By Trustworthy Computing Staff
Microsoft has a longstanding commitment to building technology that improves the lives of people of all ages and abilities. We’re proud of the work we do to provide trusted computing experiences for everyone.
Some of that work includes programs to reach people who may not have experienced our technology before, or may not have used it to its fullest extent. A recent example of this is Exergamers NYC, a public-private partnership in which Microsoft collaborated with New York City government agencies to help seniors benefit from using Kinect for XBOX 360 and Skype.
Together, we set up Exergaming programs at senior centers across the five boroughs of New York, enabling seniors to enjoy a fun workout like Zumba or virtual bowling without using complicated machines or heavy objects. Players can also watch their competitors at other locations and engage with them directly over Skype.
For more details on Exergamers, please see this blog post by Bonnie Kearney from our Accessibility team.
Posted by Adrienne Hall
Years ago I was a part of a team in Microsoft that did a lot of work in the hospitality sector. At that time hotels were Internet-enabling their chains and the business decision they had to make was whether to invest in big TVs or more of a laptop and power desk arrangement. And it was a big decision affecting entire remodel and refurbishment plans for years to come. Some companies made a choice and picked one over the other. Others created a hybrid approach, experimenting with both the TV and desk accoutrements to gauge guest interest over a defined period of time before making a final commitment.
By Adrienne Hall, General Manager, Trustworthy Computing
More and more businesses are considering adopting cloud computing, drawn by the huge savings and benefits the cloud can provide. But are they truly ready, and able to take advantage of this opportunity?
It’s clear that cloud computing can deliver significant value to organizations. But, as you examine your options for building the cloud into your organization’s future, it’s important to assess your readiness to make the move.
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Posted by: Richard Saunders, Director, Trustworthy Computing
Last week we shared data that highlights the security benefits small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) in the United States, Singapore and India gain from using the cloud. The benefits these organizations attest to—cost savings, time savings and improved security—are echoed by the experiences of Malaysian SMBs.
Posted by: Tim Rains, Director, Trustworthy Computing Communications
A big part of my job at Microsoft is talking to CISOs, CSOs, as well as VPs and directors about the security of their organization’s assets, including intellectual property and confidential data. Recently I had the opportunity to talk to a group of them about cloud computing.
There were a number of similarities between the concerns they raised and some of the findings I see reported in various industry surveys, such as Ernst & Young’s 14th annual Global Information Security Survey.
For example, in the report from Ernst & Young it states “61% [of survey respondents] are currently using, evaluating or planning to use cloud computing-based services within the next year.” I can believe that because all the people I talked to recently have either migrated some applications to the cloud or were evaluating doing so in the near term.
Judging by the feedback from this month’s BUILD conference in Anaheim, California, excitement is growing for the next wave of Microsoft technology. In “Windows 8,” “Windows Server 8” and the Azure Toolkit for “Windows 8,” Microsoft is showing a strong commitment to generating solutions that enable customers to thrive in cloud environments.
Posted by: Adrienne Hall, General Manager, Trustworthy Computing
Today I’m heading off to Asia. Over the next few weeks I’m looking forward to connecting with customers, industry influentials following cloud computing, reporters and several of my colleagues at Microsoft. These conversations play a big role in shaping my perspective on the cloud trust topics that we discuss on this blog. Talking with customers provides a fresh reminder of the varying requirements at play and the different ways people are realizing the benefits of cloud computing in their own organizations. Connecting with industry experts following cloud computing also provides a sense of what’s going well and what work remains to be done.
The trip starts in Singapore where I’ll be attending the Cloud Asia conference. In particular I’m looking forward to the continuing dialogue surrounding private and public cloud offerings. The range of cloud solutions continues to grow; flexibility and choice continues to be important. From there I’ll head to India, Malaysia and Hong Kong for a full slate of press and customer meetings.
Posted by: Richard Saunders
I’ve been at the excellent Interop show in New York and have attended most of the Information Security and Risk Management sessions that have been delivered by a truly impressive line-up of speakers from all the big security firms.
It’s not that surprising, but the common themes coming through are that cyber criminals are getting sneakier, threats are more sophisticated and dealing with them is increasingly complex.
Posted by: Dave Forstrom, Director, Trustworthy Computing
A year ago this week we extended a challenge to the security community: a challenge to be unconventional; a challenge to look beyond the norm. Rather than reward a continued focus on finding individual problems (which we all know will exist; it’s the nature of the software industry), we wanted to inspire new lines of research and incent a focus on innovative solutions that can mitigate entire classes of attacks.
We created the BlueHat Prize — a program aimed at nurturing innovation in exploit mitigations intended to address serious computer security threats. Interest by the security community was overwhelmingly positive. This was something new and different, which the industry needs to help solve hard security problems. We received 20 qualified submissions, all with unique and interesting approaches to solving challenging security issues. Proposals came from around the world and spanned the entire industry from the research community to academia. The finalists all chose to create mitigations that prevent Return Oriented Programming (ROP) exploits from succeeding. This is an area where we’re seeing a lot of attacks lately, so it’s encouraging to see a collective focus here.
Posted by: Jim Reavis, Executive Director, Cloud Security Alliance
For our industry, the RSA Conference is the Oscars, a political convention and a college reunion, all rolled into one. We spend months preparing for this one week, and out of this one week comes a year’s worth of new initiatives we must tackle. As always, Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) had a big presence at this year’s show, with our Monday CSA Summit keynoted by Mike McConnell, a former director of the NSA. Between our summit and all the other activities I participated in, I wanted to share the impressions that stuck with me:
Mobile computing shared the spotlight with cloud. There has been a significant growth in mobile deployments over the past year, virtually all of it relying upon public clouds for the back end. Several large companies shared stories with me of new end-to-end solutions that did not traverse the enterprise network with even a single TCP/IP packet. This was a big reason behind our announcement of CSA Mobile, a new research project to provide security practices for mobile computing as it interacts with cloud computing. Central IT control over the computing paradigm shrunk again, and those who are embracing this change and growing their knowledge of the business and even anticipating its needs seem to be in the best position.