Cloud Computing And Security Risks

A lot have been said about the benefits of cloud computing. Almost everyone is jumping on the band wagon. Here are the perceived benefits.

1) Negligible costs. – Resources in the cloud is shared among many users. This lowers the cost dramatically. For instance, an application that may require thousands of dollars to setup on a dedicated server may be hosted on a cloud for just a fraction of the cost.

2) Faster loading speed. – As the information can be stored in multiple locations, a web visitor can request for data from a location that is nearest to him or her. This speeds up data loading and makes cloud computing an attractive solution to many application providers.

3) Better security. – Many people think that cloud computing is more secure. Obviously, this perception is arguable.

Is cloud computing really a secure solution? What are the security risks involved?

1) Too early to tell. – Cloud computing is still relatively new. Many Chief Technology Officers (CTO) are not sure about the problems and risks associated with the cloud.

2) Shard environment. – Cloud means sharing of resources. That means data and information are stored in servers that may be accessed by other users. That may present some risks.

3) No infallible system. – Although the giants will tell you that their cloud system is highly secure and unlikely to get hacked into, there still remains a chance that it will fall. Why? Because it remains a simple fact that no system is 100% secure.

4) Valuable data attracts the wrong people. – The more valuable the data on the cloud, the more likely it will attract the wrong type of people. Hackers will do anything within their power to get into the system because they know that there is valuable data hosted on the computers. And because it is a cloud system, that means there is A LOT of data and information stored in the cloud. This makes the entire cloud a perfect target for those who wish to create mischief.

So does that mean one shouldn’t use cloud computing yet?

To be on the safe side, here are some recommended practices.

1) Choose what to store on the cloud. – A cloud can be used to store scripts to enable faster loading. Since no sensitive data is stored, you enjoy the benefits of the cloud without having to worry about security issues.

2) Ask about monitoring systems. – All cloud systems need to be monitored so that trouble makers can be caught in real time. This will help prevent loss of data.

3) Monitor all updates. – Updates can give rise to new security issues that are not there before. So every time there are major updates, be more vigilant. Run tests on your own to ensure that your own data is safe.

Case Study – How Computers and the Internet Have Changed Mobile Car Washing Forever

Well, I can remember back in 1979 when I basically invented mobile car washing out in California. Although there were some folks in Florida doing custom detailing, no one was really out washing fleets of vehicles, or going to office buildings to just wash cars with a mobile system. Back then we didn’t have fax machines, that might sound like a remarkable comment but it was true. In fact we didn’t even really have true long-distance service on our telephones, and our telephones were all land lines. There were no such thing as cell phones back then, because no one had put up the cellular network yet.

There were push to talk radios by Motorola but they were so expensive that surely anyone running a mobile detailing or mobile car washing business could not afford them. In fact, I had one of the first cell phones I believe it was back in 1984 or 1985, and it was a dollar a minute, it was quite expensive, but if you needed to make an important phone call it would surely be worth it. I can remember running up bills that were a thousand dollars a month, and that’s a lot of time to talk on the phone, especially back then. There were satellite telephones, but those were only for the military, oil executives, and the CIA.

We didn’t have computers either, if you were lucky you could afford a Selectric typewriter, and you could type out your mistakes, and that was a revolutionary technology by IBM back in the day. Still, it was amazing how fast you could go if you could fix your mistakes on the typewriter without changing out the ribbon, or putting in a cartridge to erase a mistake. Indeed, you could put together flyers, sales letters, and all sorts of things quite quickly to take to the copy store, runoff, and put them in the mail.

Speaking of mail, we used the old snail mail because there was no e-mail, because no one had a personal computer. This is about the time that IBM said the total market worldwide for personal computers would be about five. They were wrong, Bill Gates was right, and the rest was history. Of course without computers and the Internet no one had a website, and folks who wanted to do business with you had to have your advertising, meet a salesperson, or get something in the mail.

Today, everything has changed of course, and you can send out e-mails, and use social networks to get new business referrals, and things are so much easier today. If you aren’t using all the tools possible, you should, because that’s how I got going in the beginning using all the new technologies including the pager technologies as they came available, and then I stayed up with it the whole time. Indeed I hope you will please consider this, as a little history lesson to help you in your business.

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Colleges Fail to Turn Out Enough Computer and Information Technology Graduates

The computer and information technology field is one of today’s highest demand employment fields. The Federal Government projects an increase of 22% in the total number of jobs between now and 2020. The trend is expected to continue.

Industry experts say that private and public sector employers are searching for qualified people to work as web developers, security analysts, network administrators, computer support specialists and other specialized computer-related employment jobs.

College graduates with the skills and knowledge that are needed in information technology can have numerous job opportunities. The demand is widespread.

The fact remains, however, that colleges and universities in the United States are failing to prepare enough people to fill the vacancies. Evidence that employers are experiencing difficulty in finding qualified Americans to work in the computer-related occupations can be found in the continuing demand for H-1B visas for foreign workers.

The Brookings Institute reports that U.S. companies continue to face a shortage of available workers in the science and technology fields. Computer occupations remain among the job classifications for which H-1B visas are being sought. Brookings recommends that the Federal Government immediately adjust caps so that employment needs by region can be filled as soon as possible. The Institute further suggests that the fees charged to apply for H-1B visa applications be spent on programs that train U.S. workers in the high demand occupations that are currently being filled by workers from other countries.

Cisco, a major global networking company, confirms that the demand for qualified workers exceeds the supply. Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, vice president and general manager of Learning at Cisco, recently said in a Forbes magazine article, “Absolutely, there is a skills gap in I.T. It’s where the jobs will be in the future.”

William Kamela, senior director for education and the workforce at Microsoft’s Law and Corporate Affairs Office, said “Nationally, there are about 40,000 computer science graduates a year but the nation needs 122,000.” Kazmela adds, “Microsoft can’t find enough people to fill all its positions.”

The demand for information technology workers is high and the compensation for computer technology workers is above average. Modern society and economies are literally driven by computer technology. Hundreds of thousands of information specialists are needed to make it work.

A serious disconnect appears to exist among employment demand, educational institutions and students. One educational leader says, “The educational system in the U.S. has failed to address employment demand. School administrators talk a good game but ignore reality. Existing undergraduate curriculum tends to be too broad. Students have to take the responsibility and inform themselves about career opportunities. Most schools avoid doing so. An individual who obtains the information technology skills and knowledge that are in demand can recession proof his or her future. The sky is the limit.”

The facts confirm that the U.S. has a shortage of qualified information technology workers. The demand for such workers is strong. Industry leaders continue to complain that qualified workers are difficult to find. Universities and colleges are failing to fill the demand. The job opportunities in information technology are abundant.