|By Ariel Dan||
|April 23, 2012 08:45 AM EDT||
Today, with enterprises migrating to the cloud, the security challenge around protecting data is greater than ever before. Keeping data private and secure has always been a business imperative. But for many companies and organizations, it has also become a compliance requirement and a necessity to stay in business. Standards including HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, PCI DSS and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act all require that organizations protect their data at rest and provide defenses against data loss and threats.
Public cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than as a product, and is usually categorized into three service models: Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS). When it comes to public cloud security, all leading cloud providers are investing significant efforts and resources in securing and certifying their datacenters. However, as cloud computing matures, enterprises are learning that cloud security cannot be delivered by the cloud provider alone. In fact, cloud providers make sure enterprises know that security is a shared responsibility, and that cloud customers do share responsibility for data security, protection from unauthorized access, and backup of their data.
Actually, this "shared responsibility" makes sense most of the time. The responsibility of cloud providers offering Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) reasonably extends to the network and the infrastructure they provide. In fact, a typical agreement between you and your cloud provider will usually state that "...you acknowledge that you bear sole responsibility for adequate security..." So businesses hosting their applications in the cloud understand that they must share responsibility for ensuring the security of their data.
As cloud computing becomes increasingly more mainstream, it's harder to distinguish the generic security issues that an IT manager needs to tackle, from those that are specific to cloud computing. Issues such as roles and responsibilities, secure application development, least privilege and many more apply equally well in traditional on-premise environments as they do in the cloud.
When an IT application is moved to a public cloud, all of the old security risks associated with it in the past still exist but, in addition, there are new risk vectors. Previously your servers and your data were physically protected within your server room. Now the "virtual servers" and "virtual storage devices" are accessible to you, the customer, via a browser; raising the concern that hackers may attempt to access the same. Here are some new risks scenarios to consider when migrating to the cloud:
- Snapshotting your virtual storage by gaining access to your cloud console.
A malicious user might gain access to your cloud console by stealing your credentials or by exploiting vulnerabilities in cloud access control. In any case, once inside your account, a "snapshot" of your virtual disks will allow an attacker to move a copy of your virtual storage to his or her preferred location and abuse the data stored on those virtual disks. This risk is in our opinion the most obvious reason to deploy data encryption in the cloud, but surprisingly enough, not all companies are aware of the threat and unknowingly expose their cloud-residing data to this significant risk.
- Gaining access from a different server within the same account.
Gaining access to sensitive data from a different virtual server inside the same account can be achieved by an attacker exploiting a vulnerability on that other server (such as a misconfiguration), or by one of your other cloud system administrators (a "malicious insider" from a different project in your own organization) using credentials or exploiting one of many known web application vulnerabilities to launch an attack on your virtual server. Unencrypted data can be exposed and stolen using this method.
- The insider threat.
Though this scenario gets mentioned a lot, it's unlikely that a cloud provider employee will be involved in data theft. The more realistic scenario is an accidental incident related to an insider with physical access to the data center. One well-known example is the HealthNet case where 1.9 million customer records of HealthNet, a major US health insurer, were lost after its IT vendor misplaced nine server drives following a move to a new data center. According to HIPAA rules, disk-level encryption would have negated the incident impact.
The industry consensus is that encryption is an essential first step in achieving cloud computing security. An effective solution needs to meet four critical needs: High security, convenient management, robust performance and regulatory compliance. Data at rest is no longer between the proverbial "four walls" of the enterprise; the data owner is managing their own data with browsers and cloud APIs, and the concern is that a hacker can do the same. As such, cloud encryption is recognized as a basic building block of cloud security, though one difficult question has remained - where to store the encryption keys, since the keys cannot safely be stored in the cloud along with the data.
Protecting Content with Cloud Encryption and Key Management
Encryption technology is only as secure as the encryption keys. You have to keep your keys in a safe place. You need a cloud key management solution that can support encryption of your data and should supply the encryption keys for files, databases (whether the complete database or at the column, table, or tablespace level), or disks. This is actually the trickiest security question when implementing encryption in the cloud and requires thought and expertise. For example, database encryption keys are often kept in a database "wallet," which is often a file on your virtual disk. The concern is that hackers will attack the virtual disk in the cloud, and from there get access to the wallet, and through the wallet access the data.
Encrypting sensitive data in the cloud is an absolute must. Cloud security should include a blend of traditional security elements combined with new "cloud-adjusted" security technologies. Encryption should be a key part of your cloud security strategy due to the new cloud threat vectors (but also due to regulations such as the Patriot Act), and you should pay specific attention to key management.
This complete kit provides a proven process and customizable documents that will help you evaluate rapid application delivery platforms and select the ideal partner for building mobile and web apps for your organization.
Aug. 28, 2016 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,810
Aug. 28, 2016 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 4,872
It's been a busy time for tech's ongoing infatuation with containers. Amazon just announced EC2 Container Registry to simply container management. The new Azure container service taps into Microsoft's partnership with Docker and Mesosphere. You know when there's a standard for containers on the table there's money on the table, too. Everyone is talking containers because they reduce a ton of development-related challenges and make it much easier to move across production and testing environm...
Aug. 28, 2016 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 5,185
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Aug. 28, 2016 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 4,040
Deploying applications in hybrid cloud environments is hard work. Your team spends most of the time maintaining your infrastructure, configuring dev/test and production environments, and deploying applications across environments – which can be both time consuming and error prone. But what if you could automate provisioning and deployment to deliver error free environments faster? What could you do with your free time?
Aug. 28, 2016 08:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,941
Monitoring of Docker environments is challenging. Why? Because each container typically runs a single process, has its own environment, utilizes virtual networks, or has various methods of managing storage. Traditional monitoring solutions take metrics from each server and applications they run. These servers and applications running on them are typically very static, with very long uptimes. Docker deployments are different: a set of containers may run many applications, all sharing the resource...
Aug. 28, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,055
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Aug. 28, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,934
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
Aug. 28, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 752
The following fictional case study is a composite of actual horror stories I’ve heard over the years. Unfortunately, this scenario often occurs when in-house integration teams take on the complexities of DevOps and ALM integration with an enterprise service bus (ESB) or custom integration. It is written from the perspective of an enterprise architect tasked with leading an organization’s effort to adopt Agile to become more competitive. The company has turned to Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) as ...
Aug. 28, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 885
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
Aug. 28, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,501
Modern organizations face great challenges as they embrace innovation and integrate new tools and services. They begin to mature and move away from the complacency of maintaining traditional technologies and systems that only solve individual, siloed problems and work “well enough.” In order to build...
Thomas Bitman of Gartner wrote a blog post last year about why OpenStack projects fail. In that article, he outlined three particular metrics which together cause 60% of OpenStack projects to fall short of expectations: Wrong people (31% of failures): a successful cloud needs commitment both from the operations team as well as from "anchor" tenants. Wrong processes (19% of failures): a successful cloud automates across silos in the software development lifecycle, not just within silos.
Aug. 28, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,141
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Aug. 28, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,664
Cloud Expo 2016 New York at the Javits Center New York was characterized by increased attendance and a new focus on operations. These were both encouraging signs for all involved in Cloud Computing and all that it touches. As Conference Chair, I work with the Cloud Expo team to structure three keynotes, numerous general sessions, and more than 150 breakout sessions along 10 tracks. Our job is to balance the state of enterprise IT today with the trends that will be commonplace tomorrow. Mobile...
Aug. 28, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,540
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Aug. 28, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,429
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Aug. 28, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,142
A company’s collection of online systems is like a delicate ecosystem – all components must integrate with and complement each other, and one single malfunction in any of them can bring the entire system to a screeching halt. That’s why, when monitoring and analyzing the health of your online systems, you need a broad arsenal of different tools for your different needs. In addition to a wide-angle lens that provides a snapshot of the overall health of your system, you must also have precise, ...
Aug. 28, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,647
[session] Architecting for the Cloud By @RagsS | @CloudExpo @IBMBluemix #Cloud #Docker #Microservices
As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
Aug. 28, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 902
Let's just nip the conflation of these terms in the bud, shall we?
"MIcro" is big these days. Both microservices and microsegmentation are having and will continue to have an impact on data center architecture, but not necessarily for the same reasons. There's a growing trend in which folks - particularly those with a network background - conflate the two and use them to mean the same thing.
They are not.
One is about the application. The other, the network. T...
Aug. 28, 2016 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 4,667
If you are within a stones throw of the DevOps marketplace you have undoubtably noticed the growing trend in Microservices. Whether you have been staying up to date with the latest articles and blogs or you just read the definition for the first time, these 5 Microservices Resources You Need In Your Life will guide you through the ins and outs of Microservices in today’s world.
Aug. 28, 2016 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 5,121