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Sunday, August 20, 2017

EU funds project to boost European cloud computing market

A European Union-funded project called Cloudcatalyst has been set up to assess the current cloud computing market in Europe, identify barriers to cloud adoption and provide tools to boost its growth in the region. The project aims to instill confidence in European businesses, public entities, ICT providers and other cloud stakeholders eager to develop and use cloud services. It will create “a strong and enthusiastic community of cloud adopters and supporters in Europe”, according to Cordis, the European Commission's project funding arm.  According to the EC, cloud computing is a “revolution” but its providers are still struggling to captivate and build trust among businesses and everyday citizens. “Cloud-sceptics” are concerned over data security and legal exposure and a lack of information around cloud is hindering its adoption. The Cloudcatalyst project will tackle this issue by providing useful tools to foster the adoption of cloud computing in Europe and to boost the European cloud market, according to Cordis, the European Commission’s primary public repository that gives information about EU-funded projects. The project, which is funded by FP7 – the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development – will target all cloud players. These include software developers, members of the scientific community developing and deploying cloud computing services, incubators at the local, national and European levels, large industries, SMEs, startups and entrepreneurs. With a total budget of over €50bn, the project will primarily analyse practices across Europe and identify the conditions for a successful adoption. “We will cover all the main issues around cloud and give a clear overview on a number of topics, such as current cloud trends, critical success factors to overcome major technical barriers, data privacy and compliance requirements, and recommendations for quality of service and cloud SLA," said Dalibor Baskovc, vice-president at EuroCloud Europe, one of the project partners.  We see cloud as an engine of change and a central ingredient for innovation in Europe Francisco Medeiros, European Commission The project will also create a series of tools to help stakeholders create value-added cloud products and services. These consist of the Cloud Accelerator Toolbox and the Go-to-the-Cloud service platform – a collection of management tools bundling together trend analysis, use cases and practical recommendations in the form of printable report templates and instructional videos.  “The tools we are developing will help companies adopt and deploy cloud solutions, whatever their different needs and requirements are,” said Baskovc.  The project will also carry out a number of market surveys to gather key information and produce an overview of the cloud adoption status, such as why companies should develop cloud services, the main internal problems in adopting a cloud product, the associated risks and how these issues can be addressed. According to the European Commission, cloud computing has the potential to employ millions in Europe by 2020. “We see cloud as an engine of change and a central ingredient for innovation in Europe,” Francisco Medeiros, deputy head of unit, software and services, cloud computing at the European Commission told the Datacentres Europe 2014 audience in May this year. “Cloud is one of the fastest-growing markets in Europe.” In 2013, worldwide hardware products grew by 4.2% to €401bn, while software and services grew by 4.5% to €877bn, signifying the importance of software services, said Medeiros. Email Alerts Register now to receive ComputerWeekly.com IT-related news, guides and more, delivered to your inbox. By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy Read More Related content from ComputerWeekly.com RELATED CONTENT FROM THE TECHTARGET NETWORK

Privacy key to UK business opportunity, says KPMG

Finding the right balance between customers’ right to privacy and getting business value or insight from that data could help UK firms take the lead through innovative online services, says consultancy KPMG. Stephen Bonner, partner in information protection and business resilience at KPMG, said most interactions with customers are now through digital channels, driven by the insight that provides. “Businesses are getting so much economic benefit from understanding their customers better, but that insight must come with assurances that they are not over-stepping the mark,” he told Computer Weekly. In this regard, Bonner believes the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) plays a key role. “In a flat, global network where e-commerce can be delivered anywhere in the world, striking that right balance of fair, but firm regulation is what provides a competitive advantage for countries,” said Bonner. Just as London created a liberal, but safe environment for investors in the finance world, he said the UK should seek to enable freedom to innovate online, but at the same time provide protections for customers. “This will give the UK an interesting ability to compete globally, especially as US-based internet firms are losing global customers because of concerns over surveillance by the state,” said Bonner. In the latest annual report, information commissioner Christopher Graham said the ICO seeks to enable the development and delivery of new products and services without compromising privacy. "But to be an effective partner in delivering modern and innovative services, the ICO needs stronger powers, a more sustainable funding system and a clearer guarantee of independence," he said. Graham believes that, as organisations' use of data gets ever more complicated, UK citizens need to know someone is watching over their information. This is particularly true, said Bonner, as the world move towards the internet of things and the automated home, which will see an unprecedented depth of intimate knowledge firms will have about individuals. “We stand at the cusp of what could be incredibly empowering insights from data properly collected and analysed that will change the way we do medicine and commerce, creating opportunity for innovation. “But there is also the terrifying possibility of oppression, manipulation and restriction of freedom, so there is a need for industry to embrace a proper regulatory framework,” he said. While most companies have shied away from this, relying instead on a self-regulatory approach, Bonner believes they will now begin to seek more widely recognised ways of proving their privacy credentials. This is driven by concerns that if someone abuses their data collecting ability, it could have a negative effect on the whole industry, including those who have spent the time and money to do it properly. “If consumers lose confidence in the whole industry, those who have built safe and secure systems may get penalised almost as much as those who have not,” said Bonner.   “This is where regulatory enforcement becomes valuable because it ensures that the market is fair and that everyone is doing at least the basics well. “It also allows a bit more education of consumers so those companies that go beyond the basics are talking to an audience who understands that might be valuable to them,” he said. Email Alerts Register now to receive ComputerWeekly.com IT-related news, guides and more, delivered to your inbox. By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy Read More Related content from ComputerWeekly.com RELATED CONTENT FROM THE TECHTARGET NETWORK

Russian-state malware used by cyber criminals in banking Trojans

Malware developed by the Russian intelligence service has been leaked to cyber-criminals and has been incorporated into "ransomware" and online banking Trojan toolkits. That is the claim of Udi Shamir, chief research officer at threat analysis company...

Huawei reports 19% increase in revenue

Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei has reported revenues of $21.9bn for the first six months of the year, up 19% compared with the same period in 2013. The company expects to make an operating profit margin of 18.3% for the period as it reaps the rewards of diversifying beyond network equipment into smartphones, wearable technology and other fast-growth sectors. Cathy Meng, Huawei’s chief financial officer, said the firm "achieved quality and sustainable growth” in its consumer business due to the “increase of brand awareness and smart devices sales worldwide". Huawei did not give a breakdown of sales but, according to IDC, the firm shipped 13.7 million smartphones in the first three months of this year, making it the world’s third-biggest smartphone maker. Meng said Huawei’s growth was partly driven by increasing wordwide investment in 4G or long-term evolution (LTE) networks, enabling the firm to “further solidify” its “leadership position” in mobile broadband. The company also said stronger sales of software and services contributed to steady growth of its business for telecom carriers in the first half, and that it "enjoyed accelerated growth" in the sales of communications products used by corporate clients to build their own private networks. Huawei’s growth comes in the face of scrutiny by the US, UK and other countries in recent years because of alleged ties to the Chinese government and military. The allegations have been driven in part by the fact that the company's founder, Ren Zhengfei, was a former member of the People's Liberation Army. Huawei has repeatedly denied those claims and has emphasised that it is 100%-owned by its employees and founder, reports the BBC. In March 2014, documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that US concerns over Huawei equipment had led to the National Security Agency spying on Huawei’s servers. In response, China demanded an explanation from the US, and Huawei issued a statement that said: “If such espionage has been truly conducted, then it is known that the company is independent and has no unusual ties to any government, and that knowledge should be relayed publicly to put an end to an era of misinformation.” The strained relationship of the firm with the US has led the company to concentrate on the European market. In June 2014, Huawei announced it had helped set up 18 Joint Innovation Centres in Europe since its first venture with Vodafone in 2006. The company also announced the development of a £125m research and development centre in Bristol. Read more on Huawei Huawei confirms UK R&D centreGovernment agrees to review Huawei’s Cyber Security Evaluation Centre Huawei poses no competitive threat to US networking firms, says Enterasys CEO Huawei security issues are result of 'rumors,' says Huawei executive Huawei CISO questions Cisco and Juniper's role in US spying Universities minister David Willetts backs Chinese telecoms firm Huawei Android will be ‘top priority’ for Huawei Huawei merges carrier IT services with managed network services Huawei bets on European talent with mobile R&D Email Alerts Register now to receive ComputerWeekly.com IT-related news, guides and more, delivered to your inbox. By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy Read More Related content from ComputerWeekly.com RELATED CONTENT FROM THE TECHTARGET NETWORK

Black Hat Preview Shows Hotels, IoT Vulnerable to Hacks

In a preview of his Black Hat session next month, a security researcher exposes the risks of hotel automation systems and the Internet of things. During a session at the upcoming Black Hat security conference that starts Aug. 5 in Las Vegas, independent security consultant Jesus Molina is set to expose the risks of hotel automation systems. In a Black Hat preview webcast July 18, Molina provided a few details on his talk "Learn How to Control Every Room at a Luxury Hotel Remotely: The Dangers of Insecure Home Automation Deployment." Molina's hacking adventure began with a visit to the St. Regis Shen Zhen hotel in China. He stressed that he was only a guest and didn't go there with the intention of conducting a full security penetration audit. In most rooms at that hotel, there is an Apple iPad that hotel guests can use to control various functions in the room, including lights and blinds.  Molina said he was curious how the iPad was controlling all of the room functions so he began to investigate. It turns out the network used for the room automation technology was the same network used for guest Internet access. Digging deeper, Molina discovered that the protocol used to control the various room attributes is the KNX/IP home automation protocol.  He also discovered that the network and its protocol configuration were not secure. Every room has a different IP address with a KNX/IP router, and Molina was able to gain control of all room attributes, including TV and temperature control, in nearly any room in the hotel that he wanted. In his formal Black Hat session in August, Molina plans to go into depth about large-scale automation protocols and their inherent risks. "The problem is that most [protocols] are old or closed," Molina said. KNX is an old protocol that was invented in the 1990s, and it's closed, Molina said. As such, it's difficult for a security researcher to get information about the protocol, he said. He is concerned about what home automation protocol use means for security in the Internet of things era. With an increasing number of devices connected to the Internet, the use of insecure or improperly configured devices and protocols becomes a greater risk. Insecurity at hotel locations overall is not a new topic for the Black Hat conference. Back in 2012, security researcher Cody Brocious detailed an open-source system he built that could hack into hotel key-card systems. Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Search-and-rescue drone mission readies for takeoff after defeating FAA

Feds maintain commercial use of model-drones is illegal; courts aren't so sure.

New York State, Tech Vendors Make Bitcoin Moves

NEWS ANALYSIS: New York State proposes new rules for Bitcoin, as Google and Dell now embrace the cryptocurrency, too. Bitcoin continues on the path toward broader usage this week, as U.S. state governments and IT tech vendors make moves. The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) released its proposed framework  for Bitcoin regulation on July 17. The framework involves the proposed BitLicense, which will regulate Bitcoin and other virtual currency services in New York State. The BitLicense includes a number of key stipulations intended to protect consumers and help prevent fraud. One of requirements is an asset stipulation such that companies that receive the BitLicence have an amount of virtual currency in its reserves that is equal to the amount that is owed. DFS also wants BitLicensed companies to have a bond or trust account to further protect users. The DFS also wants there to be some form of virtual currency receipt that consumers can get that provides a telephone number of the BitLicense holder so questions and complaints can be lodged. DFS also wants each licensee to have an established consumer complaint policy in place, as well as disclosure on the potential risk of virtual currency use. Going a step further, DFS also wants each BitLicense holder to be in compliance with an anti-money laundering program that includes the verification of account holders. All told, on the surface, what the DFS is asking for isn't all that extraordinary. The idea of having reserves makes some sense and is not unique to virtual currencies. Traditional banks are all required to have reserves and are required by various regulations to have a certain amount of liquidity as well. Protecting consumers and attempting to limit the risks of fraud and money laundering also seem like good ideas that are common attributes of other financial mechanisms, as well. There are, however, some questions in the Bitcoin community about the DFS rules. Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services at DFS participated in a Reddit discussion on the new rules, which solicited lots of questions. Among the top questions is the issue of who is required to have a BitLicense and when the new regulation will come into effect. DFS is planning on formally publishing the regulations July 23, which will be followed by a 45-day comment period. The timing of the regulation is also an issue for the Bitcoin Foundation. "The DFS, of course, took more than six months to put together its BitLicense proposal, and these are New York’s financial regulation experts," Jim Harper, Global Policy Counsel at the Bitcoin Foundation wrote in a blog post. "It seems like the public—non-experts, including startups and small businesses around the nation and world who might want to serve New York customers—should have at least that long to digest the proposal and comment." Regardless of what the DFS actually ends up adopting and when, the rules further serve to legitimize Bitcoin as part of day-to-day business in the financial capital of the world, New York. Coincidentally, this past week Google started adding Bitcoin pricing to its search index. A simple search like "1 Bitcoin to USD" will now provide users with a Bitcoin exchange rate. Google has been providing its search engine users with conversion rates for physical currencies for several years. Google isn't the only technology vendor this week that has Bitcoin news either. Dell announced on July 18 that it is now accepting Bitcoin on dell.com for technology purchases. Overall, Bitcoin continues to build momentum and adoption in 2014 despite what could have been an extinction level event in February with the collapse of Mt. Gox. Mt. Gox, which had been the leading exchange in the world for Bitcoin, collapsed after a hacker attack that robbed it of 750,000 Bitcoins valued at $473 million at the time. The fact that Bitcoin continues to thrive despite that calamity is proof positive that virtual currency and Bitcoin are here to stay. Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Pirate Bay traffic has doubled post-ISP blocks

The US is still the largest source of traffic.

Ars editor learns feds have his old IP addresses, full credit...

FOIA request turns up 9 years of records, including plaintext credit card numbers.

Russia caught editing Wikipedia entry about downed Malaysian airliner

Twitter bot that monitors Wikipedia edits catches Russian TV network in the act.

“SOHOpelessly BROKEN” hacking contest aims to test home router security

Contestants required to demonstrate zero-day exploits against 10 popular models.

Photoshopping of adult porn nets man 10-year child-porn conviction

Ruling protects minors from "significant harms associated with morphed images."