2013 Presentation

Leveraging distributed computing architectures and maintaining data security

Modern computing environments are progressively migrating to a distributed computing paradigm colloquially known as “cloud computing” – but sometimes more accurately called “swamp computing”. In this computing swamp, your infrastructure shares resources with dozens, hundreds, even thousands of other users. While it is an excellent method to rapidly deploy a disaster resistant IT platform, the distributed environment is riddled with security “what ifs” that can lead to disaster if not handled appropriately. Security issues can vary from nuisance to catastrophic financial loss, yet in cases where infrastructure is involved, the environment and even human life can be at stake.

With so much industry momentum to adopt cloud computing, how can you possibly protect not just your electronic data and your computing systems, but also the operational systems connected to your network? We will examine the state of the industry from the perspective of deploying distributed networked systems and the threats that accompany such systems. In years past, sophisticated hackers could steal bank accounts but in today's networked ecosystem, the threats are elevated.

Stuxnet is just one of many example threats that have demonstrated the ability to tamper with hardware (in that case, nuclear centrifuges). The flaw discovered in 2012 with RuggedCom’s network routers opens up our nation’s power grid and other infrastructure to digital attack. As our world increases its connectivity, the threat level continues to climb, it is the focus of this discussion to understand how to adapt to distributed systems and simultaneously maintain a suitable level of defense without crippling efficiency or capability.

Learning objectives:

  • Scope the business case for cloud computing and primary security considerations.
  • Understand distributed system security and available risk reduction tools.
  • Gain awareness of infrastructure-centric threats and future evolution of threats.

Speaker Biography

Mr. Osterbuhr is an IT and data visualization expert currently working in the Oil and Gas industry. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Colorado School of Mines and in 2012 completed the Master’s program in ICT at the University of Denver with a focus on geospatial information systems. Throughout his diverse work history, he has consistenly built technology solutions to improve business processes. Mr. Osterbuhr promotes big-picture thinking and enjoys studying the human aspects of technology as much as the technical details of implementing and executing new solution architectures.

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Kas Osterbuhr
Data Visualization

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