Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Just wave a magic wand...

The final part of the conference were a number of  workshops where we had the choice of which ones to attend. The first one I chose was on Security and Privacy. Both of the two presenters had interesting characteristics. One had a great title, Head of Global Trust. The other was Google's Director of Security, who is also a magician. How cool is that.

So, the question everyone asks is is data safe in the cloud? But do we know if it's safe in the enterprise?
60% of corporate data resides unprotected on PCs and laptops
1 in 10 laptops are lost or stolen within the first 12 months of purchase
66% of USB drive users report losing at least one

With cloud, you don't need to download it, or keep it on local machines, it could be a new paradigm for security. But, there's a perception that it's not secure.

Passwords - most insecure part of any authentication. Another demo of the newly relased two step authentication vis mobile phone. I was quite impressed with how simple this was, but unsure how it would fit in with single sign on, integration with portals etc.

Then we saw a video of Google's data centres, but told not to blog about it.  Suffice to say that the security looked amazing, and somewhat better than ours!

Then we talked about where data is stored. Google is safe harbour verified, so data stored in the US is perfectly acceptable to EU states, a point that is often overlooked. Some discussion about why you would want data stored just is EU, and how difficult that would make travel and collaboration. Personally I think people should just get over it! No government has magic access to Google data.  Google publish  nice map of where they've received government removal requests from.

You can also see what Google has about you here. I've just checked and was impressed - it even told me my account had been accessed recently from France and asked me if I wanted to change my password.

My favourite line of the conference came from the head of global trust who said, look at Google, look at their security, and if you don't like it, get out!

The final workshop was on collaborating using Google Apps. A very professional demo by 2 guys who did a case study on organising a conference. They used docs, spreadsheets, sites, chat, video chat, Google calendar to create web pages, agendas, registration lists, collaborative documents, translated them in real time into Icelandic and Finnish, drew seating plans.  All in the cloud. I've not used Google apps much, but again, was impressed by what they demonstrated.

So that was it. A very interesting, useful and productive two days, and as usual, I've come back with lots of ideas.

1 comment:

George Credland said...

"One had a great title, Head of Global Trust. The other was Google's Director of Security"

Isn't it a little odd that they're different people? What's the difference between Trust and Security?