Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Kelly Burford, Scott Davis, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, PagerDuty Blog

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, @CloudExpo, Government Cloud

Microservices Expo: Blog Feed Post

Jill Tummler Singer of the CIA Speaks on "Cloud Safety" : +1

I guess I am a geek if I am thinking in Digg/Slashdot shorthand

I saw this tweet this morning and I thought "+1" (I guess I am a geek if I am thinking in Digg/Slashdot shorthand).


The problem is that in Information Security, "security" is all-too-often used to mean only encryption. A line is considered "secure" if it's encrypted. But often, the real "security" requirements are much broader and include management (as in access management, identity management), business continuity defense against denial-of-service, and privacy.

I think language is a big issue here. I've always found it interesting that in German, the words for "security" and "certainty" (sicherheit, literally "sureness") are the same. In French, the words for "safety" and "security" are also the same (sûreté, again literally "sureness"). So, in those languages, "security" has a broad definition, incorporating senses of dependability, management, and safety. I can see how the French and German words fit with the broad information security concepts of business continuity, "management" (access management, identity management), and "safety" that users (and their data) will be protected. But the English language word "security" lets us down.

I read something similar in the BBC's "Letter from Europe" column a few years ago:

A friend and colleague who is annoyingly fluent in half a dozen languages notices the growth of something he calls "Brussels English". One example he gives is the persistent use of "security" to mean "safety", perhaps because in French and German they are the same word. This habit has evidently spread to England too. He cites an example at Waterloo Station, which requests that people put their hot drinks down while going through the ticket barrier "for their own security". But surely it is their safety, not security, that is at risk?

But that sets me musing on whether this is a reaction to a rather modern use of the word "security" in English. When did it first acquire its current meaning in English? Wartime? When did "security guards" first enter the language?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4601722.stm

In infosec, I think that the meaning of security as "encryption" entered the language when Bruce Schneier wrote "Applied Cryptography". Also, although undoubtedly useful, SSL and the little padlocks in browsers are partly to blame because they give the impression a site is "secure" just because SSL is used. This carried over to Web Services where people, of course, thought "of course it's secure if we use SSL". And now Cloud Computing. Just last week I had to answer a question of "We are planning to use SSL for our Cloud-based PaaS services, people will be sending in their API keys over SSL, so that means it's fully secure, right?".

Since "Applied Cryptography", Bruce Schneier has since spoken on this topic. He had a memorable talk at RSA 2006 entitled "Why security has so little to do with security". He has spoken on how "security=encryption" is literally a "false sense of security". It is the word "security" used in the wrong sense.

At Vordel, the security we provide goes much beyond cryptography, into the areas of management (access control, reporting on traffic), availability and dependability (monitoring service level agreements), and safety (ensuring data is protected). By having governance in place for Cloud resources, you have more safety and security. We also include testing tools and performance acceleration and offload to provide the sureness that a service will not go down. That encompasses the broader French and German meanings of "security" to include "safety" and "sureness", not just the more narrow English language usage in Infosec to mean "encryption".

This is the reason why I 100% agree with incorporating "safety" into the meaning of "security", as Jill Tummler Singer, Deputy CIO of CIA, did in her keynotes at GovIT Expo . In this way, we can do more justice to security in general and Cloud Security in particular.

As an interesting footnote, I blogged about this before and Gunnar commented that "According to Robert Morris Sr.'s talk at DefCon last summer the word security is derived from a Greek word meaning "carelessness". That is funny, considering how often security is implemented carelessly. But, thinking about it, I can understand that if you have security (and safety) in place, then you have "less cares", so you are "careless" in that sense.

More Stories By Mark O'Neill

Mark O'Neill is VP Innovation at Axway - API and Identity. Previously he was CTO and co-founder at Vordel, which was acquired by Axway. A regular speaker at industry conferences and a contributor to SOA World Magazine and Cloud Computing Journal, Mark holds a degree in mathematics and psychology from Trinity College Dublin and graduate qualifications in neural network programming from Oxford University.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Some journey to cloud on a mission, others, a deadline. Change management is useful when migrating to public, private or hybrid cloud environments in either case. For most, stakeholder engagement peaks during the planning and post migration phases of a project. Legacy engagements are fairly direct: projects follow a linear progression of activities (the “waterfall” approach) – change managers and application coders work from the same functional and technical requirements. Enablement and develo...
For DevOps teams, the concepts behind service-oriented architecture (SOA) are nothing new. A style of software design initially made popular in the 1990s, SOA was an alternative to a monolithic application; essentially a collection of coarse-grained components that communicated with each other. Communication would involve either simple data passing or two or more services coordinating some activity. SOA served as a valid approach to solving many architectural problems faced by businesses, as app...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone in...
Many IT organizations have come to learn that leveraging cloud infrastructure is not just unavoidable, it’s one of the most effective paths for IT organizations to become more responsive to business needs. Yet with the cloud comes new challenges, including minimizing downtime, decreasing the cost of operations, and preventing employee burnout to name a few. As companies migrate their processes and procedures to their new reality of a cloud-based infrastructure, an incident management solution...
Some people are directors, managers, and administrators. Others are disrupters. Eddie Webb (@edwardawebb) is an IT Disrupter for Software Development Platforms at Liberty Mutual and was a presenter at the 2016 All Day DevOps conference. His talk, Organically DevOps: Building Quality and Security into the Software Supply Chain at Liberty Mutual, looked at Liberty Mutual's transformation to Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and DevOps. For a large, heavily regulated industry, this task...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
Gaining visibility in today’s sprawling cloud infrastructure is complex and laborious, involving drilling down into tools offered by various cloud services providers. Enterprise IT organizations need smarter and effective tools at their disposal in order to address this pertinent problem. Gaining a 360 - degree view of the cloud costs requires collection and analysis of the cost data across all cloud infrastructures used inside an enterprise.
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Gone are the days when application development was the daunting task of the highly skilled developers backed with strong IT skills, low code application development has democratized app development and empowered a new generation of citizen developers. There was a time when app development was in the domain of people with complex coding and technical skills. We called these people by various names like programmers, coders, techies, and they usually worked in a world oblivious of the everyday pri...
Our work, both with clients and with tools, has lead us to wonder how it is that organizations are handling compliance issues in the cloud. The big cloud vendors offer compliance for their infrastructure, but the shared responsibility model requires that you take certain steps to meet compliance requirements. Which lead us to start poking around a little more. We wanted to get a picture of what was available, and how it was being used. There is a lot of fluidity in this space, as in all things ...
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
The notion of improving operational efficiency is conspicuously absent from the healthcare debate - neither Obamacare nor the newly proposed GOP plan discusses the impact that a step-function improvement in efficiency could have on access to healthcare (through more capacity), quality of healthcare services (through reduced wait times for patients) or cost (through better utilization of scarce, expensive assets).
Admiral Calcote - also known as Lee Calcote (@lcalcote) or the Ginger Geek to his friends - gave a presentation entitled Characterizing and Contrasting Container Orchestrators at the 2016 All Day DevOps conference. Okay, he isn't really an admiral - nor does anyone call him that - but he used the title admiral to describe what container orchestrators do, relating it to an admiral directing a fleet of container ships. You could also say that they are like the conductor of an orchestra, directing...
Cloud Governance means many things to many people. Heck, just the word cloud means different things depending on who you are talking to. While definitions can vary, controlling access to cloud resources is invariably a central piece of any governance program. Enterprise cloud computing has transformed IT. Cloud computing decreases time-to-market, improves agility by allowing businesses to adapt quickly to changing market demands, and, ultimately, drives down costs.
Recent survey done across top 500 fortune companies shows almost 70% of the CIO have either heard about IAC from their infrastructure head or they are on their way to implement IAC. Yet if you look under the hood while some level of automation has been done, most of the infrastructure is still managed in much tradition/legacy way. So, what is Infrastructure as Code? how do you determine if your IT infrastructure is truly automated?
Every few years, a disruptive force comes along that prompts us to reframe our understanding of what something means, or how it works. For years, the notion of what a computer is and how you make one went pretty much unchallenged. Then virtualization came along, followed by cloud computing, and most recently containers. Suddenly the old rules no longer seemed to apply, or at least they didn’t always apply. These disruptors made us reconsider our IT worldview.
As people view cloud as a preferred option to build IT systems, the size of the cloud-based system is getting bigger and more complex. As the system gets bigger, more people need to collaborate from design to management. As more people collaborate to create a bigger system, the need for a systematic approach to automate the process is required. Just as in software, cloud now needs DevOps. In this session, the audience can see how people can solve this issue with a visual model. Visual models ha...