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Cloud Computing Is Getting Personal

Cloud News Roundup

The personal cloud will be the main catalyst in bringing services otherwise unavailable to developing nations.

While businesses have been deploying cloud technology for some time, it's only recently that personal cloud services have emerged. The rise of the personal cloud means content, applications and computing power can move off the device.

While iPhones and iPads are unlikely to fade in popularity, the personal cloud will create opportunity, according to an article on NetworkWorld.com. Opportunity for users who have not been able to afford services historically tethered to an expensive device; opportunity for manufacturers to design lower-cost hardware to reach a new demographic in developing countries; and huge opportunity for businesses to bring a new wave of services to this previously untapped audience.

In the next 12 months this engagement is going to increase tenfold. Gartner is forecasting that personal cloud services will be built into 90% of all connected consumer devices by the end of 2013. And while developed nations will continue to engage in the personal cloud, developing countries begin to embrace these services in the next 12 months. And this uptake will be driven by the penetration of simple, low-cost hardware in these regions.

Cloud Services, Mobile Apps Top Areas of Business Investment: AT&T
Executives are ramping up their plans to work cloud services into their organization's infrastructure, according to a survey.

Businesses have continued to advance their business continuity and disaster recovery plans to incorporate the adoption of wireless network capabilities, cloud services and mobile applications, according to a report from AT&T.

More than three-fourths of companies surveyed use cloud or plan to invest in cloud services in 2013. Of those surveyed, 62 percent include cloud services as part of their corporate infrastructure - up 11 percentage points from the previous year, according to an article on eWEEK.com.

More than half of executives surveyed (63 percent) cited the looming threat of security breaches as their most important security concern for 2013, and a whopping 84 percent of executives said they are concerned about the use of mobile networks and devices and its impact on security threats. The majority of organizations surveyed invest in mobile security services, and of those companies, 66 percent take proactive measures against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

"Companies today are very aware and concerned about the potential threats that could disrupt their operations," Michael Singer, associate vice president of mobile, cloud and access management security at AT&T, said in a statement. "With their business continuity plans in place, businesses are investing in new technologies like network-enabled cloud services to help strengthen and expand their overall continuity strategies."

New Algorithm Solves Cloud Security Issues
Leave it to the minds at MIT to bring a bit more security into the realm of cloud computing.

MIT researchers have developed a new algorithm that could help make cloud computing technology more secure.

Researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory presented their work on a new encryption scheme for cloud computing at the Association for Computing Machinery's 45th Symposium on the Theory of Computing, according to an article on RedOrbit.com

Homomorphic encryption is a new research topic in cryptography that promises to make cloud computing perfectly secure. With the encryption theory, a Web user would send encrypted data to a server in the cloud, which would then process it without decryption and send back a still-encrypted result.

However, a downfall scenario of this idea would be attempting to search the server. If a user sent a search term to a server to find a specific record, the server would have no choice but to send back information on every record in the database. The MIT team says they have developed a solution solving this problem that involves a bit of a collaboration of many schemes.

The researchers built their functional-encryption scheme by fitting together several existing schemes, each of which has vital attributes of functional encryption, but none of which is entirely sufficient in itself. This new system begins with homomorphic encryption and embeds the decryption algorithm in a garbled circuit, which is when only the holder of a secret cryptographic key can encrypt data.

"It's an extremely surprising result," said Ran Canetti, a professor of computer science at Boston University. "I myself worked on this problem for a while, and I had no idea how to do it. So I was wowed. And it really opens up the door to many other applications."

More Stories By Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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