Hackers Are Targeting Bitcoin With a Leaked NSA Software Tip, Report Says

Bitcoin With a Leaked NSA Software

Bitcoin With a Leaked NSA Software

Bitcoin With a Leaked NSA Software – Hackers are illegally generating Monero, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by exploiting a software flaw that was leaked from the U.S. government, according to new research, raising questions about the security of one of the fastest-growing corners of financial markets.

Detected cases of illicit cryptocurrency mining — the digital equivalent of minting money — have surged 459 percent in 2018 compared to last year, Cyber Threat Alliance said in a report released Wednesday.

The spike is tied to the 2017 leak of Eternal Blue, a tool to exploit vulnerabilities in outdated Microsoft Systems software. When the tool became known, it tipped hackers to a previously unknown flaw in the software, now the basis of some hackers’ efforts to commandeer computing power of others to generate digital currency.

As of July this year, 85 percent of all illicit cryptocurrency mining has targeted Monero, according to the report. Bitcoin made up about 8 percent, while other cryptocurrencies accounted for 7 percent.

Hackers can “sit back and watch the money roll in,” said Neil Jenkins, chief analytic officer of Cyber Threat Alliance, a group formed in 2014 by a consortium of cyber-security firms to share intelligence about cyber-threats. While the hacks are occurring across the globe, a significant portion are in the U.S., he added.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are generated through a process of solving complex mathematical equations, which requires significant computing power. Most users and investors lack the means to create, or mine, cryptocurrency and simply buy it from an online exchange. When hackers illicitly generate currency using others’ computers, it creates free money for them and could erode the overall value of the currency by increasing its supply.

Eternal Blue was allegedly stolen from the National Security Agency and leaked last year in an unsolved breach by a hacking group that calls itself the Shadow Brokers. The group has repeatedly released tools from that breach.

The code gained notoriety when Russia and North Korea used it in massive attacks. In the first instance, known as WannaCryNorth Korean hackersshut down computers in dozens of countries, including Britain, where hospitals were hit. In the second, known as NotPetya, Russia used Eternal Blue to hack computers at companies including Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, leading to billions of dollars of damage, according to the White House.

“A security update was released in March 2017. Customers who applied the update are protected,” Jeff Jones, a senior director at Microsoft Corp., said in a statement.

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Article Credit: Bloomberg

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Compare the leading ERP systems at the Lumenia ERP HEADtoHEAD™ event

Lumenia Consulting is delighted to announce the 11th running of the ERP HEADtoHEAD™ event taking place on 16th/17th October 2018 in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dublin Airport. Over the two days, 13 leading ERP vendors will go head to head to demonstrate their ERP solutions.

Lumenia

The event offers a unique opportunity for senior finance and IT executives and members of their ERP selection teams to meet, compare and experience leading ERP solutions under one roof and to learn how to manage their selection process ensuring benefits are maximised and risk is reduced.

Solutions suitable for various organisation sizes, from large corporations to SME’s, will be represented. Amongst the 13 demonstrating their ERP solutions are Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Sage and Netsuite.

The event is the brainchild of Sean Jackson, Managing Director of Lumenia Consulting. “One of the pitfalls you can fall into when selecting a new ERP system, is to rely solely on the vendor’s sales demo because each vendor will have their own interpretation of what they think you are looking for, which makes it difficult to make comparisons,” says Jackson, “What you need the vendors to do, is to follow a predefined demo script so that you can compare apples to apples. This is the core idea of the ERP HEADtoHEAD™.

On Day 1, all vendors take part in an ‘Elevator Speech’ to introduce themselves. During this session vendors present a summary of their USP’s to convince delegates why it would be a good idea to attend their presentation.  Delegates can then choose to attend sessions focused on Finance, Production, Procurement, HR, Projects, Sales Quotation or Sales High Volume. Each demonstration lasts 60 minutes and is based on defined high-level scripts.  Attendees can also hear vendor-independent presentations from Lumenia Consulting on ‘Are you ERP Ready?’ and ‘Characteristics of Successful ERP Projects’.

Day 2, includes the opportunity to listen to a panel discussion from companies sharing their experiences of implementing ERP. There are lots of opportunities for delegates to meet with vendors in the expo area and to network and compare experiences with other organisations also planning an ERP implementation.

Since the event’s inception in 2010, it has grown each year.  The tenth ERP HEADtoHEAD™ event was held in June in Utrecht, Netherlands.  It was Lumenia’s first event in the Netherlands and is now an annual event in the calendar along with a UK event each March.

For pricing details, registration and further information, check out the event website at www.erpheadtohead.com

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Bitcoin Terrible Month Isn’t Actually All That Bad

bitcoin month

bitcoin month

Bitcoin month –  Bitcoin has seen quite a heavy sell-off over the last 30 days but that was preceded by a bull run, leaving the bitcoin price more-or-less flat — and reminding investors to take a wider view of market movements.

Despite hitting highs of almost $7,500 earlier this month, the bitcoin price has dropped back to just over $6,300 today — pretty much exactly where it was some 30 days ago.

There were fears in early September bitcoin, as well as other major cryptocurrencies including ethereum, ripple, and litecoin, were going into freefall as investors panicked over whether the much anticipated institutional money that many have been expecting to be injected into the market will actually appear.

That sudden sell-off now seems to have stabilized — with many still feeling positive a major bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) could be approved this month by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Elsewhere, the New York Stock Exchange’s parent company, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), plans to roll out a bitcoin ETF as part of its cryptocurrency platform Bakkt and in partnership with coffee chain Starbucks, software giant Microsoft, and Boston Consulting Group in November.

Bitcoin has seen quite a heavy sell-off over the last 30 days but that was preceded by a bull run, leaving the bitcoin price more-or-less flat — and reminding investors to take a wider view of market movements.

Despite hitting highs of almost $7,500 earlier this month, the bitcoin price has dropped back to just over $6,300 today — pretty much exactly where it was some 30 days ago.

There were fears in early September bitcoin, as well as other major cryptocurrencies including ethereum, ripple, and litecoin, were going into freefall as investors panicked over whether the much anticipated institutional money that many have been expecting to be injected into the market will actually appear.

That sudden sell-off now seems to have stabilized — with many still feeling positive a major bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) could be approved this month by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Elsewhere, the New York Stock Exchange’s parent company, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), plans to roll out a bitcoin ETF as part of its cryptocurrency platform Bakkt and in partnership with coffee chain Starbucks, software giant Microsoft, and Boston Consulting Group in November.

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Article Credit: Forbes

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Bitcoin Use By Islamic State Could Be Over By October — Here’s Why

bitcoin islamic state

bitcoin islamic state

Bitcoin Islamic state – Just like cold, hard cash, the anonymity of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have attracted criminals and terrorists to the digital tokens over recent years.

That could soon all be over after the president of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Marshall Billingslea, said the group will likely agree in October to a series of standards that will close the anti-money laundering gaps around the world.

These gaps allow bitcoin companies and cryptocurrency exchanges to move the virtual tokens across borders and into anonymous wallets.

“It is essential that we establish a global set of standards that are applied in a uniform manner,” Billingslea, speaking in Paris, said earlier today.

The FATF said it is now close to establishing a worldwide set of standards to apply to bitcoin and virtual currencies, which would make it far more difficult for criminals and terrorist organizations such as Islamic State, to use the digital tokens.

Currently, regulators’ attitudes to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, as well as the blockchain technology that underpins them, vary wildly around the world.

In Asia, South Korea and China have cracked down on their bitcoin and cryptocurrency industries while in Europe France, Switzerland, Malta, and Gibraltar want to outline rules to tempt bitcoin businesses. The U.S. continues to keep bitcoin and cryptocurrencies at arm’s length.

Elsewhere, some countries have banned bitcoin and cryptocurrency use entirely — though it is still possible to use them to an extent.

Billingslea, who is also an assistant U.S. Treasury secretary and deals with terror financing, said the Islamic State group has used bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to fund terrorists in Syria after publishing instructions on the social network Twitter.

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EACS joins forces with technology leader Actifio to expand cloud-focused Data-as-a-Service offerings

Managed services provider EACS has announced a new strategic alliance with Actifio, the enterprise Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) software provider.

The new collaboration will greatly assist EACS’ own ambitions to enhance its offering and ensure it continues to provide exceptional services to its customers.

Headquarted in the USA and with offices across Asia, Australia and Europe, Actifio has grown rapidly to establish a strong position in delivering multi-cloud data management software solutions that enable enterprises to accelerate their business by unlocking the strategic value of data. This alliance makes EACS a trusted reseller of Actifio’s unique products and services, bringing improved data management, analytics, security and business continuity capabilities to its network of customers across the UK.

Kevin Timms, CEO at EACS, said: “Actifio is a major global leader in the IT space, summed up by the high regard in which it is held by thousand of customers, partners and analysts and the reputation for excellence it has built up over the course of the past few years. We believe that Actifio’s philosophy and focus on quality is very much in line with our own ethos, so we’re delighted to be entering into this strategic alliance.”

This alliance will see EACS benefit hugely from Actifio’s pioneering expertise in areas such as data management, cloud, disaster recovery and security, while Actifio will gain access to a range of new customers in a high-growth market.

Pat O’Donnell, Regional Vice President of EMEA for Actifio, said, “As Actifio continues its global expansion, we’re excited to extend the reach of our data-as-a-service platform to a new base of enterprise customers. By collaborating with a high-quality innovator like EACS, we will be able to bring high-performing IT solutions to businesses of all shapes and sizes.”

In forming this collaboration, both EACS and Actifio have recognised the myriad IT challenges facing businesses, including the need to reduce spending while remaining compliant with regulations and maintaining high standards of security.

Timms concluded, “Covering all of the bases when it comes to IT is a tough task for any organisation and costs can add up. Alongside Actifio, we want to make sure that businesses both large and small can cut through the complexities of IT, and gain access to best-in-class technologies in a way that is cost-effective in both the short and long term. We’re eagerly anticipating the development of the alliance and seeing the impact it will have on our customers.”

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The Top 5 ERP Software Tools

We tapped Nucleus Research’s 2018 ERP Technology Value Matrix for a Top 5 ERP platforms review, with prices from vendors

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is the unglamorous linchpin of most business processes, tying together sales, marketing, finance, planning, inventory, and HR. The best ERP software tools deliver real intelligence to back office processes, and, as cloud offerings mature, vendors are increasingly take real advantage of the flexibility and scalability of cloud platforms to add sophisticated new function.

Top-ERP-vendors

Here is how Nucleus Research ranks the best ERP software vendors in its 2018 ERP Technology Value Matrix, published this week. (Graphic above courtesy of Acumatica). Prices vary significantly according to enterprise requirements, and whether you choose an SaaS, private cloud subscription or the Private Perpetual License with an annual “maintenance” fee that some providers offer.

1: Acumatica

Nucleus says: “The vendor continues to lead the way in usability. With triple-digit growth, Acumatica has aggressively expanded its partner ecosystem to meet the needs of a diverse customer base, adding over 60 new value-added resellers in the last year.

“High usability and flexibility are at the center of Acumatica’s development philosophy and the vendor is looking to automate processes that it already delivers, such as with multi-entity accounting when making payments to multiple locations.”

Acumatica says: “We believe Acumatica provides the best price/value, performance, functionality, and ease of use of any ERP system available for small- and medium-sized businesses. All the products listed here will charge you for every user you add to their system. Acumatica does not. Period.”

2: Deltek

Nucleus says: “Deltek’s development team has continued to produce a stream of improvements to its existing solutions.

“On the innovation front, Deltek has invested in several technologies that customers are using today, including mobile functionality with Deltek Touch, integrated social capabilities that reduce the need for email, and data and key performance indicator (KPI) visualizations and dashboards that provide visibility across organizational silos.”

Deltek says: “With Deltek ERP, you can develop new business with a clear overview of your pipeline, scope new projects accurately and control finances with multi-company and multi-currency project accounting and full general ledger; 93% of Deltek clients experience a positive ROI from their deployment.”

3: Infor CloudSuite

Nucleus says: “Infor offers its products as SaaS, hybrid deployment, or on premises, with the ability to scale up to serve global enterprises operating on multi- or single-tenant instances.  Infor delivers an end-to-end solution suite with the flexibility for extensibility to cover the last-mile functionality that customers require.”

“After acquiring a leading analytics and business intelligence vendor in Birst, Infor is inserting the capabilities into its technology stack as a BI platform in order to remove many of the data siloes that enterprise customers have. Infor delivers a suite of technologies [and] is pushing forward AI with its digital assistant technology.”

Infor says: “We offer industry-specific cloud software suites for businesses of all sizes—securely hosted through Amazon Web Services to quickly scale your company, without you having to worry about hosting or management. [Using Infor CloudSuite] Ferrari consolidated 59 legacy systems and streamlined its supply chain and manufacturing processes, successfully achieving lean inventory.”

4: Microsoft Dynamics 365

Nucleus says: “In its Spring 2018 release, Microsoft provided improvements in analytics, data integration, extensibility and customization, supply chain optimization, and compliance. Microsoft’s value proposition stems in part from the integrations it provides with other products in its ecosystem, including field service, project service automation, retail, sales, talent, and customer service.”

“Imbuing its applications with intelligent technologies such as AI has been a theme for Microsoft in recent releases, as the vendor seeks to improve efficiency and productivity by having the system make intelligent recommendations.”

Microsoft says: “Users can minimise operational costs across business geographies with financial process automation, encumbrance, budget planning, budget control, and three-way matching” and use “intelligent automation, task prioritization, and integration with Office 365 applications for superior business outcomes.”

5:  Oracle ERP Cloud

Nucleus said: “Oracle addresses all parts of the enterprise, covering financials, accounting, project financial management, revenue management, project management, procurement, analytics, supply chain, and risk management.”

“One of Oracle’s goals is to develop adaptive intelligent applications that are purpose-built and deliver value out-of-the-box. The intelligent applications, which have reinforced learning algorithms tuned to specific tasks, are designed to increase the amount of automation and agility customers have with capabilities such as workflow automation, continuous financial close processing, and automated compliance.”

Oracle said: “Oracle Cloud applications excel at pulling important data together from a wide range of sources, and helping your decision-makers make sense of it all, using an intuitive analytics dashboard.”

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The Third Door Summary | Alex Banayan | 6-Minute Summary

The third door summary – Success in life, business or almost any field you choose, is like getting into a nightclub. There are always three doors: The first door is the main entrance, where almost everyone queues, waiting and hoping to get in. The second door is the VIP door, where the celebrities and billionaires slip straight through.

And then there’s the third door. Most people don’t even know it exists, but it does. You have to step out of line, run around the back of the club, bang on the door, maybe sneak through a kitchen. You’ll need a little chutzpah and a little initiative, but there’s always a way.

The world’s most successful people went through the third door, ignoring the queue in their determination to get ahead. In these blinks, you’ll follow the path of an ambitious young man on his quest to track down and interview some of the most successful people in the world and learn the secrets of how they got ahead.

Alex Banayan was supposed to become a doctor. At least, that was his parents’ plan for him. But at 18 years old, a month into college as a pre-med, he realized this wasn’t the path for him.

One day, while reading a biography of Bill Gates instead of studying, Banayan started wondering. Bill Gates had become the richest man in the world and revolutionized the software industry. But how? How did he go from a regular 18-year-old kid, just like Banayan, to becoming the wealthiest man in the world? Banayan started looking into other successful people: How had Steven Spielberg, a guy who didn’t even get into film school, ended up as one of the most successful directors in history? What did Lady Gaga do to pivot from waiting tables to nailing her first record deal in 2006?

Banayan couldn’t find a book that gave him the answer to these questions, so he decided to write it himself. Why not? He’d arrange interviews with Bill Gates and of other legends, travel across the US to meet with them, write up his discoveries and share them with his entire generation.

Getting the interviews was one thing, getting to them was quite another. The hard part, he quickly realized, would be funding the travel to all those interviews.

But as luck would have it, the game show The Price is Right was being filmed a few miles away. Winning the show was how he’d fund his quest.

Some googling told him that the wackier the behavior at casting, the more chance of getting selected for the show. So when he turned up on set, Banayan hugged janitors, danced with security guards and flirted with old ladies. It worked, and he got selected. He didn’t actually know how to play the game though, so began chatting with his fellow contestants. One kindly old woman, who said she’d been watching for 40 years, took a shine to him. She advised him to always guess low, as guessing too high would get you eliminated.

Hours later, with studio lights shining in his face, Banayan won the final prize – a sailboat, retail price $31,188, which he sold days later for $16,000. His quest could begin.

“Having a teacher or boss tell you what to do makes life a lot easier. But nobody achieves a dream from the comfort of certainty.”

After reading Tim Ferriss’s phenomenally popular book The 4-Hour Work Week (2007), Banayan became obsessed with meeting the author.

At a conference where Ferriss was speaking, Banayan hid in a bathroom during…………..

To Read The Third Door Summary completely  sign up to Blinkist for free (Click here)

Ever read 4 books in one day?

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4 tips for transforming your legacy applications into the cloud

transforming applications into cloud

transforming applications into cloud

transforming applications into cloud – Many agencies are discovering that moving applications to the cloud is not as easy as they originally anticipated. It’s not a matter of “move it and forget it.”

Shifting applications to a cloud environment, whether public or private, on premises or off, shifts IT professionals’ responsibilities. In order to transplant their apps, they need to transform those applications. They must adjust everything from the processes used to create the apps, to adopting automation tools to keep them up-to-date and secure.

Here are four considerations federal agencies should hone in on as they migrate their traditional, legacy applications to cloud environments.

1. Cloud is not a panacea to relieve you of your duties

Agencies have a tendency to think that the cloud is a magical place that will solve all of their problems. But while the cloud offers many clear benefits it is not a panacea for everything that ails agency IT. Agency IT professionals cannot simply move applications to the cloud and forget about them. Instead, they will find themselves in a new management position. Instead of managing the applications directly, they will now be managing their cloud providers.

        For example, it can be difficult to get a good grasp on how even the most reputable and government-sanctioned cloud providers are housing data. Agencies must take on the responsibility of ensuring that their providers are committed to not only keeping data secure, but provide agencies with access to information about how that data is being handled. They should also consider how they will retrieve that data if needed for migration to another platform, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests or future data analytics.

In any case, migrating applications to the cloud will still alleviate managers of having to deal with many of the day-to-day responsibilities that take up much of their time. This will free them up to focus on other, more mission-critical tasks that help move their agencies forward.

2. Use the cloud to consolidate and simplify

Many agencies still have a great deal of sprawl and duplication efforts across their IT environments. Ideally, the cloud will help solve this problem. Instead, though, agencies are simply transplanting these same confusing and conflicting templates and transferring them to the cloud. This only exacerbates the problem.

Instead, they should be using the cloud to simplify and consolidate their applications. One example of this is the adoption of Office 365. In the last two years alone usage has grown more than 20 percent, from 34 percent to more than 56 percent . The federal government has realized the benefits and ROI of consolidating these productivity applications as well as eliminating the necessity of upgrades and management.

3. Weigh the benefits of different types of clouds

The use of a hybrid, multi-cloud approach is spreading as agencies attempt to take advantage of the benefits of private and public clouds, which each have their own advantages and drawbacks. Amazon, for example, is well suited for applications built for the cloud from the ground up. Microsoft, on the other hand, has focused on more of “lift and shift“ approach, where an organization moves an application from on-premises to the Azure cloud, while Google touts their business analytics as a key differentiator.

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Article Credit: Federal News Radio

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How #1 Microsoft Is Beating Amazon, Google And Everyone Else In The Cloud: The Strategic Breakdown

Microsoft Is Beating EVERYONE

Microsoft Is Beating EVERYONE

Microsoft Is Beating EVERYONE  – Microsoft’s sweeping transformations of its sales and engineering organizations and its unique focus on intelligent cloud plus intelligent edge has spurred some of its largest enterprise customers to spend “an order of magnitude more with us year over year than they ever had before,” a top Microsoft executive recently told investors.

Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft’s worldwide commercial business, also told investors that the wave of transformative new technologies now hitting the mainstream—AI, IoT, digital business models and more—will boost the size of the IT market by $2 trillion (yes, $2 trillion with a “t”) over the next decade to about $4.5 trillion overall.

And Microsoft’s opportunity to take the lion’s share of that spectacular expansion is driven by three key factors, Althoff said:

  • Microsoft’s core business model, which unlike Amazon’s precludes Microsoft from competing with its customers;
  • the “trust factor” that ranges across not only an increasingly open technology strategy but also business policies stating that the data created by business customers is the property of those business customers, and not of Microsoft; and
  • Microsoft’s end-to-end creation of hybrid technologies that allow customers to move seamlessly from the cloud to on-premises technology.

” When we look at what our opportunity is, though, not only do we see a huge opportunity to capture more of the $2.5 trillion IT spend, we actually see the IT spend dramatically increasing overall—so what was classically thought of as the IT  opportunity for companies like Microsoft is in our view going to double over the next 10 years,” Althoff said at the Citi Global Technology Conference earlier this month.

That doubling is the result of companies racing to become full-fledged digital businesses requiring IT to become ubiquitous across organizations and indispensable to companies’ ability to compete, to grow, and to create new value for customers.

“So much of what we do with customers in the cloud today and at the edge is about really transforming their business—and so classically what would have been thought of as COGS, not related to IT, is digitizing.

“And so when we look at an opportunity for a large retailer, grocer, in their stores to help them keep food fresh, it’s not about the servers we might sell them in the back of the office, or the PCs that we might sell them in the front of the office,” Althoff said.

“It’s everything from the sensor to the sensor fabrics to the large data stores to the AI capabilities that help them reason over supply-chain management for fresher foods.”

As a result, Microsoft sees the overall size of the IT market, which Gartner pegs at about $2.5 trillion, expanding by an additional $2 trillion on the strength of the surging demand for digital transformation.

And here Althoff, noting that “there’s good objective evidence of that,” made the astonishing comment cited in part in the opening sentence about the growth Microsoft is experience from its largest global customers: “We have some of our largest enterprise customers now spending an order of magnitude more with us year over year than they ever have before.”

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Article Credit: Forbes

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10 hot hybrid cloud startups to watch

hybrid cloud startups – With few enterprises using purely private or purely public cloud infrastructure, a range of startups has emerged to meet unique hybrid-cloud needs for management, storage and virtualization. Here are 10 hot hybrid cloud startups to keep an eye on.

hybrid cloud startups

hybrid cloud startups

As the cloud matures, many businesses are finding that not every application belongs in public clouds. Due to regulatory issues, security risks, data ownership concerns, and fears of cloud lock-in, many applications are stubbornly rooted in on-premises architectures.

The startups in this roundup understand that, and rather than trying to sweet talk enterprises into forklift upgrades, these startups are willing to work under hybrid-cloud constraints.

The startups below federate data, making it available from any cloud to any application; provide application virtualization software, which enables enterprises to move workloads to and from various clouds at will; provide cloud file systems that optimize and mobilize data, and much more.

One thing to note: We did include a few hybrid cloud storage startups, and even a data analytics one, because they all operate at infrastructure levels or they push infrastructure features up to the application layer. They are cloud-enabling tools, in other words, rather than add-ons, enhancements or cloud-delivered ones. Click here to see how we chose the 10 startups to watch.