As Principal Analyst for Security and Data Center Services at Current Analysis, Amy assesses the managed IT services sector, with an emphasis on security and data center solutions delivered through the cloud including on demand application and managed storage offerings.
• Amazon Web Services (AWS) earmarked $40 million over the next three years to support organizations working to advance healthcare equity over the next three years via AWS credits and technical support
• This is a follow on to a program AWS launched in 2020 to improve health diagnostics in which it has so far assisted 87 organizations in 17 countries
AWS is flexing a fairly mighty philanthropic muscle with a new program dedicated to advancing global healthcare equity and improving medical outcomes. By offering qualified non-profits, research institutions, and other organizations computing credits, technology, and other supports, AWS is hoping to advance an agenda to better support underserved and underrepresented communities. The program is directed to organizations developing cloud-based healthcare solutions.
The AWS program is targeted at organizations that are addressing any of three major imperatives: Expanding access to health services; lessening disproportionate negative health outcomes in underrepresented communities by addressing root causes of disease and illness; and tapping into larger data sets to promote equitable care systems.
• Security researchers identified more than a dozen Bluetooth Classic stack vulnerabilities that affect at least 1,400 products
• This issue is highlighting broader cybersecurity challenges in the connected device world
Security researchers from Singapore University of Technology and Design cast a spotlight on vulnerabilities in 13 different Bluetooth chipsets that could put mobile and other connected devices at risk of breaches. Dubbed BrakTooth, with Brak being a Norwegian word for crash, the 16 identified vulnerabilities in the Bluetooth Classic stack can be exploited using a number of mechanisms including denial of service, firmware crashes, deadlocks, and arbitrary code execution (ACE). A wide range of devices from Dell laptops to consumer smart speakers and connected refrigerators could be vulnerable.
• IBM announced Kyndryl as the name of the legacy IT services business unit it will spin off later this year
• Reaction was swift and mocking as industry watchers collectively wondered what a brand master like IBM was thinking with the Kyndryl name.
When IBM disclosed plans in 2020 to shed its legacy IT services business at some point in 2021, the company emphasized that the move would allow it to concentrate on higher profit margin services. Industry watchers touted this as a way for IBM to become more of a pure-play cloud provider untethered from the challenge of managing a behemoth. Words like “dynamic”, “agile”, and “innovative” were bandied about but only minimal attention was directed toward what would become of the spin-off known as NewCo at the time.
That changed this week with the announcement of the future spin-off’s new moniker: Kyndryl. Critics reacted with skepticism almost instantly to the questionable name. Coming from a company as seasoned in branding as IBM, the rather odd name raised eyebrows and elicited questions. What is a Kyndryl? Kyndryl rhymes with Kindle? Why does Kyndryl sound more like a Kardashian than a company?
• The pandemic prompted a rapid shift to remote work and IT security professionals found themselves under pressure to prioritize other operational elements over mobile security
• While the number of reported compromises actually fell over the course of the last 12 months, there is real concern that incidents are going undetected
During the pandemic, organizations have radically altered their operating models, many pivoting overnight to largely remote work. This left IT professionals scrambling to get new collaboration and productivity tools working, often on employee-owned personal devices. Many of these are in fact mobile devices, giving the latest Verizon Mobile Security Index a definite COVID context. The survey of 856 professionals who purchase, manage, and or secure mobile devices showed a subset of IT staffers under acute pressure to balance the need to support more flexible operations against protecting against new vulnerabilities associated with the work from home (WFH) movement.
With 872 million students relying on some form of virtual learning this academic year, lack of access to reliable technology for some is translating into an academic disaster for millions.
While the pandemic drags on, observers are urging a concerted effort to fill in technology gaps to support all students as schools work to find a safe path back to physical school.
COVID-19 sent billions of students into a new virtual reality as schools in 192 countries closed their doors. At the pandemic’s peak, 1.6 billion students were impacted. Even the most well-funded school systems struggled to adjust, with technology platforms that faltered. In poorer systems, the lack of technology and connectivity meant many students’ education for the year effectively ended in March. Continue reading “COVID-19: The Digital Divide Drives Inequities in Virtual Learning”→
After a multiple-month JEDI contract re-evaluation process, the Pentagon reached the same decision it had 11 months ago and awarded Microsoft the deal.
AWS immediately re-sounded the alarm that the procurement process was inherently inequitable, filing a new protest with the court.
The JEDI battle lines are still as tightly drawn as when Microsoft was declared the winner in October 2019. Amazon didn’t waste any time to raise its continued objections after the Department of Defense (DoD) disclosed it was once again awarding the sought-after multi-billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract to Microsoft. Posting a blog titled “JEDI: Why we will continue to protect this politically corrupted contract award,” AWS outlined some of the issues with both the initial award and the re-evaluation processes. Continue reading “AWS Continues Its JEDI Protest After the Pentagon Declares Microsoft the Winner (Again)”→
As more countries roll out contact tracing apps to notify citizens when they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, concerns are emerging about how this data could be used.
Human rights organization Amnesty International called out the apps from Bahrain, Norway, and Kuwait for not anonymizing end-user data.
Amnesty International is issuing a warning that some of the new COVID-19 contact tracing apps may not just be an invasion of privacy but potentially put lives at risk. Contact tracing – the process of finding and notifying people who have interacted with an infected person so they can be tested and quarantine – is vital to allowing businesses, educational institutions, and governments to resume operations that are closer to normal even as the virus continues to spread. Continue reading “COVID-19: Some Countries Come Under Fire for the Potential Misuse of Contact Tracing Apps”→
• IBM is mapping its COVID-19 support efforts around seven major technology and business concerns relevant to clients during the outbreak, with business continuity and IT security being two key areas.
• Company executives think the move by so many organizations to remote work will accelerate major post-pandemic transformation projects.
The rapid shift of brick and mortar operations by enterprises and governments to a remote work model has placed technology companies front and center in the fight for business to survive. IT vendors and service providers are helping clients with everything from standing up new collaboration systems and providing critical connectivity to delivering AI-based tools to support customer communications with fewer call center resources. As one of the world’s largest providers of technology and professional and managed services, IBM has been leading a massive effort to help clients transition to and manage remote operations. Continue reading “COVID-19: IBM Helps Clients Protect their Digital Assets and Keep Newly Remote Operations Online During the Pandemic”→
• Hyperscale cloud providers report a surge in demand for both their on-demand infrastructure services and productivity and collaboration services
• Past experience is so far helping guide capacity planning but there are still some limitations that are impacting performance as some users and applications involved in critical healthcare and emergency services get priority
The COVID-19 pandemic is driving businesses in virtually every field to deploy a remote workforce model overnight. This shift comes with immediate need for cloud-based productivity and collaboration applications. Organizations are also looking to virtualize other elements of their infrastructures, and thus requiring more cloud capacity to support these changes. Continue reading “COVID-19: Hyperscalers Ramp Up, Clamp Down to Meet Soaring Demand”→