Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: John Rauser, Liz McMillan, Madhavan Krishnan, VP, Cloud Solutions, Virtusa, Jason Bloomberg, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Agile Computing, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Security Myths: Busted

In many cases, the average enterprise or SME can't keep up with all of the security controls necessary to protect data in-house

In a Feb 2014 survey, 94 percent of organizations surveyed reported running applications or experimenting with infrastructure-as-a-service.[1] According to research firm Nasumi, there is over one exabyte currently stored in the cloud. An exabyte is over a billion GB.[2] Considering the amount of data in the cloud and the growing rate of adoption for sensitive use cases, it is natural that securing our data in the cloud is a concern. But, cloud security, though rightfully a central concern, should not be a hindrance to aggressively moving workloads and applications to the cloud.

In fact, there are some misconceptions about cloud security that need to be laid to rest.

Myth #1: A cloud provider's customers can attack each other
The multi-tenant environment of cloud computing has given rise to a misconception that the provider's many customers can access each other's data and accounts with little effort. This is tantamount to saying that your neighbors can break into your home easier than a thief from across town.

The truth is that virtual walls segregate you from other customers. Your hypervisor is the primary separator and is extremely difficult to hack. If you add other safeguards like VLAN isolation and proper data encryption and key management, your data is completely safe from other cloud customers.

The Alert Logic State of Cloud Security Report concludes "It's not that the cloud is inherently secure or insecure. It's really about the quality of management applied to any IT environment."

Myth #2: Data in the cloud in more susceptible to risk than data in the datacenter
In survey after survey, we find that the reason that cloud computing isn't growing even faster than its staggering CAGR is companies' security fears. But, like many fears, this one mixes legitimate concerns with ignorance. Depending on the details, data in the cloud may actually be safer than data in the datacenter.

In fact, a 2014 study found that once businesses learn about and experience cloud computing, concerns about security vanish. Close to one-third of executives and professionals who have not yet implemented cloud say security is their top concern, a number that diminishes to 13 percent of seasoned, heavy users of cloud services (and is only the fifth-ranked concern on their list).[3]

Arthur W. Coviello, Jr., Executive Chairman for RSA, puts it simply, "security concerns are really independent of the cloud. They're just an extension of what is being dealt with in the physical infrastructure."[4]

In many cases, the average enterprise or SME can't keep up with all of the security controls necessary to protect data in-house. For a cloud provider, conversely, it is a core business function. They typically invest in the strongest forms of network security and detection and attain compliance certifications that reduce the risk for the data they're tasked to protect.

If your core business isn't preparing tax returns, you hire someone who can do it for you: someone with the right background, experience, and tools. Someone who does a better job than you could do yourself. The same applies when it comes to protecting your data: using a provider who specializes in doing so will create better results than doing it yourself.

Myth #3: Using a trusted cloud provider guarantees protection of data
The internet is filled with comparisons of the trustworthiness of cloud providers. Those researching a cloud solution are often tasked with ensuring the cloud provider conducts audits, provides certifications, complies with industry regulations, properly screens their employees, etc. While all of these elements have their place in assessing the trustworthiness of a cloud provider, they don't completely protect your data because it is not just the cloud provider's responsibility to protect your data.

The truth is this: whether you build your own private cloud, store your data in a public cloud, or keep your sensitive business information under your mattress, the duty to protect your data is yours alone.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) accounted for 37% of the $9 billion infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market in 2013, according to analysts from equity research firm Evercore. The IaaS market is growing by 45%, but Amazon Web Services has a growth rate of 60%.[5] AWS is currently the biggest public cloud provider. And yet, in the AWS Security Center, they clearly state "AWS has secured the underlying infrastructure and you must secure anything you put on the infrastructure."

Because you control the security of your accounts and data, you can ensure that you still own your data - even though you are housing it in public infrastructure.

The way to ensure your data is safe in the cloud is by encryption. Encryption, and the management of encryption keys, is not just about safety, it is also about ownership. If you encrypt properly, you will own your data even though you are renting infrastructure form a cloud provider.

To simply and effectively achieve encryption key management, the best practice is coupling the innovative techniques of split key encryption and homomorphic key management. They will be the assurance that no one (not even your cloud provider) can access data you store in the cloud and that everything you store in the cloud is completely safe, segregated, and protected in a way that is scalable, automated, and cost-effective.

Resources

  1. http://www.rightscale.com/blog/cloud-industry-insights/cloud-computing-trends-2014-state-cloud-survey
  2. https://www.nasuni.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/nasuni_infographic_the_state_of_cloud_storage_in_2013-4.jpg
  3. http://www.forbes.com/sites/joemckendrick/2014/04/03/cloud-security-fears-diminish-with-experience-survey-shows/
  4. http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/VMware-Cloud-Security-Myths-Strategies-Uncovered-White-Paper.pdf
  5. http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-web-services-market-share-2014-6

More Stories By Gilad Parann-Nissany

Gilad Parann-Nissany, Founder and CEO at Porticor is a pioneer of Cloud Computing. He has built SaaS Clouds for medium and small enterprises at SAP (CTO Small Business); contributing to several SAP products and reaching more than 8 million users. Recently he has created a consumer Cloud at G.ho.st - a cloud operating system that delighted hundreds of thousands of users while providing browser-based and mobile access to data, people and a variety of cloud-based applications. He is now CEO of Porticor, a leader in Virtual Privacy and Cloud Security.

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
While we understand Agile as a means to accelerate innovation, manage uncertainty and cope with ambiguity, many are inclined to think that it conflicts with the objectives of traditional engineering projects, such as building a highway, skyscraper or power plant. These are plan-driven and predictive projects that seek to avoid any uncertainty. This type of thinking, however, is short-sighted. Agile approaches are valuable in controlling uncertainty because they constrain the complexity that ste...
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
"This all sounds great. But it's just not realistic." This is what a group of five senior IT executives told me during a workshop I held not long ago. We were working through an exercise on the organizational characteristics necessary to successfully execute a digital transformation, and the group was doing their ‘readout.' The executives loved everything we discussed and agreed that if such an environment existed, it would make transformation much easier. They just didn't believe it was reali...
The cloud revolution in enterprises has very clearly crossed the phase of proof-of-concepts into a truly mainstream adoption. One of most popular enterprise-wide initiatives currently going on are “cloud migration” programs of some kind or another. Finding business value for these programs is not hard to fathom – they include hyperelasticity in infrastructure consumption, subscription based models, and agility derived from rapid speed of deployment of applications. These factors will continue to...
"Opsani helps the enterprise adopt containers, help them move their infrastructure into this modern world of DevOps, accelerate the delivery of new features into production, and really get them going on the container path," explained Ross Schibler, CEO of Opsani, and Peter Nickolov, CTO of Opsani, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We're developing a software that is based on the cloud environment and we are providing those services to corporations and the general public," explained Seungmin Kim, CEO/CTO of SM Systems Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
"Codigm is based on the cloud and we are here to explore marketing opportunities in America. Our mission is to make an ecosystem of the SW environment that anyone can understand, learn, teach, and develop the SW on the cloud," explained Sung Tae Ryu, CEO of Codigm, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"CA has been doing a lot of things in the area of DevOps. Now we have a complete set of tool sets in order to enable customers to go all the way from planning to development to testing down to release into the operations," explained Aruna Ravichandran, Vice President of Global Marketing and Strategy at CA Technologies, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The nature of test environments is inherently temporary—you set up an environment, run through an automated test suite, and then tear down the environment. If you can reduce the cycle time for this process down to hours or minutes, then you may be able to cut your test environment budgets considerably. The impact of cloud adoption on test environments is a valuable advancement in both cost savings and agility. The on-demand model takes advantage of public cloud APIs requiring only payment for t...
Cavirin Systems has just announced C2, a SaaS offering designed to bring continuous security assessment and remediation to hybrid environments, containers, and data centers. Cavirin C2 is deployed within Amazon Web Services (AWS) and features a flexible licensing model for easy scalability and clear pay-as-you-go pricing. Although native to AWS, it also supports assessment and remediation of virtual or container instances within Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), or on-premise. By dr...
Let's do a visualization exercise. Imagine it's December 31, 2018, and you're ringing in the New Year with your friends and family. You think back on everything that you accomplished in the last year: your company's revenue is through the roof thanks to the success of your product, and you were promoted to Lead Developer. 2019 is poised to be an even bigger year for your company because you have the tools and insight to scale as quickly as demand requires. You're a happy human, and it's not just...
Many enterprise and government IT organizations are realizing the benefits of cloud computing by extending IT delivery and management processes across private and public cloud services. But they are often challenged with balancing the need for centralized cloud governance without stifling user-driven innovation. This strategy requires an approach that fundamentally reshapes how IT is delivered today, shifting the focus from infrastructure to services aggregation, and mixing and matching the bes...
identify the sources of event storms and performance anomalies will require automated, real-time root-cause analysis. I think Enterprise Management Associates said it well: “The data and metrics collected at instrumentation points across the application ecosystem are essential to performance monitoring and root cause analysis. However, analytics capable of transforming data and metrics into an application-focused report or dashboards are what separates actual application monitoring from relat...
The benefits of automation are well documented; it increases productivity, cuts cost and minimizes errors. It eliminates repetitive manual tasks, freeing us up to be more innovative. By that logic, surely, we should automate everything possible, right? So, is attempting to automate everything a sensible - even feasible - goal? In a word: no. Consider this your short guide as to what to automate and what not to automate.
DevOps teams have more on their plate than ever. As infrastructure needs grow, so does the time required to ensure that everything's running smoothly. This makes automation crucial - especially in the server and network monitoring world. Server monitoring tools can save teams time by automating server management and providing real-time performance updates. As budgets reset for the New Year, there is no better time to implement a new server monitoring tool (or re-evaluate your current solution)....
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
We just came off of a review of a product that handles both containers and virtual machines in the same interface. Under the covers, implementation of containers defaults to LXC, though recently Docker support was added. When reading online, or searching for information, increasingly we see “Container Management” products listed as competitors to Docker, when in reality things like Rocket, LXC/LXD, and Virtualization are Dockers competitors. After doing some looking around, we have decided tha...
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, discussed how by using ne...
Digital transformation has changed the way users interact with the world, and the traditional healthcare experience no longer meets rising consumer expectations. Enterprise Health Clouds (EHCs) are designed to easily and securely deliver the smart and engaging digital health experience that patients expect today, while ensuring the compliance and data integration that care providers require. Jikku Venkat