Cloud Technology and Security Alert News Digest – Issue #17

(Update 2019) We’ve released some great new content on cloud security over the past few months, visit Cloud Academy’s Training Library for the latest material on security.

Welcome to the Cloud Technology and Security Alert News Digest. This week we’ll discuss data storage advances, disaster recovery strategies, human vulnerabilities in WordPress, and the ongoing transition in the Linux world from Upstart to Systemd.

Google wants to keep you close to your data

In the ongoing battle for the hearts and wallets of cloud computing users, Google GCP looks like it’s released a game-changer in the data archive market. Google Cloud Storage Nearline will offer “cold” storage at rates comparable to Amazon’s Glacier (1c per GB for data at rest), but amazingly, with a three-second access response time (compared with Glacier’s latency of hours)! Google is also integrating Nearline with products offered by existing industry leaders like Veritas/Symantic and Iron Mountain.

Upstart to Systemd: the transition begins

While you might not have to face the effects of the change for a while, Ubuntu’s transition from Upstart to Systemd has already begun. PCWorld reports that Canonical has announced that, starting with Ubuntu release 15.04, Systemd will be enabled by default, even though reversion to Upstart will still be possible. Both Upstart and Systemd were designed to replace the init system management tools system. As Ubuntu is used in more cloud deployments than any other operating system, this change will have a significant impact on many levels of administration across all cloud platforms.

The Ubuntu Wiki has a useful guide to Systemd written especially for Upstart users.

Why are WordPress sites especially vulnerable to attack?

Charlie Osborne at ZDNet reports on Imperva research that found WordPress sites were attacked “24.1 percent more than all other CMS platforms combined.” Part of the problem, apparently, is that WordPress, because it’s used to power such staggering numbers of websites and blogs, is simply a larger target. But the fact that so many WordPress admins are not professional administrators is also an important factor. And part of the blame for that is how easy it is to deploy WordPress sites: it just doesn’t feel like it requires a lot of training and project management protocols. Bottom line? Read the manual.

Cloud Computing: expand your disaster recovery plan

Quoting David Shacochis, VP cloud platform at CenturyLink, James Bourne at Cloud Computing News discusses how software – much more than hardware – now dominates disaster recovery processes for cloud deployments. But, perhaps more important than single-platform replication (having backups of your AWS applications in Glacier, for instance), is the need to plan for off-platform recovery. Being locked into any single platform if something catastrophic should happen to your account – or even to the platform as a whole – can be just as devastating as a simple software meltdown. What’s your plan for the cloud zombie apocalypse?

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