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Data centre security – does one understand your risk?


Let’s assume for a flash that you simply still manage all or a number of your data in-house. By implication meaning that somewhere within the building you've got an area filled with servers that require to be maintained and guarded . And as a manager, you’ll remember the physical risks that threaten the integrity of your data.cloud computing technology These include not only flood, fire and incursions by malicious third parties but also the havoc which will be created by unauthorised members of staff entering the secure area and, accidentally or deliberately, tampering with the equipment. Naturally enough you are doing your utmost to guard your hardware and software from of these threats. Naturally, you are doing your best to guard your hardware and software from threats

So now let’s say that you’ve made a crucial decision to outsource your storage and IT functionality to an external data centre. like the in-house operation, you’ll want to be absolutely assured that the risks are going to be effectively addressed. Certainly, you'll ask questions and your choice of provider depends heavily on the answers.


The right questions

But will you be asking the proper questions? Or, to place it differently, unless you fully understand where most areas of risk lie, you'll not be in a position to assess the safety provisions put in situ by a possible provider.

Risk misconceptions

As a species, we’re not always terribly good when it involves assessing real levels of risk and threat. The classic example is that the motorist who drives many thousands of miles a month without a reconsideration while getting stressed at the (statistically) much safer prospect of catching a flight from London to NY .call centre technology

 There are good reasons why the latter is perceived as more dangerous – not least that driving gives us a way of control while flying puts us within the hands of others which air accidents tend to be both well publicised and unsightly . aviation is, therefore, scarier but actually much less risky.

And very often data centre customers will specialise in the ‘scary’ headline threats, like terrorism, theft by organised criminals or a serious accident. This results in common questions such as:

What provision have you ever made to guard against an explosion?

What has been done to stop an attack on the info centre from, say a gang driving a truck through the wall?

What has been done to make sure the centre continues to work if there's a serious incident within the area?

All good questions and your data centre manager should be ready to provide the answers. But the reality of the matter is that incidents of this type are extremely rare. If we take the threat of bomb-blast as an example, there's currently no record of a knowledge centre being attacked by terrorists during this way. Equally the incidence of knowledge centres being suffering from attacks on other installations is rare to the purpose of being negligible.

Common threats

And actually, the most and customary threat to the integrity of knowledge stems from a way more mundane source – namely the member of staff (or perhaps an external party) who gains access to the servers and maliciously or unintentionally causes an outage.

This was probably a threat that you simply were conscious of when running an in-house operation, but the expectation is that in an external data centre all staff are going to be suitably qualified and skilled and people who aren’t won't tend access to key areas.

But the reality is that it’s vital to make sure that each one those with physical access to your servers (within the info centre) should be thoroughly vetted and managed. At one level, a negligent or poorly skilled employee can cause a huge amount of injury. At the malicious end of the spectrum, someone with a grudge or criminal intent could, in extreme circumstances, cripple your operations.

So what's to be done?

Good housekeeping

Well, first and foremost it’s important to thoroughly vet your own staff, and particularly those that could also be visiting the info centre. Equally important, you ought to even be vetting anyone within your supply chain who could be given access.

Data centre security

It’s vital to determine how the to outsource provider manages access to your IT hardware within the info centre. How are members of staff authenticated? What measures are in situ to stop an unauthorized person stealing the identities of others to get physical or virtual access?

Equally important, if security measures are ostensibly present, are they being actively enforced? as an example, let’s say an authorised person opens a secure door with a pass and is followed through by another party. Clearly, the second party has no got to use a pass because the door is already opened but this is often a breach of procedure. Will he or she be challenged or are there electronic measures in situ to stop this type of “tailgating.”

Is the security of knowledgeable standard?

The value of locked-up in data is immeasurable. From client details and e-mail records, through to transactional and operational information, the info lies at the guts of corporate operations. information technology degrees those protecting the info should be security professionals and not simply data centre managers with another security responsibility.

The value of locked-up in data is immeasurable.

Outsourcing to a knowledge centre can and will make information more, instead of less secure. Good data centres have the resources and expertise to make sure their integrity. However, before choosing a provider it's vital to completely understand the risks and ask appropriate questions. Bitcoin set to defy sceptics and become 6th largest global reserve currency by 2030

TOP GLOBAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS WILL INVEST quite $1BN IN BLOCKCHAIN-RELATED PROJECTS within the NEXT 1-2 YEARS

⎯ Bitcoin set to defy sceptics and become 6th largest global reserve currency by 2030, consistent with research

⎯ quite 1 million bitcoin transactions alone are now happening daily, in more than 10 times publicly reported data

⎯ A survey by Magister Advisors of quite 30 leading bitcoin companies demonstrates the growing strategic significance of bitcoin and blockchain

⎯ Leading banks each have already got 10-20 blockchain projects underway

⎯ China already has hegemony in bitcoin ‘mining’, the method that validates payment

A global survey of monetary businesses focused on blockchain and bitcoin technology has found that an estimated $1 billion are going to be spent by the highest 100 financial institutions on blockchain-related projects over the subsequent 24 months. The view of the bulk of respondents is additionally that bitcoin will become the 6th largest global reserve currency within 15 years. within the most important study of its type so far, Magister Advisors, M&A advisors to the technology industry, interviewed senior executives from thirty of the world’s leading bitcoin companies.

Jeremy Millar, partner at Magister Advisors who led the research said: “Blockchain is without question the foremost significant advancement in enterprise IT during a decade, on a par with big data and machine learning. What JAVA is to the web, blockchain is to financial services. we've now reached a fork within the road with bitcoin and blockchain. Bitcoin has proven itself as a longtime currency. Blockchain, more fundamentally, will become the default global standard distributed ledger for financial transactions.”

BANKS WILL SPEND $1BN ON BLOCKCHAIN INNOVATION within the NEXT TWO YEARS

Magister Advisors estimates that the highest 100 global financial institutions will invest quite $1bn on bitcoin and blockchain-related projects over subsequent 12-24 months. equivalent research has found that leading banks have portfolios of 10-20 bitcoin-related projects underway. The initial use of blockchain is usually to not replace core infrastructure, like wire transfers, but to enrich it, often by storing ‘meta-data’ in areas like settlement and clearing. But the potential is far greater, given the pliability and robustness of the technology, starting from property registries to security infrastructure to direct payments.

Magister’s research finds that leading private blockchain companies are already signing seven-figure contracts with these institutions. variety of projects are ‘near-production’, having been proven internally to be sufficiently robust to satisfy production requirements.

Jeremy Millar, the partner at Magister Advisors who led the research, said: “Banks will initially be unwilling to get rid of the core infrastructure that handles the method of clearance and settlement but they're going to increasingly run parallel blockchain processes, evidence by the spike in investment that our poll has identified. Blockchain isn't a flash within the pan. The transparency of its processes and its array of potential applications make it virtually inevitable that it'll become the default validation standard.”

He added: “Blockchain technology will underpin a growing number of routine transactions globally as trust grows. Our interviews with thirty of the leading bitcoin companies worldwide cement our view that the currency is gaining traction. Growing vendor acceptance and therefore the adoption of bitcoin in developing markets are creating a pincer movement which will cause widespread business and consumer acceptance and adoption over time.”

BITCOIN AND SPECULATION

Like many assets, like futures and commodities, the first usage of Bitcoin today in developed markets is theory. Interest in Bitcoin speculation has been enhanced by the shortage of volatility and yield in traditional asset classes (much like gold a couple of years ago), resulting in the creation of a variety of Bitcoin ‘money market funds’ or ETF equivalents. Magister Advisors estimates that 90% of Bitcoin by value is being held for speculation, not commercial transactions. On the opposite hand, we estimate that 90% of Bitcoin transactions by volume are actually commercial transactions, typically in developing economies.

Jeremy Millar said: “It is worth noting that futures trading volumes are 3 times or more the volumes on stock exchanges. Traders are hooked into volatility and that we mustn’t underestimate the importance of speculation.”

BLOCKCHAIN AND BITCOIN WILL DIVERGE

To date, blockchain and bitcoin have captured equal attention but the blockchain is about to impact far wider aspects of business and consumer life. the bulk of bitcoin transactions are currently happening in developing economies, reflecting the appeal of the robustness of the technology in economies where an estimated 2 billion adults don't have bank accounts and particularly in markets where corruption is endemic in financial services.

Jeremy Millar said: “Two million smartphones are being activated per day, therefore the question arises in developing economies, especially those where corruption may be a factor, why open a bank account?”

REGULATION BY INNOVATION

Companies like Coinanalysis and Elliptic are focused on tracing the source of Bitcoin transactions for proceeds of crime and anti-money laundering. Indeed, the arrest of DEA agent Carl Force and the United States Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges partially relied on suspicious activity reports filed by Bitcoin exchanges like Bitstamp.

Jeremy Millar said: “Ironically bitcoin has attracted negative publicity over its short life because attempts to rig it are flagged by the blockchain technology that underpins it. It’s the inherent ability of the blockchain infrastructure to show these attempts that have impacted perceptions when actually it should shore them up. Studies, conversely, show that 80% of UK banknotes feature traces of medicine. This self-regulating capability in blockchain will lend itself to an array of applications where corruption has hitherto been a drag .”

BITCOIN TRANSACTION NUMBERS ARE UNDERREPORTED BY AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE

Reported data from blockchain.info indicates that there are circa 120,000 bitcoin transactions per day, but this under-reports the particular total, according to Magister Advisors’ research.

Reported numbers don't think about the 300,000 daily ‘off-chain’ transactions by large wallet/vault players like Coinbase, Circle and Xapo, pushing the daily total number of transactions to around 1 million,” said Jeremy Millar.

DEVELOPING MARKETS MAY ACCELERATE GLOBAL ADOPTION

Within certain markets, bitcoin as a currency is extremely popular, finding applications where financial institutions have a smaller footprint. In a number of the massive wallets, for instance, 90% of the transactions are occurring in developing markets. There also are a variety of serious bitcoin remittance companies like Abra, Bitpesa and Atlas.

Bitcoin for cross-currency payroll is additionally increasingly popular.

Jeremy Millar said: “There are three drivers that are accelerating adoption of bitcoin: the maturity of the technology, the range of potential applications and therefore the move from proof-of-concept to production. the first years of dissemination to bitcoin were confined to stunts, like acceptance of the currency for space tourism bookings and one-off cashpoints. Now we see vendors like Microsoft, Dell – and mature online consumer finance businesses like PayPal accepting the currency. it's still, however, effectively hobbyist. No compelling consumer use case exists in developed economies. Consumer and SME transactions in developing markets, on the opposite hand, will drive commercialisation.”

These factors, combined with growing acceptance by, and investment from the large banks, are accelerating bitcoin’s progression up the credibility curve.

In certain markets, bitcoin as a currency is extremely popular. Within a number of the massive wallets, for instance, 90% of the transactions occur in developing markets where an estimated 2 billion adults don't have a standard checking account. The robustness of blockchain’s security makes it an appealing alternative for those disenfranchised from the normal banking industry.


cHINA’S GROWING ROLE

One notable additional factor is that the growth of China’s involvement in blockchain, the underpinning encryption technology. quite half ‘hash rate distribution’, a feature that validates the shared ledger and enables payment is administered by Chinese ‘miners’.

Commentators identifying this as a risk to the robustness of blockchain are misguided in Magister Advisors’ view.

Jeremy Millar said: “Chinese miners are making a reported $150 million a year in aggregate and therefore the technology is meant to show attempts at malfeasance. Fundamentally, albeit there was a desire to try to so, there's no incentive to cheat.”