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SN blogs: Google OpenStack support could have ulterior motives

Industry analysts speculate about Google's decision to back an OpenStack initiative and discuss the impacts of 'attacktivism.'

Colm Keegan, a senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group Inc. in Milford, Mass., writes that Google's decision to back the OpenStack Foundation is a coup for the Open Source community. Yet far from an act of corporate altruism, Google's decision to support OpenStack may reflect the provider's strategy to "insert their cloud religion into enterprise data users," Keegan says. Of prime consideration: Google's move to open source its Kubernetes orchestration and management platform for containers -- a decision that could allow the software to become the de facto cloud container management system. Once that occurs, anything can happen: "What Kubernetes feature/functionality tricks may Google have withheld from the release that they so graciously dispensed into the open source community?" Keegan wonders. In other words, Google OpenStack support could be a way for it to niftily outmaneuver other cloud providers for enterprise adoption -- particularly Amazon Web Services.

See what else Keegan has to say about Google's sponsorship of the OpenStack Foundation.

The ABCs of what really makes the Internet tick

Packet Pushers blogger Russ White skips the electronics and gizmos that drive today's Internet, discussing instead the users and groups that underpin the network's core operations. Two groups, he writes, are most vital: network operator groups (NOGs) and certifications groups. NOGs provide the informational and intellectual glue that binds the Internet, White says, allowing providers to quickly determine the root causes of outages and security problems. "NOGs are an integral part of the Internet infrastructure," White writes. "Providers tend to build large, complex networks and they are generally very open about sharing how they're doing it --  from tools to techniques to equipment to processes." Subgroups within NOGs, meanwhile, deal with more prosaic purposes, such as Open IX Association, a group dedicated to encouraging the growth of Internet exchange points within the United States.

Read White's comments about user groups and their importance to the Internet.

In an era of 'attacktivism,' what can companies do?

Eric Parizo, senior analyst at Current Analysis Inc. in Sterling, Va., says that the recent spate of cyberattacks is ushering in a new era of focused conflicts, a trend he describes as "attacktivism." These occurrences -- such as the attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014 -- are not one-of-a-kind events. Instead, they're crafted by "savvy, highly motivated cyberattackers" who intend to do as much financial and reputational damage as possible to companies.

"Unlike run-of-the-mill data breaches, no cyber clean-up squad and no amount of money can undo the damage inflicted by such an attack," Parizo writes. To protect themselves against these types of attacks, enterprises must assess their current risk posture and ensure that systems are in place to counter threats as they unfold.

Find out what other advice Parizo has for enterprises in an era of attacktivism.

Internet of Things run amok: The car as a weapon

Pete Basiliere, analyst at Gartner Inc. in Stamford, Conn., has a question: What happens when hackers take control of your car and turn it into a brick? Basiliere is referring to the recent Wired magazine story detailing how a Jeep Cherokee was disabled remotely, leaving the driver powerless to control the vehicle. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, reacting to the piece, quickly patched the software that the hackers exploited to gain access to the Jeep, but, as Basiliere writes, "How does something like this happen in the first place?" Today's rush-to-market mentality, Basiliere says, makes it easy for manufacturers to skip the steps needed to ensure that their systems remain secure. Today's interconnected world only amplifies the dangers. In the Jeep's case, hackers gained entry to control systems via the car's entertainment system. Companies must remain vigilant, Basiliere says. The Wired incident was only a test. Actual events will be much worse.

Take a look at Basiliere's comments about security in an IoT world.

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