Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Google’

“I am not a number, I am a free man”

IDC reported that we generated and replicated 1.8 zettabytes – that’s 1.8 trillion gigabytes – of data in 2011. To give you an example of scale you would need to stack CDs from Earth to the Moon and Back again – twice – to represent that amount of data and its expected to grow 50x by 2020. Interesting factoid: Through April of 2011 the Library of Congress had stored 235TBs of data. In 2011 15 out of 17 sectors in the US have more data per company than the US Library of Congress, much of that data is about you.

Facebook is preparing to raise $100 billion, yes a hundred billion, in a highly anticipated IPO next spring. Twitter is valued at $10 billion, and social media companies are pulling massive valuations. In terms of data, roughly 4 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook every day, and Twitter registered 177 million tweets per day in March of 2011. The success of these companies, and many others, is trade in human commodity. There is an inherent value to your tweet, your wall post, becoming mayor at some DC cafe or posting your location to wherever people post those things, but the real value is simply in your existence as a number in a sea of other 1 and 0′s.

We are entering a world where every aspect of our lives, short of those thoughts we hold deep, will be processed, indexed, analyzed and archived forever. What we search for, our online activity, where and how we drive, what we buy; when and how often, our health, financial, and personal records digitized for quick sale to the highest bidder. Never before have we had the ability to implement systems to handle massive volumes of disparate data, at a velocity that can only be described as break-neck and with this ability comes the inevitable misuse.

The commercial implications for companies seeking access to this depth and breadth of customer intelligence is clear, but this same information federated with the analysis of unstructured video, picture, voice and text data in the hands of our government or one that meant us harm is truly frightening.

Social media is an interesting experiment in applying a large scale operant conditioning chamber to a mass population, the law of effect is a retweet, a friending, being listed on a top x most influential list, or whatever else elicits the desired response. We leap head first off the cliff of technology and only concern ourselves with the implications when they become a problem for us.

The irony is that in our search for identity and individuality in an increasingly digital world we have willingly surrendered that which we used to hold so dear – our privacy.

May future generations forgive us.

Read Full Post »

Michal Zalewski, a security researcher at Google, recently wrote a guest editorial for ZDNet entitled “Security Engineering: Broken Promises”. The article lays out a series of issues with the security industry, specifically looking at an inability to provide any suitable frameworks for software assurance or code security.

We have in essence completely failed to come up with even the most rudimentary, usable frameworks for understanding and assessing the security of modern software; and spare for several brilliant treatises and limited-scale experiments, we do not even have any real-world success stories to share. The focus is almost exclusively on reactive, secondary security measures: vulnerability management, malware and attack detection, sandboxing, and so forth; and perhaps on selectively pointing out flaws in somebody else’s code. The frustrating, jealously guarded secret is that when it comes to actually enabling others to develop secure systems, we deliver far less value than could be expected.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Beijing, China – April 1, 2010 – The Chinese government announced that effective immediately all US based technology firms and associated products and services will be banned from all Chinese government and state-run agency IT environments. The ban is expected to include critical infrastructure, such as military, finance, utilities, and healthcare as well as education, retail and manufacturing companies. (more…)

Read Full Post »

ccmanifesto

So apparently a group of technologists and vendors working under the cloak of digital darkness drew out a pentagram and locked arms as they called out to Cthulhu to manifest and drive out those that would oppose their ultimate aims of total and complete world domination. Domination brought about through a set of cloud computing solutions that would revolutionize antiquated IT infrastructures and deliver agility, scalability, and operational efficiencies through an open platform at a really, really good price.  Blood was spilled, virgins were killed, and apparently an “open” cloud-computing manifesto was drafted. (more…)

Read Full Post »

I had an interesting conversation with a peer recently that started with a statement he made that “innovation was all but dead in security”. The implication was that we had done all we could do and that there was very little more that would be accomplished. Of course I felt this was an overly simplistic and narrow view, not to mention that it completely ignores the rather dramatic impact changes in computing infrastructures will have over the next 5-10 years and beyond.

How have enterprise architectures evolved over the past 10 years and how will it continue to evolve? Simply put we are pushing more of our computing assets and the infrastructure that supports them out into the Internet / cloud. It began with mobile computing devices, remote offices, and telecommuters and is now moving into aspects of the traditional internal infrastructure, such as storage, application / service delivery, and data management. This has forced IT to, in some cases, radically redefine the technologies and processes they implement to even provide the basics of availability, maintenance and security. How does an IT organization maintain the health and availability of the evolving enterprise while securing the environment? How do they ensure visibility into and control over an increasingly complex and opaque infrastructure? (more…)

Read Full Post »

Google recently “leaked” a cartoon providing information on their upcoming browser named “Chrome” (here) and (here) – personally I will be impressed when the movie comes out and there is a guest appearance by Stan Lee. There has already been a tremendous amount of discussion and opinion on the ramifications of such a release. Most of it centering on Google taking aim at Internet Explorer. Hoff believes this signals Google’s entry into the security market (here), obviously the  acquisition of Greenborder and Postini and the release of Google safe browsing were clear signals that security was a critical part of the equation. But what is most important here, and seems to be missed by much of the mainstream media, is that Google is creating the foundation to render the underlying Microsoft PC-based operating system obsolete and deliver the next evolutionary phase of client computing. Hoff pointed this out in his earlier post (here)

So pair all the client side goodness with security functions AND add GoogleApps and you’ve got what amounts to a thin client version of the Internet.

A highly-portable, highly-accessible, secure, thin-client-like, cloud computing software as a service offering that in the next 5-10 years has the potential to render the standard PC-based operating systems virtually obsolete – couple this with streaming desktop virutalization delivered through the Internet and we are quickly entering the next phase of the client computing evolution. You doubt this? OK, ask yourself a question? If Google is to dominate computing through the next decade can it be done on the browser battlefield of old, fought in the same trench warfare like manner experienced during the Early browser wars between Microsoft and Netscape? or will it introduce a much larger landgrab? and what is larger than owning the desktop – fixed or mobile, physical or virtual, enterprise or consumer – regardless of the form it takes?

On another note I recently posted the “7 greatest Ideas in Security” (here), notice that many of them have been adopted by Google in their development of Chrome, including;

  • Security as part of the SDL – designed from scratch to accommodate current needs; stability, speed, and security, also introduces concepts of fuzzing and automated testing using Google’s massive infrastructure.
  • The principle of least privilege – Chrome is essentially sand-boxed so it limits the possibility for drive-by malware or other vectors of attack that use the browser to infect the base OS or adjacent applications, which means the computation of the browser cannot read or write from the file system  – of course social engineering still exists, but Google has an answer for that providing their free Google safe browsing capabilities to automatically and continuously update a blacklist of malicious sites. Now they just need to solve the eco-system problems of plug-ins bypassing the security model of sand-boxing.
  • Segmentation  – Multiple processes with their own memory and global data structures, not to mention the sand-boxing discussed above
  • Inspect what you expect – Google task manager provides visibility into how various web applications are interacting with the browser
  • Independent security research – a fully open source browser, that you can guarantee will be put through the research gauntlet.

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 40 other followers