Cloud Shutdown Would Cost Service Providers Billions, Report Finds

Today’s topics include a new report claiming a global cloud shutdown could result in $53 billion in losses; a lackluster second quarter for Google parent Alphabet due to a recent EU fine; Windows 10 making business gains; and IBM X-Force Red launching IoT and connected car security services.

As cyber-threats continue to grow, so too do the costs and risks associated with cyber-insurance. In a 56-page report, insurance provider Lloyd's of London and cyber-risk analytics firm Cyence provide metrics and insight into how to measure and evaluate modern cyber-risks.

Among the top-line findings in the report is that in a worst case scenario for a cloud service provider, an outage from a cyber-attack could result in $53 billion in losses.

"Generally, an extreme event would be multiple days of complete downtime, something that has not yet happened but is possible in the future," George Ng, CTO and co-founder of Cyence, told eWEEK.

While the report specifically calls out worst case scenarios, Ng said everyday cyber-risks "could be even more important because they are more plausible and occur more frequently."

For its latest quarter that ended June 30, Google parent Alphabet saw profits drop by nearly 28 percent compared to the same quarter last year. That drop was the result of the massive $2.7 billion fine imposed on the company in the European Union in June.

With the charge, Alphabet earned $3.5 billion on revenues of $26.01 billion, compared to $4.9 billion on revenues of $21.5 billion in 2016. EU regulators imposed the fine on Google for abusing its search dominance to favor the company's own comparison-shopping site over that of rivals.

Google has said that it intends to fight the decision. While its profits were down, Alphabet's revenues were up 21 percent over last year and beat Wall Street expectations for the quarter.

As the two-year anniversary of the Windows 10 launch approaches, new research from Spiceworks indicates that enterprises are warming to Microsoft's latest desktop operating system, but Windows 7 still rules the roost.

In its latest survey of desktop operating system penetration rates in business, Spiceworks, an IT management specialist and professional online community, found that 60 percent of organizations worldwide are running at least one instance of Windows 10 somewhere on their networks.

In terms of adoption rates, this places Windows 10 ahead of Windows Vista, Windows 8 and the 16-year-old Windows XP. However, Windows 7, released in October 2009, remains the most popular desktop operating system with a penetration rate of 84 percent.

When IBM launched its X-Force Red security testing team a year ago, the stated purpose was to help organizations improve security with better testing. IBM X-Force Red is now expanding its offerings with new connected car and internet of things security services.

The size and broad scope of IBM's overall business provides X-Force Red with significant opportunities to improve both automotive and IoT security, according to Charles Henderson, global head of IBM X-Force Red.

IBM has a facility in Germany that is specifically dedicated to working with automotive companies to help design connected cars, Henderson said. X-Force Red is also launching a new service to help further improve the security of connected IoT devices.