Patrick Burke

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As more organizations move critical data to the cloud, security takes on ever-increasing importance, according to a recent report on cloud security. The Security for Business Innovation Council, consisting of IT security professionals from 19 companies worldwide, called cloud computing the main disruptive force for 2013. In its report, "Information Security Shake-Up," the group said it was evident many organizations are preparing to move more business processes to the cloud. This year, it will even be "mission-critical apps and regulated data" consigned to the cloud, according to an article on NetworkWorld.com. The Council includes security professionals from Coca-Cola, eBay, FedEx, EMC, Fidelity Investments, Intel, Johnson & Johnson and Walmart, among several others. "Although supplier lock-in and system availability are some of the big concerns with the cloud, se... (more)

Cloud Viewed as Fed's Answer to Big Data Needs

Cloud computing is steadily working its way into the U.S. federal government, potentially simplifying access to information for the public, but also creating some consternation over who ultimately controls that data. Some federal agency managers are reluctant to hand over their data to cloud computing providers, for fear of diminished security or potential hassles should they need to switch vendors, according to an article on FederalTimes.com. But the government's growing appetite for collecting information is forcing agencies to consider the promised benefits of cloud computing,... (more)

USDA Plows New Ground, Becomes Cloud Service Provider

Technology sure does make strange bedfellows. The federal government's newest cloud service provider is one that may elicit surprise. It's the same agency that oversees farm policy and food safety - the US Department of Agriculture. The USDA has been certified to provide Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platforms as a Service (PaaS) under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, a rigorous security-approval program overseen by the General Services Administration. The USDA now offers FedRAMP-certified cloud services to other federal agencies, as well as to stat... (more)

IBM Wins Its Largest U.S. Cloud-Computing Contract

That's one big check for Big Blue. IBM won a federal cloud-computing contract with a maximum value of $1 billion, its largest such agreement with the U.S. government, according to an article on Bloomberg.com. The Interior Department awarded similar, 10-year pacts to nine other suppliers, including Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT), which also described the agreement as its largest federal cloud contract. The deals might reach a combined $10 billion, allowing the agency to speed its efforts to move information to the cloud, a Web-based pool of shared resources such as data storage and ... (more)

2011: $6.9 Billion Invested in Cloud Startups

Venture capitalists are currently enamored with cloud-based startups, and are investing heavily in the cloud computing industry, according to a post on Cloudtimes.org. According to statistics shared by PricewaterhouseCoopers, venture capitalists invested as much as $6.9 billion on "Internet-specific" startups in 2011 alone, with "Internet-specific" being a proxy term for "cloud" because that's what most of them are doing. The $6.9 billion investment is a 68% increase from last year. In Q4 alone, investments related to cloud amounted to $1.8 billion, which is above the $1.3 bill... (more)