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Between Cloud, Mobility and the Enterprise is the API Middle Ground

Scott Morrison

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Top Stories by Scott Morrison

Sometimes I wonder if anyone, in the entire history of computing, has every bothered to read and consider the contents of a typical End User License Agreement (EULA). Some Product Manager, I suppose (though truthfully, I’m not even sure of this one). The EULA, however, is important. It’s the foundation of an important consent ceremony that ends with only one effective choice: pressing OK. This much-maligned step in every software installation is the only real binding between an end user and a provider of software. Out of this agreement emerges a contract between these two parties, and it is this contact that serves as a legal framework for interpretation should any issues arise in the relationship. Therein lies the rub, as the emphasis in a EULA—as in so much of contract law—is on legal formalism at the expense of end user understanding. These priorities are not n... (more)

Visualizing the Boundaries of Control in the Cloud

Cloud Security Journal on Ulitzer Two weeks ago, I delivered a webinar about new security models in the cloud with Anne Thomas Manes from Burton Group. Anne had one slide in particular, borrowed from her colleague Dan Blum, which I liked so much I actually re-structured my own material around it. Let me share it with you: This graphic does the finest job I have seen of clearly articulating where the boundaries of control lie under the different models of cloud computing. Cloud, after all, is really about surrendering control: we delegate management of infrastructure, application... (more)

Hacking the Cloud

I’m not sure who is more excited about the cloud these days: hackers or venture capitalists. But certainly both groups smell opportunity. An interesting article published by CNET a little while back nicely illustrates the growing interest the former have with cloud computing. Fortify Software sponsored a survey of 100 hackers at last month’s Defcon. They discovered that 96% of the respondents think that the cloud creates new opportunities for hacking, and 86% believe that “cloud vendors aren’t doing enough to address cyber-security issues.” I don’t consider myself a hacker (exce... (more)

Sex, Lies and Acquisitions

Has it really been one whole year since my last post? I suspected I was near that milestone, but it’s still surprising to discover it has been so long. Blogs have a natural ebb and flow, governed by the irregular rhythms of the day job. But this was a pretty big ebb—maybe more accurately described as a catastrophic drought. Naturally, my absence was not lost on the spammers. That curious breed who prey on dormant blogs left me with a mountain of weirdly unctuous commentary that I needed to shovel out of the way just to get to the front door. But now that I’ve finally worked my w... (more)

The Challenge of Web Services Security Inside the Firewall - A true story from the consulting trenches

True story from the consulting trenches: the operations staff had left hours ago, shaking their heads and reluctantly leaving the consultants to resolve a problem with their code. It was well past midnight, in the middle of winter, in a town many time zones from home. The project was late. Altogether, this was an awkward situation that you probably know well. The consultants - falling into that murky classification of not quite outsider, nor regular employee - worked from hobbled accounts; the security staff were pros and took their charge seriously. By 2:00 a.m., the group was ... (more)