News Roundup: Week of Jan 31, 2021

by | 4 Feb 2021

Ford and Google Partnership Announced

Ford announced this week that they’re partnering with Google Cloud “in first-of-its-kind partnership” that aims to “accelerate Ford’s transformation and reinvent the connected vehicle experience.” Ford intends to leverage the data, AI, and ML capabilities of Google Cloud as they move to power their vehicles with built-in Android OS and Google apps services. Ford is hoping to leverage this partnership to get ahead in the race for “electrification, connectivity and self-driving” cars that is happening in the industry today. This partnership highlights the initial integration of Google Assistant, Google Maps as primary navigation, Google Play media playback, and an Android development base for other apps.

Jeff Bezos to be Replaced as Amazon CEO by AWS Chief Andy Jassy

Amazon announced this week that Jeff Bezos will be stepping down as CEO and will be replaced by longtime AWS leader Andy Jassy. After 27 years, Bezos will be stepping into an executive chair role, effective in Q3 of this year. As reported by c|net, this “transition comes as Amazon navigates a tricky period in its history.” Amazon is attracting regulatory scrutiny as its profits continue to grow during the economic shifts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This coming on the back of challenges Amazon has faced keeping its vast workforce safe from COVID-19 infection.

New Administration Brings Renewed Scrutiny of JEDI Contract

The lengthy legal battle led by AWS against the results of the JEDI cloud competition is creating renewed pressure on the Department of Defense under the new administration. According to Nextgov, “The Defense Department may not continue with the embattled Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract if a federal judge does not dismiss charges of improper political influence in Amazon Web Services’ protest, according to a document sent to Congress.” AWS continues to allege that government officials, including the former president, improperly influenced the outcome. The Department of Justice expects a ruling from a federal judge soon.

Remote Threats to Remote Work Continue to Evolve

A recent article from InformationAge warns us of continued and evolving threats to remote work IT security. The post warns that hackers are changing their tactics to utilize a much more people-centric attack vector and targeting end employees directly. It is critical that we all take extra care to train employees and screen external communications for these evolving threats. As CISOs around the world continue to focus on securing their remote workforce, often for the first time in their company’s history, this challenge can seem incredibly daunting. Many companies scrambled to push out a cloud solution to address the remote work necessity and are now having to backtrack to secure them. The article warns that ransomware might continue to focus more on cloud environments and increase in complexity as 2021 progresses.

Salesforce Launches Vaccine Cloud as Vaccinations Become a Reality

Salesforce recently announced the launch of “Vaccine Cloud” in an effort to help institutions “more rapidly, safely and efficiently deploy and manage their vaccine programs.” The announcement comes as many states are working towards the end of their first phase of vaccination and registrants are eagerly awaiting the second phase of vaccination. The immense challenge of administering and managing the global scale of vaccination “efficiently, effectively, and equitably,” is proving to be quite the challenge for government agencies, healthcare organizations, businesses, nonprofits, and educational institutions alike. Salesforce is hoping to leverage their experience to help with vaccine inventory management, appointment scheduling, outcome monitoring, public health outreach and more.