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How accessible should open networking platforms be?

SN blogs: This week, Security continues to be a hot topic, while an analyst discusses the difference between open source technology and technology that is somewhat open.

How much success will open source have if customers are happy with vendors that provide services that, at least as far as users are concerned, are open enough? That's the question that Bob Laliberte, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, brings up in a recent blog post. The idea behind open source is to make source code freely available to the public -- to be improved or modified. To that end, OpenDaylight, run by Linux, allows users to download an open networking platform. So, while this option presents a low-cost and easy-to-modify scenario to users, vendors like Arista, Cisco, Dell and Juniper have made their own versions of OpenDaylight software that is easy to work with, but comes at a cost. The main question is, will customers settle for a product that runs efficiently and has an element of openness? Or would they rather participate in fully open source initiatives?    

Read more of Laliberte's thoughts on open source versus open enough.

How much money can business tolerate losing before investing in security?

Every year, the cost of cybercrime rises. A recent report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies estimates that the total cost of cybercrime ranges from $375 billion to $575 billion worldwide. Of that amount, $200 billion was lost by companies in the U.S., China, Japan and Germany. This estimate shows two things: the high cost of cybercrime and the extreme difficulty that comes with trying to measure the exact cost. Despite the multibillion-dollar price tag, Paula Musich, senior analyst for Current Analysis, explains that U.S. cybercrime losses amount to only 0.65% of the total gross domestic product. With a number that low, it is easy to see why enterprises don't invest more in security. Unfortunately, Musich points out, the cost of a single act of cybercrime can add up to more than $1 billion -- like it did for Target. What will it take for organizations to begin investing in cybersecurity? "Pressure from investors," Musich writes.

Read why Musich says it's important to invest in security.

Domain name system security in three parts

In another installment of his "How the Internet Really Works" series, PacketPushers blogger, Russ White, explains a few things about domain name system security. First of all, the domain name system (DNS) is the approach through which domain names are found and translated into Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. To protect these addresses, White says there are three parts to DNS security: distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection, DNS security extensions and protected DNS names.  White says that DDoS protection can come in the form of a "cleaner service," provided through a data center, which uses extra bandwidth and specialized processes to block the attacking traffic and allow legitimate traffic to gain entry. The second way to secure a DNS is by using security extensions like authentication. By requiring a special key to gain access, attackers will not be able to get to the domain name. Encrypting a domain name is the third way to protect your identity because it requires a registrar to get permission from the domain holder before giving out any information.

Read more about why DNS security is important to protect your identity.

Will PaaS enhance application development?

Don't underestimate the advantages of using platform as a service (PaaS) technology to enhance application development. At least that's what Enterprise Management Associates blogger, Julie Craig, suggests. While she admits that at this point, only 17% of companies surveyed by EMA are using PaaS and about 40% using software as a service (SaaS), she says that relying on PaaS has advantages. For example, unlike SaaS, Craig says that PaaS will allow customizable and easy-to-modify software. PaaS is especially beneficial when it comes to creating custom applications --something that EMA said its surveys indicate are more popular than packaged applications.

Read more of Craig's argument for PaaS.

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Would you settle for a vendor version of open technology rather than free open source products?