Updates

Cloud computing

2019

Microsoft has has announced the opening of its first datacenters at two locations in Africa: Cape Town and Johannesburg , South Africa. The new datacenters on the continent will make Microsoft Azure cloud services available to benefit organizations with increased computing sources and connectivity.

The new cloud regions in South Africa will ensure that Africa is fully connected to Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure which will increase business opportunities, help accelerate new global investment, and improve access to cloud and Internet services across Africa.

2018

Gartner predicts a 21.4% growth of the public cloud market, leading to a total $186.4 billion by the end of the year. While the largest investment is in software as a service (SaaS) at the moment, the analysis predicts a much higher revenue for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in the next three years. The high concentration on the IaaS market is expected to grow, with the top 10 players accounting for 70% of the market by 2021.

 

The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act was signed into law on 22 March by President Donald Trump. The new legislation amends the 1986 Stored Communications Act to allow federal law enforcement to compel U.S.-based technology companies via warrant or subpoena to provide requested data stored on servers regardless of where in the world the data is stored. The CLOUD Act allows for requesting any data on U.S. citizens stored on any server they own or operate when an warrant exists and it introduces expedited procedures for ‘executive agreements’ with foreign governments. While many companies expressed their support for the law in a joint letter on 6 February, civil society groups and human rights organizations warned on 12 March that the CLOUD Act ‘undermines privacy and important democratic safeguards’.

Apple is set to begin hosting Chinese iCloud accounts in China, raising fears about human rights, as state authorities gain easier access to data stored in the cloud, according to Reuters. The article reports that 'Human rights activists say they fear the authorities could use that power to track down dissidents.' Apple issued a statement saying that this is necessary to comply with new Chinese laws requiring that cloud services for Chinese citizens be stored in China, by Chinese companies, noting 'While we advocated against iCloud being subject to these laws, we were ultimately unsuccessful.' Apple said that iCoud keys stored in China will not give access to data stored in other countries, but privacy lawyers say protection for Chinese customers will suffer. 

Cloud environment of Tesla, the carmaker, was exploited by an attacker to mine cryptocurrencies, RedLock security firm reports in its study “Cloud Security Intelligence (CSI)”. The unsecured Kubernetes console - an open source system used for operation of application containers, virtualised software and cloud-based services - exposed access credentials to Tesla’s Amazon Web Service (AWS) cloud environment, which allowed attackers to inject cryptocurrency mining scripts as well as to reach out to sensitive data such as vehicle telemetry. The study suggests that the unauthorized use of computing power to mine cryptocurrency - known as cryptojacking - is becoming an increasing threat for cloud environments, such as those of Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

Apple partnered with Guizhou-Cloud Big Data, a Chinese state-owned company, to build Apple’s first data-storage center in China. The iCloud content of Apple ID users registered in China will be sent to and managed by Guizhou-Cloud Big Data starting in March. Apple’s new terms and conditions agreement with China reveals that all personal information and files of Chinese customers stored on the iCloud will be shared with the Guizhou-Cloud Big Data and could be further accesed and scrutinised the Chinese authorities.

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