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Original Post From David Hall

Google is muscling in on Microsoft ’s turf as it wins over more business customers with its cloud-based software. In the past year Google Apps has notched up a big string of wins, including at the Swiss drug maker Hoffmann-La Roche, where over 80,000 employees use the package, and at the Interior Department, where 90,000 use it, the NYT’s Quentin Hardy reports.

CIO Journal’s Rachael King wrote earlier this month that CIOs still want to see some improvements to Google Apps – particularly improved security and integration between Google Plus and Gmail. But “Google is getting traction” on Microsoft, Melissa Webster, an analyst with IDC, tells Hardy. “Its ‘good enough’ product has become pretty good. It looks like 2013 is going to be the year for content and collaboration in the cloud.”

One key to Google’s success is pricing. Shaw Industries, a carpet maker in Dalton, Ga., switched to Google Apps this year after Jim Nielsen, the company’s manager of enterprise technology, calculated that using Google instead of similar Microsoft products would cost, over seven years, about one-thirteenth Microsoft’s price. Apart from the lower price, Nielsen tells Hardy he had to sort through 11 pricing models to figure out what he would pay Microsoft.

Health-care industry vulnerable to cyberattacks. The health-care industry’s rush to embrace the Internet has created a raft of security problems that could allow hackers to get their hands on patients’ records and even launch attacks that could shut down critical hospital systems, the Washington Post’s Robert O’Harrow Jr. reports. A year-long examination of cybersecurity by the Post found that health care “is among the most vulnerable industries in the country,” partly because it isn’t addressing some known problems. “I have never seen an industry with more gaping security holes,” said Avi Rubin, a computer scientist and technical director of the Information Security Institute at Johns Hopkins University. “If our financial industry regarded security the way the health-care sector does, I would stuff my cash in a mattress under my bed.”

Rubin has documented the routine failure to fix known software flaws “and a culture in which physicians, nurses and other health-care workers sidestep basic security measures, such as passwords, in favor of convenience,” O’Harrow writes.

Tim Elrod, a consultant at FishNet Security, found vulnerabilities in a system that lets care providers using a Web browser automatically dispense drugs from a secure cabinet produced by Omnicell. Unauthorized users could sidestep the login and password page and gain control of a cabinet at a hospital run by Integris Health. Integris CIO John Delano confirmed the Omnicell flaw and said his company last year disconnected it from any networks that might link to the Internet. “Unfortunately, a lot of times you run into vendors who have poorly coded software,” Delano told O’Harrow. “That’s the case here.”

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Vijay Nachimuthu

By Vijay Nachimuthu

Vijay Nachimuthu is a Managing Principal of AltaFlux. His blogs mainly focuses on latest cloud technology trends and its impact on enterprises.