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News You Might’ve Missed. 07 – 11 Sep

News You Might’ve Missed. 07 – 11 Sep

What's new this week in the news for MSPs?
Confidential computing forKubernetes workloads expanded by Google; DOD says JEDI still to go to Microsoft; AWS leads again in latest Gartner report; 186,000 customer records stolen from Australian state government agency; Cygilant suffers NetWalker ransomware attack; and Connecticut school openings impacted by ransomware attack.

Let's see what it's all about.

Confidential Computing for Kubernetes Workloads Expanded by Google

During its Cloud Next OnAir event, Google announced that it's expanding its new Confidential Portfolio, with the start of a new service dubbed Confidential GKE Nodes. This service will add more privacy to workloads running on Kubernetes. It is the first product after Confidential VMS, launched in July for the Confidential Computing portfolio.

Google's Confidential Computing initiative is the fruit of its work with the Confidential Computing Consortium, an industry group promoting the idea of Trusted Execution Environments. TEEs are a secure area of a computer chip that encrypts the data and code loaded inside it. It will mean that other parts of the processor can't obtain this information.

Additionally, customers can configure GKE clusters to deploy only node pools that run on Confidential VMs using Confidential GKE Nodes, meaning that, while the data is being processed, any workloads running on those nodes will be encrypted.

DOD Says JEDI Still to Go to Microsoft

The Department of Defense says it is standing by its decision to award JEDI, the $10 billion cloud computing contract, to Microsoft, not Amazon, following its investigation into the matter. This is the latest in the ongoing legal battle over the project.

Its statement summarizing the decision said that Microsoft’s proposal was assessed as the best value for the government. Nevertheless, work on the contract will not commence immediately, due to the injunction imposed by a judge in February.

The contract will provide cloud services, including primary storage and power, machine learning, artificial intelligence processing, and processing mission-critical workloads, for the Pentagon.

AWS Leads Again in Latest Gartner Report

Amazon Web Services, Inc. continues to come out ahead of Microsoft and Google in cloud computing. However, niche contenders Oracle and Alibaba Group are moving up in the list, according to Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services report, posted on its website this week.

One of the report's co-authors, Gartner analyst Raj Bala, explained to SiliconANGLE that AWS remains the apparent leader, especially in market share. Still, the market is tightening, with Google, Alibaba, and Oracle, improving their products' abilities.

Each provider is ranked by Gartner for the report, based on three strengths and three warnings. For example, they noted that Microsoft Azure has the lowest ratio of availability zones to overall regions of any provider in the Magic Quadrant. For this and other reasons, Gartner has concerns about Azure's implementation and architecture as a whole.

However, there are still a few concerns, among them:

  • Its reach and size are issues for some buyers and partners, which could alienate software developers
  • AWS benefits from open-source software but doesn't contribute as much in return
  • There is low cohesion across AWS’s massive array of services
  • Inconsistencies among products have been noted
  • AWS requires an application builder's mindset, which can be challenging to businesses.

Although their disadvantages push them into the niche category, the rest of the participants have significant strengths. Oracle recently upped its worldwide presence with more regions, and its Cloud@Customer on-premises offering is getting some attention. Still, its low market share, particularly in cloud database PaaS, is a concern.

186,000 Customer Records Stolen from Australian State Government Agency

Data relating to 186,000 customers of an Australian state government agency has been stolen in an attack that targeted employee email accounts, as mentioned in a report filed by Service NSW.

The accounts of 47 staff were compromised in an email attack. The attack was uncovered when a staff member clicked on a suspicious link in an email, according to early reports. It’s suggested that the likely path of the infection came from a phishing campaign of some sort.

The authorities are investigating the attack with the agency, which says it is in the process of notifying those affected by the attack.

Cygilant Suffers NetWalker Ransomware Attack

Cygilant, a threat detection and cybersecurity company, has suffered a NetWalker ransomware cyberattack. The ransomware attack affected a part of the company's technology environment, according to Cygilant CFO Christina Lattuca.

NetWalker is the likely culprit, says Emsisoft, a company that has followed many ransomware attacks. In August 2020, ThreatPost reported that NetWalker, which was first seen in August 2019, has produced $29 million in extortion for the cybercriminals behind it since March 2020.

Connecticut School Openings Impacted by Ransomware Attack

Although details of the attack are still being filled in, it appears the attack started on Thursday and then continued on Saturday. Student learning platforms weren’t impacted by the ransomware attack, but it targeted a different system that relates to some students attending in-person learning, including transportation routes. Most of the systems were restored by Monday night, the school said. Mayor Bronin credited the quick recovery to the city’s spending $500,000 last year on cybersecurity upgrades.

That's a Wrap for News You Might've Missed

I hope this update has been helpful. MSP360 is your resource for MSP news. Stay home, stay safe and healthy, and remember to check back every week for more highlights.

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