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Companies want to run applications in the cloud

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New research from F5 Networks shows most companies are already using a hybrid cloud infrastructure, and are about to use it more operationally.|New research from F5 Networks shows most companies are already using a hybrid cloud infrastructure, and are about to use it more operationally.

More than a fifth of companies surveyed plan on running their applications in a public or private cloud environment – and 80 percent already use a hybrid cloud infrastructure.

These findings from F5 Networks’ State of the Application report were revealed this week at the company’s annual EMEA Agility conference in Barcelona.

The report warned that, with this move to leverage multi-cloud environments, unexpected hurdles often present themselves. Application deployments across multiple cloud platforms create challenges in managing application services; inconsistent security policies create compliance risks; and multiple cloud architectures put more pressure on IT departments, and diminish the return on the cloud’s value.

“Customers are increasingly choosing to deploy applications in multiple clouds — public and private, in colocation facilities, and in their own data centers — but are struggling with the management of different development environments, tool sets, and orchestration technologies,” said Sangeeta Anand, SVP of Product Management and Product Marketing at F5.

“Where these clouds provide services for applications, they often do so in ways that are not portable enough, are use-case specific, or provide inadequate protection. F5’s portfolio of multi-cloud application services and solutions gives customers the freedom to deploy any application—anywhere—with consistent application services and enterprise-grade security.”

He reminded that audience that, in November, F5 shared its vision to power intelligent application services in the cloud with the stability, security, and performance customers expect. Today, the said, the company is building on that foundation with the broad availability of solutions for multi-platform, multi-cloud services that make applications go faster, smarter, and safer.

The following products  were announced at the event, as supplied by F5:

  • F5 BIG-IP Virtual Edition in the Google Cloud means that organizations can now deploy F5 services in all major public clouds. F5 gives customers greater choices of cloud platforms, with new ‘bring your own license’ offers for instances ranging from 25 Mbps to 5 Gbps. Available now from Google Cloud Launcher in Good, Better, and Best versions.
  • Cloud solution templates for Amazon Web Services, Azure, and Google reduce the complexity of deploying F5 services for applications in the public cloud. These new solution-specific templates simplify and automate common public cloud use cases. Cloud solution templates are also available for OpenStack private cloud environments. Available now on GitHub.
  • Integrated marketplace solutions provide easily accessible, pre-packaged F5 services such as WAF and Office 365 federated access that are deployable directly from public cloud marketplaces, meaning companies can leverage their trusted F5 services easily for applications in the cloud. Available now in the Azure Marketplace.
  • A private cloud solution package gets customers up and running quickly with pre-tested, certified, and bundled F5 solutions that simplify and automate OpenStack private cloud deployments. Available now through F5 sales.
  • Lightweight Application Services Proxy gives customers flexibility in developing, testing, and scaling applications in container environments. Available now at Docker Store.
  • Container Connector provides the easy deployment of app services in containerized environments, and simple integration of capabilities into management/orchestration systems including Kubernetes and Mesos/Marathon. Available now at GitHub and Docker Hub.
  • Application Connector delivers application services insertion from the edge of the public cloud by automatically discovering cloud-hosted workloads in AWS, and securely connecting any cloud provider to the customer’s interconnection or data center. Available now through F5 sales.

“Business executives are beginning to rely heavily on cloud solutions in support of their digital transformation efforts, but in many cases, single cloud deployments are insufficient to enable true business agility,” said Zeus Kerravala, Principal Analyst at ZK Research. “Unfortunately, multi-cloud frameworks are complex and IT must take the steps needed to mitigate the challenges of operating in these mixed worlds. With F5’s multi-cloud portfolio of products, IT can deliver consistent and secure application services in any environment needed for business velocity.”

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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Five key biometric facts

Due to their uniqueness, fingerprints are being used more and more to quickly identify and ensure the security of customers. CLAUDE LANGLEY, Regional Sales Manager, for Africa at HID Global Biometrics, outlines five facts about the technology.

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How many times in a day are you expected to identify yourself? From when you arrive at work you are required to sign in, visiting your bank, receiving healthcare services… The list is endless. When a system knows who you are, you are able to do any number common, everyday activities. Your identity is unique and precious. It is also easily stolen and the target of many hackers across the globe. Technology is constantly evolving alongside the criminal element, always looking for ways to protect data and identity. One such solution happens to be biometrics and it is rapidly gaining traction in our increasingly complex modern world.

Reliable, secure and fundamentally YOU, unique biometric traits such as fingerprints are being used by banks, enterprises and consumers to verify identity. Biometric solutions offer significant identity protection because they use unique biological details to ensure an account is only accessed by the account holder, a door only opened by the owner. Here are five things that are little known about this technology…

  • The uncut identity. Your fingerprint is unique to you. Nobody can use a copy of it to impersonate you. Good technology is capable of scanning down into the layers of the fingertip to differentiate unique elements of a person’s fingerprint, this data is then encrypted and used as a key to unlocking whichever physical or virtual door that the biometric system protects.
  • The living proof. No, there is nothing to the stories of fingerprints being used without their owner’s knowledge or permission. Biometric solutions can use specific variables to determine if the finger used to access the system is that of a present, living person.  A copy or a fake cannot be used to access a cutting-edge biometric solution.
  • Easy and convenient. Queues and documents and paperwork may well be a thing of the past should biometrics take a firmer grip of government and banking systems. The process of registering is easy, and access to identity documents and records is yours alone.
  • Security blanket. A thousand passwords and a hundred post-it notes stuck on walls and drawers.  An excel file with a list of sites and applications and their corresponding passwords, all a thing of the past.  Nobody needs to remember their password with biometrics, they only need to show up.
  • Anywhere is cool. Schools, airports, networks, offices, homes, toilets, banks, libraries, governments, border controls, immigration services, call centres, hospitals and even clubs and pubs – knowing “who” matters and biometrics can quickly and conveniently confirm your identity where needed.

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