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Report: Safe Swiss Cloud is best practice for finance applications in the Cloud

A report shows best practice examples for enterprise applications by banks and financial service providers in the Cloud. Safe Swiss Cloud is one of these.

Cloud computing has become an integral part of business, but in the financial sector, which traditionally has been a driving force behind digitalization and automation, the migration of in-house services to more flexible and agile cloud environments  is still regarded with great caution.

A report by the enisa (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) tries to shed light on the reasons for this. The conclusion: On the one hand, there are often still clear legal guidelines for the use of clouds, on the other hand there are still concerns about security and data protection. Moreover, a lack of information on pages of financial institutions, in particular on the issue of what high security standards cloud providers can now offer.

Internet of Things: Why the security of cloud and network is especially important

IoT devices are not just practical. They are also a potential security risk. It's not just devices and applications which have to be equipped to guarantee secure data. Network security in cloud systems also has to meet the highest standards.

The fridge orders milk before it runs out. Surveillance cameras send a push message to the smart phone if they discover something suspicious. Somebody’s flat’s thermostat is notified they are leaving the office - and ensures that upon their arrival home half-an-hour later the place is comfortably warm.               

For some time that’s not been a pipe dream but an actual reality. The Internet of Things (IoT) is revolutionizing our daily life.  The network service provider Cisco estimates there to already be 15 billion devices connected worldwide.  If the boom continues, it could already reach 50 billion by 2020. Chip manufacturer Intel even expects 200 billion.

Video on Demand, Hands on

A VOD (Video On Demand) page is setup on a SafeSwissCloud virtual server and the components required are discussed in the article.

In this article we are going to make a web-based VOD (video on Demand) installation complete with a streaming server and an HTML5 player displaying an MPEG-DASH stream. In the past two articles (How to set up a reliable video streaming architecture & Video hosting in the cloud: More on Codecs and Streaming) the basics of video on the internet were explained. This time we will pull up our sleeves to install, configure and code the necessary components.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): How does the new European data-protection standard impact a company's cloud strategy?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) harmonizes the rules for the processing of personal data by private companies and public authorities throughout the EU. This forces many organizations to think again about the cloud strategy.

Without cloud services, many companies would now be silent, whether in the financial industry, in the healthcare sector, or in public administration. One of the important questions often asked by the IT managers of these companies is that of data protection and data security. What happens to my business critical data and services in an emergency? How fast are they restored? And who guarantees me sufficient security?                       

Video hosting in the cloud: More on Codecs and Streaming

High quality videos would not be possible on contemporary devices if not for codecs. High quality videos on the Internet are possible due to streaming architectures. We take a closer look at both these technologies.

In the previous article I gave a broad overview of video streaming and described the growth forecasts for the coming years. The importance of video on the internet is widely accepted and, hence, the need for a reliable video streaming architecture is undisputed. The two questions I was asked by readers of that article were:

Brexit, Banking & the Cloud: What’s next?

That Great Britain will leave the European Union is certain – what is less certain, however, is how Brexit will proceed and what it will mean for British companies that conduct a large part of their business in the rest of Europe. Especially for the financial industry, which is increasingly voicing its departure from London. This step also has consequences for the Cloud strategies of the banks. 

Many banks have already developed detailed emergency plans that assume a worst-case scenario. For observers and experts, this occurs when the agreements between Great Britain and the European Union no longer contain the so called “passporting” rule following Brexit.  “Passporting“, which was introduced in 1993, allows British banks, insurance companies, and asset managers to offer their services throughout the entire EU without restrictions.                                      

Empowering Real-Time Big Data for Industry 4.0

Big Data is becoming real-time. While Big-Data can be compared to huge Barrels containing Water, real-time Big Data comes along as a waterfall. But not a drop may be lost. Lost real-time data is lost forever.

The technology and architectures for Big Data and real-time Big Data therefore differ significantly from each other. While Big Data is first gathered and then analyzed the value of real-time Big Data is lost if not distributed thus directed to real-time analytics and event processing engines or to services handling Dashboards etc. in digestible portions immediately.

The Messaging part, is one of the biggest challenges for Industry 4.0 I believe. And from my point of view heavily underestimated.

How to set up a reliable video streaming architecture

The bulk of network packets on the internet are now for audio/video applications. This article gives some background information on the growing use of video, the standards, hosting and infrastructure requirements.

Driverless cars and the cloud: Without trust, no revolution!

Without high-availability data from The Cloud, driverless cars will have to remain in the garage. And only if 100% security is guaranteed in this case, this technology can revolutionize traffic.

The White House publishes guidelines for the use of autonomous vehicles on public roads. Driverless cars with passengers are currently traveling on British roads for the first time. The Uber service has taken four driverless cars into operation in Pittsburgh. Taking the news coverage of the past few weeks as an indicator, cars with drivers will soon be obsolete - and instead of human drivers, autonomous vehicles will drive themselves.

Banking and the cloud: The revolution is here

According to conventional wisdom, one would expect banks to be cautious when migrating to the cloud. Recent reports indicate however, that the cloud revolution might come sooner than expected.

In the banking industry, new business models are constantly being created. Fast growing FinTech companies use new technology to create innovative applications that alter the way customers spend money and how business is conducted. Big banks have also recognized the potential of this development and increasingly benefit from the FinTech solutions that drive innovation.

An essential basis for the transformation is the cloud. It enables fast growth and scalable applications. It can be flexibly adapted to FinTech cases that are difficult to implement within a bank’s standardized infrastructure.

Internet of Things & Healthcare (IoT): How the Cloud enables rapid growth and what this means for data security

The IoT market is growing rapidly in the area of healthcare and the Cloud is the basis for what makes all this growth possible – provided data security is ensured.

A current report by Grand View Research Inc. forecasts that the global market for IoT (Internet of Things) applications in healthcare will reach a expenditure of USD 410 billion in the year 2022. According to the report, continually improving mobile devices, automated software, innovative medical applications and big data will create solutions that allow people to live healthier and make medical interventions more precise and effective.

Migration to the Cloud: the most important Questions and Answers

Here is a compilation of questions related to migrating to the cloud which we regularly encounter in discussions with our customers. 

Where is the data hosted?

100% in Switzerland.

This question is essential for many organizations as they need to meet compliance guidelines or regulatory requirements. And this is where many international cloud providers cause problems, as it is not obvious to the client, whether their applications and data are run or stored outside of Europe.

What can you tell us about the quality of your infrastructure and data centres?

We at Safe Swiss Cloud offer an Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure for computing, networking and the storage of data based in data centres Switzerland. Our clients’ data and applications are hosted in geo-redundant data centers in Switzerland. 

Switzerland is one of the safest ranked places to host data centers worldwide

Switzerland has been rankend as one of the safest places in the world to host a data center. These are the findings of the Data Center Risk Index published by the American property management company Cushman & Wakefield.

The report is based on a survey of 4,000 participants worldwide and takes into account ten factors including energy cost, water availability, average Internet bandwidth, ease of doing business, level of corporate tax and political stability.

The top 10 looks as follows:

Cloud Security: Away with the old prejudices, in with the new reality

Many IT decision makers still have concerns when migrating to the cloud. The outsourcing of their data and applications from their own premises to the internet are often perceived as a loss of control. These perceptions have now been overtaken. The greatest threat to data security comes from within the organization, not from outside. Especially there the cloud can offer perfect defense mechanisms.

Since the advent of cloud computing discussions have focussed primarily on data security when talking about enterprise applications. From these discussions emerged stubborn prejudices.

These prejudices blind us to the new reality: Cloud computing is a fast, cost-effective alternative to traditional disaster recovery approaches. No more investments in new servers or data centers are needed. Thanks to the cloud the subsequent costs of IT disasters can be prevented, because all data and applications are continuously backed up to a redundant data centre.

Cloud Computing in the health sector: What advantages are there – and what are the risks?

What considerations play an important role for MEDUDEM AG ( who provide a web-based collaboration solution for healthcare players using the infrastructure of Safe Swiss Cloud?

The digitization of medical care heralds a new era in health care; innovative applications enable better interaction between patients and providers, and fast and reliable processing of complex datasets - cloud computing plays an important role in this transformation process.

How the health management system MyVitali gathers and processes data

The term Internet of Things (IoT) describes the tendency of computers increasingly disappearing as devices and being replaced by „intelligent things“ which exchange data through the Internet and support human users imperceptibly in their activities.

There are many applications, from intelligent devices in manufacturing to everyday use in homes -  for example, the automatic control of energy consumption and household equipment. Medicine and healthcare has become one of the most relevant areas of the IoT business. An obvious example is the proliferation of smart watches/bracelets that are able to detect biological data such as pulse, blood pressure, blood sugar levels and body temperature which can then be used as a basis for advice that can be given by healthcare professionals

From Safe Harbor to Privacy Shield: Continuing the legal uncertainty for businesses

Since the end of Safe Harbour European companies no longer have any kind of legal secuirty when they use US-based cloud services. The planned Privacy Shield Agreement between Europe and the US will not bring any change to that.

As the European Court overturned the Safe Harbor agreement in October, which was not only a victory for privacy advocates Max Schrems – it took the US and Europe in the obligation to create a new legal framework for the exchange of data.

This is now in draft form and is named "Privacy Shield".

Disaster Recovery in the cloud: Faster, safer, without investments

The cloud offers an affordable and fast alternative to conventional Disaster Recovery approaches – without investing into new servers or further data center locations. As a result, there is now a solid strategy for small and medium-sized businesses to protect their business-critical data and infrastructure. Previously this kind of data protection was only affordable for large enterprises.

The benefits of the cloud are evident already in many contexts and confirm constantly in daily use by large companies around the world. But one aspect has been discussed little: The fact that due to cloud computing not only large enterprises can effectively and inexpensively prevent against the consequences of catastrophic IT failure using the cloud.

Gridmine and Safe Swiss Cloud partner to make instant Big Data a reality

Safe Swiss Cloud has partnered up with Gridmine to create a solution that makes Big Data accessible to everybody. We will get you up and running with a scalable big data infrastructure within two days. Traditionally, setting up a Big Data solution and infrastructure has taken highly qualified tech teams months to set-up. 

What is Gridmine?

Gridmine has integrated 30+ open source technologies such as the industry standard Apache Hadoop, Spark, Storm and Cassandra and automated the setup on Safe Swiss Cloud. This allows customers to easily deploy, monitor and manage their big data infrastructure and start analyzing and mining their data without having to spend thirty to forty five man months just setting up a big data infrastructure. 

Security-Report: IT decision makers say the Enterprise Cloud is at least as secure as in-house solutions

The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) has recently published a report on cloud security. For the study titled "The Cloud Balancing Act for IT: Between Promise and Peril" 200 IT and security decision makers had been interrogated.

Their clear conclusion: Companies that decide to adopt Enterprice cloud computing do absolutele not take higher security risks. Precondition is a clearly defined cloud policy.

Jim Reavis, CEO of Cloud Security Alliance:

How to survive in Times of Cloud Computing / Panel discussion with Safe Swiss Cloud’s Prodosh Banerjee

At the "Inside Channels Forum" on Thursday, January 28th at Sihl City, Zurich, Swiss channel players analyze and discuss business strategies in times of cloud computing.

Here is a brief summary of the upcoming Inside Channels Forum 2016 tomorrow:

  • Topic: How to survive in Times of Cloud Computing
  • Provider-neutral forum for the Swiss IT channel
  • Swiss channel player analyze and discuss business strategies in times of cloud computing
  • Keynote by Emmi Schweiz CIO Heinz Hodel
  • Panel discussion with Safe Swiss Cloud’s CEO Prodosh Banerjee

Time and location: Thursday, January 28th at Sihl City, Zurich
Tickets and further details:

Merry Christmas

All the Safe Swiss Cloud team wishes you a happy holiday and a successful 2016.

We are looking forward to an exciting new year.
Best regards,
The Safe Swiss Cloud team

KPMG study on disruptive tech: cloud leads the way

KPMG surveyed 832 technology industry business leaders from around the world for it’s "2015 Global Technology Innovation Survey" to name the technologies with the most disruptive potential. The key findings:

  • Global tech leaders predict cloud computing (11%), mobile platforms and apps (9%), Internet of Things (IoT)/M2M (9%) and data and analytics (9%) will be the most disruptive technologies over the next three years.
  • The three most disruptive technologies predicted to drive business transformation in enterprises over the next three years in the U.S. include cloud computing (13%), data and analytics (13%), and cyber security (10%).

Also interesting are the regional differences in the assessment, which are somewhat more restrained in Europe than in the US or Japan.

Safe Swiss Cloud winner at the 2015 Bully Awards

It is official - Safe Swiss Cloud is proud winner of this year's Bully Awards 2015 in Barcelona. After being announced winner of the FinTech Excellence Award in August, this is already the second award for Safe Swiss Cloud in 2015.

Each year an expert jury issues the Bully Awards to European organizations that stand out through innovation, leadership and exceptional growth. This year 60 finalists were chosen out of more than 400 candidates. The 30 winners were presented on October 7th at the Pathways Summit in Barcelona.

In 2015 Safe Swiss Cloud managed to get into the finals and win the prestigious Bully Award. We are thankful to find appreciation for our work!

2015 Bully Awards»

Safe Swiss Cloud and its partners launch initiative for FinTech companies and financial institutions

Safe Swiss Cloud has teamed up with upc cablecom, Interxion and Solace to roll out a comprehensive cloud initiative for FinTech companies and financial institutions, fulfilling all regulatory outsourcing requirements.

FinTech companies and financial institutions can now enjoy quick and easy access to cloud services that comply with FINMA circular 2008/07. Moreover, they can start using these services immediately, without having to worry about complying with regulatory provisions themselves.

Europe’s highest court declares Safe-Harbor-Agreement invalid: What does that mean for cloud providers?

On Tuesday, October 6th, Europe's highest court has declared the Safe-Harbor-Agreement between the United States of America and the European Union invalid. Up to this point the agreement determined that personally identifiable information (PII) of EU citizens are allowed to be transfered to and saved in the United States.

From now on no European organization can refer to the Safe-Harbor-Agreement to justify data transfers to the US for email accounts, cloud services or outsourcing projects. The ones who have been relying solely on the Safe-Harbor-Agreement will have to retrieve their data from the US.

The Austrian journalist Max Schrems triggered the investigation of the agreement with his initiative Europe vs. Facebook. He filed a compliant against Facebook a the Irish authority for data privacy, because in his opinion Facebook does not guarantee data privacy, especially after the NSA espionage affair.

FinTech Excellence Award 2015 for Safe Swiss Cloud

Yesterday the FinTech Excellence Awards 2015 have been announced. We are happy about winning the category: Excellence in Providing Cloud Infrastructure - Switzerland.

From the press release:

The Corporate LiveWire team is pleased to announce the release of the FinTech Awards Guide 2015, the first of its type. Over the last 12 months we have closely monitored the rapid growth of the FinTech sector, and the guide showcases the businesses that have proven themselves to be particularly exemplary over the course of the year. 

All of our winners were nominated and underwent the same rigorous selection process, beating fierce competition to become the proud recipient of a place in our prestigious guide. We looked for companies that displayed innovation, creativity, vision, and a willingness to take risks, and take great pride in sharing their accomplishments with the world.

Safe Swiss Cloud in the finals of the "2015 Bully Awards"

Each year an expert jury issues the Bully Awards to European organizations that stand out through innovation, leadership and exceptional growth. This year 60 finalists were chosen out of more than 400 candidates. The 30 winners will be presented on October 7th at the Pathways Summit in Barcelona.

In 2015 Safe Swiss Cloud managed to get into the final round. We are thankful to find appreciation for our work - and are waiting for Barcelona!

2015 Bully Awards»

Save the dates: Safe Swiss Cloud autumn events 2015

Safe Swiss Cloud attempts various events this fall to personally network with prospects, customers and partners. Save the dates!

SIX Swiss Exchange Open Day Zurich

September 22nd, all-day, Park Hyatt Zurich

This event addresses exchange participants, banks, financial institutions and providers of the FinTech sector. Safe Swiss Cloud will be having a booth on its own.

Information & Registration»

Banking on the Cloud – finteCH meetup Zurich

September 22nd, 5 pm, Interxion Data Center Glattbrugg (near Zurich)

This finteCH meetup features panel discussions of Bill Fenick (Interxion), Daniel Mueri (Sayula) and Safe Swiss Cloud CEO Prodosh Banerjee. Furthermore participants are welcome to attend a guided tour through Interxion's data center in Glattbrugg.

Safe Swiss Cloud and Nexos merge under the Safe Swiss Cloud umbrella

On 7 August, 2015 the cloud infrastructure provider Safe Swiss Cloud AG headquartered in Thalwil merged with Basel-based Nexos AG under the Safe Swiss Cloud umbrella. The entire team, along with the cloud infrastructure and managed services provided by the Basel IT firm, which also operates the Swiss encloud service, will be integrated into Safe Swiss Cloud.

Customers of Safe Swiss Cloud and Nexos will now be able to enjoy an extended range of cloud services as well as additional managed-service expertise. The merger means a total of 35 staff and creates a trusted, 100% Swiss cloud computing alternative for enterprise customers with requirements for enhanced privacy, compliance and security.

Nexos has extensive experience in cloud technology, managed services, IT outsourcing and IT security. Thanks to additional know-how from Nexos, Safe Swiss Cloud will be further expanding its managed services offers geared towards enterprise cloud customers.