The Kids are Alright

It is not so much that teenagers or “tweens” are so tech-savvy that they can all hack, black hat style, straight into school systems and networks. It’s more akin to walking around the building’s front locked door and discovering an unlocked door in the back. Why waste time breaking in or breaking down the front door when you can simply open the unlocked door in the back? Anyway, this article by “The Atlantic” demonstrates clearly that some teens will stop at nothing in order to communicate with each other during school. And to think … we used to throw paper balls containing messages when we were young.

“The Hottest Chat App for Teens Is … Google Docs”

How a writing tool became the new default way to pass notes in class

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/03/hottest-chat-app-teens-google-docs/584857

Kubernetes Clusters on Google Cloud Platform

I had a chance recently to dig into the Google Cloud Platform, in particular Kubernetes clusters and virtual machine instances. This is the “Compute Engine” offering of the GCP, or Google Cloud Platform. The GCP also offers much more, for example, Cloud Storage [data, object storage], Cloud SQL [MySQL/PostgreSQL], and App Engine [building web + mobile apps]…

Read the full story here …

Top Cloud Services Compared

This is a great resource that compares the top dogs of Cloud Computing: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. It turns out they all have various strengths and weaknesses. It is hard to bet against Google with all of its Mega Billions of dollars in cash at its disposal. On the other hand, AWS has the upper hand overall with customer base and raw Cloud products, but Microsoft is very strong in bridging the gap for customers between public and private cloud (or hybrid scenarios), in addition to having its long Server and Support history along with Office 365.

https://www.datamation.com/cloud-computing/aws-vs-azure-vs-google-cloud-comparison.html

Google Cloud Platform Pitch

Kind of Marketing, kind of sales pitchy, kind of, “Rah-rah, go Google, go”, but I cannot say these observations are wrong. This not only applies to Google Cloud but to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure as well.

Per the author of this Medium article:

“More often than not, it is because, coming from other platforms, they have gotten used to some features requiring multiple steps, or some operations being complicated, etc. And often they find out that in GCP you can do this specific operation in a couple of clicks, or by setting up a simple text-based configuration. Then you see that light bulb turning on in their head, and there you go… happy customer.

A few of these happen so often that I compiled them in a list to share with others who might also benefit from these “aha!” moments. You could say these are the five things I wish they told me when I started using Google Cloud.”

Full article here.

Identity Offerings in Azure Marketplace

The services and products available in Azure Marketplace is always growing. It is a very impressive market, with offerings in categories ranging from “Compute” [of course!], to Analytics, Databases and to Security and Identity. In fact, Identity services look very intriguing: “Alert Logic” and “ZScaler” target a relatively new acronym: “BYOL” (Bring your own license). The “ZScaler” service in particular is interesting in that its service can “create fast, secure connections between users and applications, regardless of device, location, or network”. Their connector can be installed within the Azure Cloud instance. “ZScaler” looks to be very useful for both private and hybrid clouds.

 

 

 

New Thinking On Password Changes

I really like this way of thinking outside the box! Some of the old, and current, concepts on password complexity, length, history etc. are being revised. There is some new thinking on the matter, based mainly on trends and analytics Microsoft has done via millions of hack attempts on Azure based resources.

New Microsoft recommendations:

  • “Maintain an 8-character minimum length requirement (and longer is not necessarily better).
  • Eliminate character-composition requirements.
  • Eliminate mandatory periodic password resets for user accounts.
  • Ban common passwords, to keep the most vulnerable passwords out of your system.
  • Educate your users not to re-use their password for non-work-related purposes.
  • Enforce registration for multi-factor authentication.
  • Enable risk based multi-factor authentication challenges.”

Read it here 

D-Link Wireless Camera FTP Storage

We had a few break ins in the neighborhood recently so I decided to set up an outdoor surveillance camera. But I needed to upload motion detected videos to an FTP type of site. So I had to provide for video file storage for an outdoor WiFi based security IP camera. I will use a D-Link video camera and a cloud based location to store the videos. As this is for home use, there is no server. I used to have servers at home, but nowadays, I work off Azure or other Cloud based companies and it is no longer needed or feasible: the server is cloud-based. Besides, home servers are too loud, although I when I had them at home, they were pretty nifty ;>

Anyway – here are the home Surveillance Video Project specifics!

 

Cloud Security

Quick, which is more secure, premises or cloud based data?

This fellow makes an excellent point on Cloud Security and the common question, that is that maybe the Cloud is only as secure or insecure as the Business owners, Executives and I.T. Department desire. Maybe the hacker are the least of our problems?

“The truth: Although you may not control the data on your premises, you still own and control the data. You may not be able to visit the data center and have lunch in the server room, but you still can control both the data and the layers of security safeguarding it. I’ve yet to see a public cloud provider that does not allow this configuration. No, your data is only as vulnerable as your security protocols, cloud or not.”

It’s not the hackers you should fear