, 29 April 2016 00:00

A Generation that Speaks Up

It is becoming more common to see the integration of millennials in the workforce. Many people assume this population of workers to be young kids fresh out of college. However, that is not the case. The higher ladder of millennials are already holding roles in management, leadership and even executive positions. Companies are seeking out millennials because they are a generation of visionaries and bring new perspectives. It is estimated that by the end of 2016, millennials will be the largest generation in the workforce.

A key characteristic of these young workers is their ability to speak up and take a stand. They have been socially trained to look at the bigger picture and ask necessary relevant questions that will take your organization to the next level. Given their go-getter mentality, millennials want to grow and that includes growing out of your company if they don’t see the promise of personal benefit or growth.



In today’s corporate world, most organizations have a crisis management plan in place. However, many of these plans are out of date or not truly actionable, leaving businesses vulnerable to a wide range of threats.

In a recent Deloitte survey, researchers found that after a crisis more than 70 percent of organizations took up to three years to fully recover their reputation and operations. Many of these companies even had a plan in place—but it simply didn’t get the job done.

Is your crisis plan operational? If a crisis strikes tomorrow, would your stakeholders be prepared to react accordingly to protect themselves and mitigate damage to the company? Or would you still be cleaning up the mess three years later?