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      Cloud Security Tips for Financial Services: 5 Key Takeaways from an Industry Expert

      Today we are pleased to welcome guest blogger Tony Bradley, Senior Manager of Content Marketing for Alert Logic, INAP’s trusted managed security partner and expert in cloud security for financial services customers.
      – Wendy Williams, Product Manager, INAP

      Show me the money, and I’ll show you a cybercriminal ready to attack.

      The sophistication of digital financial services and mobile banking have greatly expanded the attack surface criminals can exploit. While technology has given us the luxuries of quickly depositing a check via our mobile device or shopping online, it has also created ever evolving security challenges.

      Planning your cloud security strategy? Below are five key takeaways for IT infrastructure pros in the financial services space:

      1. Moving to the cloud changes the entire approach to security. A comprehensive view of your environment is critical, so choose a partner who can provide security monitoring of the environment, as well as network intrusion detection, vulnerability management and log management.

      2. The level of expertise and the amount of people needed to maintain compliance using exclusively in-house services is cost prohibitive for all but the rarest of enterprises. The best options are to evaluate a trusted managed services partner or adopt technology that integrates services as part of the solution.

      3. eCommerce has paved the way to unprecedented growth and revenue but opens doors to exponential compliance and threat risks. Using public cloud providers calls for 24/7 platform security. It is important to understand who has what security responsibility when utilizing cloud platforms and service providers. Furthermore, it pays to spend time evaluating whether or not your solution provider and partner have a deep understanding of your preferred platform. If they don’t, look elsewhere. This approach will ensure hard-to-detect web attacks such as SQL injection, path traversal and cross-site scripting risks are mitigated.

      4. A solution may complement in-house capabilities, however, sometimes getting the right resources becomes a balancing act. As the hottest market today, security experts are scarce. In fact, according to (ISC)2, a non-profit IT security organization, there are an estimated 2.93 million cybersecurity positions open and unfilled around the world. The best advice is to develop a relationship with a service provider and a partner who can truly be an extension of your internal team and who has both the technology and resources to ensure constant surveillance, as well as the ability to stand up to any rigorous compliance audit.

      5. We’ve only just witnessed the beginning of technologies touting AI capabilities. If you’re ready to adopt an AI-based solution for cybersecurity, ensure that it can draw on data sets of wildly different types, allowing the “bigger picture” to become clear from not only static configuration data and historic local logs but global threat landscapes and concurrent event streams, as well.

      It’s more important than ever for businesses in the financial services industry to have the right tools and partners in place. Remember: Any solution you choose should be more than widgets and a slick UI. Too much is on the line. The road to holistic cloud security begins with proper implementation and infrastructure design, detailed, best practice configuration, and a plan for continuous monitoring and threat response. Chat with our partners at INAP today to get started.


      About the Author

      Tony Bradley is Senior Manager of Content Marketing for Alert Logic. Tony worked in the trenches as a network administrator and security consultant before shifting to the marketing and writing side of things. He is an 11-time Microsoft MVP in security and cloud and has been a CISSP-ISSAP since 2002. Tony has authored or co-authored a dozen books on IT and IT security topics, and is a prolific contributor to online media sites such as Forbes and

      Wendy Williams
      • Product Manager, Private Cloud and Security Services


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      GDC 2019 Recap: 5 Takeaways and Headlines from the Show Floor

      The 2019 Game Developers Conference (GDC), held last week in San Francisco, welcomed an estimated 20,000-plus developers, gamers, publishers and tech vendors from across the globe. From the tech driving the future of gaming to the industry’s most prevalent conversations and trends, here are five takeaways and headlines from the 13th annual show.

      Compared to consumer-oriented conferences like E3 and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), GDC hasn’t traditionally been well-known for its headline-generating announcements. That wasn’t the case this year, as Google generated major buzz with the official introduction of its cloud gaming platform, Stadia.

      According to Google, Stadia will be capable of streaming AAA titles from its cloud platform straight to any device through the Chrome browser—no console required. This service is slated to launch later this year into a market that’s already been heating up; Amazon and Microsoft are both expected to release their offerings later this year as well.

      With established services like PlayStation Now and emerging cloud-based gaming solutions like the high-end gaming computer Shadow, an INAP customer that launched in the U.S. last year, the race for cloud gaming dominance seems like it will be one of the biggest stories to watch in 2019 and beyond.

      Infrastructure and network performance for multiplayer games was a dominant theme throughout the full week of conference sessions. Designing, scaling and securing infrastructure, all while minimizing latency, remains an ever-evolving, persistent challenge for studios and developers.

      All the major cloud players were on hand to pitch their gaming-specific infrastructure and network solutions, but hyperscale cloud was not the only infrastructure solution with a compelling online gaming use case.

      Less than two months after the hugely successful launch of Apex Legends, Respawn Entertainment and its server hosting partner Multiplay provided a behind-the-scenes look at how a bare metal-first strategy helped the game scale from 5 million players in its first three days to 50 million players in its first full month.

      “Multiplayer game launches should be boring, operationally at least,” said Larry Rye, lead solutions engineer at Multiplay. “The last thing you should worry about is game servers.”

      Rye explained that Multiplay prioritized allocation of Apex Legends sessions to bare metal servers to optimize both performance and keep costs down, moving game instances to the public cloud only when all dedicated servers were at capacity.


      Bare metal is well-suited to these kinds of demanding gaming applications, where speed and performance are paramount. For more information about the infrastructure behind some of your favorite games, take a look at our recent blog post covering what a high-performance, built-for-gaming bare metal deployment looks like (and why INAP’s bare metal and colocation can give you an edge because they’re plugged into our robust network and our proprietary, automated route optimization engine Performance IP).

      The global esports market is set to reach $1 billion in 2019, and unsurprisingly, the still-young industry was a popular topic all week at GDC. Roughly a dozen conference sessions took aim from all angles: from improving the quality of online tournaments and governance of collegiate esports programs to career development tips and live audience engagement tactics.

      Doug Higgins, co-founder of Sapphire Ventures, spoke about the ways esports are likely to be monetized in the years to come.

      “You need to have a diversified revenue stream,” he said. “Comparing esports to traditional sports, three revenue streams are already pretty established—sponsorships, broadcasting rights and match day revenue.”

      To increase investor confidence, however, Higgins expressed the need for esports to develop more solid constructs around how leagues will function at all levels.

      “It’s to everyone’s benefit if esports is done the right way,” he concluded.

      GDC is a perennial draw for indie developers and studios, serving up a variety of hands-on showcases (including a Shark Tank-style game pitch competition). The popular alt.ctrl.GDC returned for its sixth year, featuring 20 creative, accessible and immersive uses of alternative controllers in original games.


      The 21st Independent Games Festival Awards, held Wednesday, honored an impressive and diverse array of titles. Return of the Obra Dinn, a beautifully illustrated murder mystery adventure by Papers, Please developer Lucas Pope, won both the Seamus McNally Grand Prize and the award for Excellence in Narrative. All IFG titles were playable on the exhibition floor.

      In other noteworthy news for aspiring developers, Epic Games, developer of Fortnite, announced a $100 million mega-grant for developers, artists and creators using Unreal Engine. Individual grants will range from $5,000 to $500,000 and recipients will retain rights to their work.

      Several highly attended sessions focused on the role of developers in building both games and gaming communities that are healthy, accessible and inclusive.

      Psychologist Celia Hodent, author of The Gamer’s Brain: How Neuroscience and UX Can Impact Video Game Design, spoke about ethics in the gaming industry, particularly the need for developers to treat issues like addiction and manipulative monetization practices with care, using the latest scientific research as a guide.

      Referencing the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s plans to hold workshops on the use of loot boxes in games, Hodent encouraged attendees “to address it before we get regulations on it.” Specifically, she recommended studios and publishers avoid using the loot box mechanics in games rated “Teen” and “Everyone” and restrict third-party marketplaces where digital loot can be sold.

      Challenges and opportunities for improvement aside, the gaming industry and its influence in society have arguably never been stronger.

      Roger Altizer, associate director of the Entertainment Arts and Engineering program at University of Utah, showcased a litany of research detailing the many ways video games can improve one’s physical and psychological health, as well as contribute to culture in ways that transcend passive entertainment.

      “Folks love talking about negative aspects of games,” he told attendees. “Instead, we need to start from the assumption that games are good for you.”

      Interested in learning more about INAP?

      Contact us today

      Josh Williams

      Josh Williams is Vice President of Solutions Engineering. His team enables enterprises and service providers in the design, deployment and management of a wide range of data center and cloud IT solutions. READ MORE

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