FTC Offering Cash Prize To Help Protect IoT

The Federal Trade Commission is offering a cash price to the public and help come up with a solution that will help protect IoT (Internet of Things).    In the recent years, more and more consumers are buying items that are directly connected to the internet.  This is leading to millions of devices that are easily used for attacks and spread vulnerabilities.

The program is called IoT Home Inspector Challenge and FTC plan to offer up to $25,000 to the winner who is able to come up with a tool that will protect any out of date software in millions of IoT devices.

According to Mark, DDoS Attack analyst at Psychz, said it’s nice to see government taking actions to help spread the word of IoT protection but it is also important for internet providers to help protect the network against attacks.

“Every day American consumers are offered innovative new products and services to make their homes smarter,” said Jessica Rich.  “Consumers want these devices to be secure, so we’re asking for creativity from the public – the tinkerers, thinkers and entrepreneurs – to help them keep device software up-to-date.”

According to FTC, “An ideal tool might be a physical device that the consumer can add to his or her home network that would check and install updates for other IoT devices on that home network, or it might be an app or cloud-based service, or a dashboard or other user interface.  Contestants also have the option of adding features such as those that would address hard-coded, factory default or easy-to-guess passwords.”



Verizon Closing Its Public Cloud


There was a point when every major tech company decided to jump into the cloud business until Amazon decided to flex its muscle by cutting prices and adding tons of features.  We have seen companies like HP let go of their Helion Public cloud and now Verizon is joining the list of providers who are giving up on cloud.

Verizon is planning to shut down Verizon Public Cloud and Reserved Public Cloud, however Verizon Private Cloud and Verizon Storage Cloud still stay active.   The main reason for Verizon shutting down is Amazon and Microsoft.  Amazon is doing around $10 billion while Microsoft is doing around $1 billion for their cloud business.   For Verizon, the tough market  environment is preventing it from gaining traction.  Microsoft, Amazon and Google are fighting a price war by slashing prices on their cloud offering.  The price war alone killed a lot of small cloud vendors from the market.

Overall, the public cloud offering by Verizon was part of wireline services such as dark fiber, wavelengths, VPN etc.  The wireless services are a huge revenue generator and the public cloud service only makes up a small percentage.  Verizon is working hard to diversify it’s business by selling landline phone, ISP, TV and data center.  While it’s selling old wireline business, it is acquiring internet brands like AOL and pushing into ads and online content.

The main focus for Verizon now is private and hybrid cloud for enterprise and government sector.  Today the public cloud market is highly saturated and the price war among Google, AWS and Microsoft will continue until there is a clear winner.