Commentary

Survey: 87 Percent of Parents Are Concerned About Student Data Security

Christopher Piehler, THE Journal,  Monday, August 31, 2015

The Future of Privacy Forum has released new survey data showing that a large majority of parents are concerned about the level of student data privacy and security in America’s K-12 schools. According to the survey, 87 percent of parents expressed concern that their child’s electronic education records could be hacked or stolen. For this reason, 85% of parents said that their willingness to support the use of student data and technology in education must be coupled with efforts to ensure security. When asked if they are “comfortable with [a] properly protected electronic education record being created for my child,” 71 percent replied that they were. The survey, which was conducted online this spring by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Future of Privacy Forum, included 1,002 parents in the United States with children 17 and under.

Google issues defiant response to EU charges

Nicholas Hirst, POLITICO,  Thursday, August 27, 2015

Google filed a formal response Thursday rebutting the European Commission’s charges that it used its dominance over Internet searches to stifle online competition. The 150-page document points to the power of giants like Amazon and eBay as evidence that the market for online shopping is thriving and dismisses rivals’ claims that the search engine has intentionally quashed their traffic.

Do Local Laws Belong In a Global Cloud? Q&A with Brad Smith of Microsoft (Part Two)

Adam Segal, Net Politics,  Thursday, August 27, 2015

This is the second part of my Q&A with Microsoft Executive Vice President and General Counsel Brad Smith over the company’s legal battle with the U.S. Department of Justice over e-mails stored in Ireland. The case raises important questions with respect to the privacy of digital communications and the future of cloud computing.

DoD implements stricter cyber incident oversights, cloud computing guidelines (1)

Robert Bartley, Fierce Government IT,  Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Defense Department Wednesday initiated two sets of policies to enforce stricter guidelines when dealing with about 10,000 contractors the department trusts with offsite cyber information. One part of the interim rule, called "Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Network Penetration Reporting and Contracting for Cloud Services," will amend the DFARS to include mandates passed in recent Defense funding bills for stricter contractor reporting rules on cyber incidents. According to the issuance, this is part of a greater effort to streamline contractor incident reports.

Do Local Laws Belong In a Global Cloud? Q&A with Brad Smith of Microsoft (Part One)

Adam Segal, Net Politics,  Wednesday, August 26, 2015

In light of the significance of this case for U.S. consumers and businesses, and the impact that its outcome could have on the privacy of digital communications, Brad Smith, executive vice president and general counsel for Microsoft, took the time to answer some questions regarding the case and what its outcome might mean.

Trust and verify: Managing the cloud abroad and at home

Kevin Fitfal and Steve Orrin, GCN,  Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Federal IT professionals used to be able to depend on keeping their information safe in secure on-premise data centers, but times have changed. Traditional data centers could be depended upon for consistent control, visibility and security, but today’s cloud-based centers offer new variants of those capabilities – a fact that IT administrators struggle with every day. This is particularly problematic for those managing two adjuncts of today’s cloud-driven environment: geographically dispersed servers and emerging OpenStack deployments. Both pose their own unique challenges, including the need for assurance that systems are adhering to location-specific laws and security concerns in general.

Microsoft Beefs Up Azure Virtual Machine Cloud Backups

Pedro Hernandez, eWeek,  Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Microsoft has upgraded its Azure infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) virtual machine backup service, providing enterprises with more headroom as they implement their cloud-based data protection programs, the company announced. "The new set of features includes support for virtual machine backup with more data disks, long-term retention and more," said Trinadh Kotturu, a program manager in Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group. "These features strengthen Azure Backup's ability to back up Azure IaaS virtual machines in a simple and reliable way." The service now supports virtual machines (VMs) that span "16 data disks in addition to the OS disk," he noted. Customers also can expect more predictable backup times as a result of the new enhancements and optimizations.

Five Reasons for Leaving Your Data Where It Is

Markus Rex, Datanami,  Tuesday, August 25, 2015

As cloud adoption continues its meteoric ascent, the number of access points to enterprise data also increases. And while keeping data on premise is no guarantee of security, it does drastically reduce the number of access points. But the case for keeping data on premise goes far beyond a common sense security and risk mitigation play that tells us the fewer servers our data runs through, the safer it is.

DISA’s best practices for cloud migration

Mark Pomerleau, GCN,  Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Defense Information Systems Agency recently released “Best Practices Guide for Department of Defense Cloud Mission Owners” for those planning to migrate existing systems from physical environments to the cloud. The guide follows the release of three other documents in July regarding cloud computing security requirements.

The Microsoft Case

Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed,  Friday, August 21, 2015

The United States must look creatively forward to ratifying treaties and other legal instruments that would bring a judicious rule of law to legal access of electronic information internationally. But our country cannot do so with a straight face until it sets its own house right. Let us find a path back to the basics of civil liberties established by our Founding Fathers. And let’s us do so in the name of both civil liberties and national defense.