Feb 17, 2021

BlackBerry recognised in software supply chain cybersecurity

Department of Defense
William Smith
2 min
An analysis undertaken on behalf of the United States Department of Defense (DoD) named BlackBerry Jarvis a “best in breed” solution in its category
An analysis undertaken on behalf of the United States Department of Defense (DoD) named BlackBerry Jarvis a “best in breed” solution in its category...

Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry has won recognition for its BlackBerry Jarvis software composition analysis tool.

An analysis undertaken on behalf of the United States Department of Defense (DoD) by The Aerospace Corporation named BlackBerry Jarvis a “best in breed” solution in its category.

Software supply chain security

BlackBerry Jarvis’ role as a composition analysis solution is to analyse characteristics and attributes from programmes to offer insights into their quality and security. With more complex software, coming from further afield in the supply chain, it is imperative for companies and governments to check their compliance with regulatory standards as well as their security as part of the software supply chain.

Adam Boulton, Chief Technology Officer, BlackBerry Technology Solutions said: "We are honored to be recognized as best in breed in this report. We understand the need to iterate and deliver software rapidly and with BlackBerry Jarvis tasks that would take upwards of a month to complete can now be automatically remedied within minutes."

As part of the analysis, BlackBerry Jarvis was tested on the Department of Defense’s satellite systems, both in orbit and in production, as well as in flight systems and telescopes. Its plaudits were due to its ability to identify issues faster and more comprehensively than competitors.

Brandon Bailey, Cybersecurity Senior Project Leader at Aerospace said: "As a result of its extensive vulnerability coverage and superior test performance, BlackBerry Jarvis appears to be the ideal single-tool solution for embedded platforms."

Successful company reinvention

BlackBerry of course first came to prominence for its highly successful smartphones, targeted at those in business in government thanks to an emphasis on security and physical keyboards. Since it was dethroned, the company has undergone a successful transformation into an internet of things and enterprise software specialist.

It has also recently been caught up in the battle between Wall Street and Reddit’s WallStreetBets community, although it’s future looks significantly brighter than the likes of GameStop. 

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Jun 8, 2021

Fastly's CDN Reportedly to Blame for Global Internet Outage

Tilly Kenyon & Oliver James Fr...
3 min
Multiple outages have hit social media, government, and news websites across the globe

A huge outage has brought down a number of major websites around the world. Among those affected are gov.uk, Hulu, PayPal, Vimeo, and news outlets such as CNN, The Guardian, The New York Times, BBC, and Financial Times.

It is thought a glitch at Fastly ─ a popular CDN provider ─ is causing the worldwide issue. Fastly has confirmed it’s facing an outage on its status website but fails to specify a reason for the fault ─ only that the problem isn’t limited to a single data centre and, instead, is a “global CDN disruption” that is potentially affecting the company’s global network.

“We’re currently investigating potential impact to performance with our CDN services,” the firm said.

What is Fastly?

Fastly is a content delivery network (CDN) company that helps users view digital content more quickly. The company also provides security, video delivery, and so-called edge computing services. They use strategically distributed, highly performant POPs to help move data and applications closer to users and deliver up-to-date content quickly.

The firm has been proving increasingly popular among leading media websites. After going public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2019, shares rose exponentially in price, but after today’s outages, Fastly’s value has taken a sharp 5.21% fall and are currently trading at US$48.06. 

What are CDNs?

Content delivery networks (CDNs) are a web of small computers, or servers, that link together to collaborate as a single computer. CDNs improve the performance of internet-connected devices by placing these servers as close as possible to the people using those devices in different locations, creating hundreds of points of presence, otherwise known as POPs.

They help minimise delays in loading web page content by reducing the physical distance between the server and the user. This helps users around the world view the same high-quality content without slow loading times. 

Without a CDN, content origin servers must respond to every single end-user request. This results in significant traffic to the origin and subsequent load, thereby increasing the chances for origin failure if the traffic spikes are exceedingly high or if the load is persistent.

The Risk of CDNs

Over time, developers have attempted to protect users from the dangers of overreliance through the implementation of load balancing, DDoS (Denial of Service) protection, web application firewalls, and a myriad of other security features. 

Clearly, by the state of today’s major website outage, these measures aren’t enough. Evidently, CDNs present a risk factor that is widely underestimated ─ which needs to be rectified with haste. Content delivery networks have become a key part of the global infrastructure, and so it’s imperative that organisations start to figure out risk mitigation strategies to protect companies reliant on the interconnected service from further disruption and disarray. 

Over the coming days, both Technology Magazine and Data Centre Magazine will continue to provide updates on the current situation as developments are made.

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