Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Ed Featherston, Rostyslav Demush, Jamie Madison, Jason Bloomberg, Greg Pierce

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Active Directory Integration Now Available for Stronger Cloud Security

Security concerns about the public cloud have always been a top priority

Security concerns about the public cloud have always been a top priority here at CloudSwitch. Moving to the public cloud is fraught with potential risks and security managers have legitimate concerns about data integrity, an opaque security model in the cloud and unauthorized access by cloud administrators.  The question is: how can you protect information in a shared multi-tenant environment just as you would within the secure confines of your data center?  With that question in mind, I thought it would be useful to review CloudSwitch’s security model while also discussing an exciting new feature we’ve just released: integration with Microsoft Active Directory (AD) 2003 and 2008.

The CloudSwitch Security Model
Our customers have stringent requirements not only to protect their data in the cloud but also to protect communication paths from the data center to the cloud. CloudSwitch delivers a solution for both by providing full encryption of all data and communications for cloud deployments. From the moment data moves out of the data center to the cloud, it is automatically encrypted at the block level, which means every bit of data on a disk is transparently encrypted so that no unauthorized users can do anything with the data even if they manage to get their hands on it. We also provide a secure, layer-2 tunnel to the cloud so all connections are authenticated and encrypted to prevent data in motion from being exposed or compromised.

Another important and frequently asked question is related to key management. CloudSwitch performs all key management on the CloudSwitch Appliance (CSA) that lives in the data center behind the firewall, and the keys are controlled by the enterprise customer, not by the cloud provider. In a cloud scenario without CloudSwitch in the mix customers need to store their encryption keys within the multi-tenant environment of a cloud provider which creates additional security risks and would never pass muster with security-conscious enterprises.

Finally, for applications to run safely in the public cloud, they need to be isolated from the environment around them at all times.  Our Cloud Isolation Technology™ automatically builds a secure envelope that encompasses customers’ entire cloud deployment, providing a single integrated environment that allows workloads to run in the cloud with the same protection and control available internally. Once data leaves the physical data center it is isolated at all times as an extension of the enterprise’s security perimeter.

CloudSwitch has worked closely with large financial institutions and pharmaceutical companies—some of the most security-sensitive enterprises out there—to complete rigorous security reviews of the product, and our solution passed with flying colors. This is testament to the work that we put into developing our security strategy by collaborating from the very beginning with CSOs at large enterprises that care deeply about such issues. Veracode has also performed a security review of CloudSwitch’s solution and validated that we met or exceeded the security score outlined in Veracode’s methodology for an “A” rating.  We have a comprehensive security story and have now added a critical enterprise capability with an integration point for Microsoft AD.

Active Directory Integration

As our customers embed CloudSwitch software into their daily operations, almost every one has asked us to allow users to log into CloudSwitch using their Active Directory credentials. Customers typically have multiple applications in their data center which leverage AD as a user store and an authentication source – they simply wanted to extend that to users accessing the cloud with CloudSwitch.  In our latest release, we’ve delivered the capability for AD users to authenticate against CloudSwitch (e.g., [email protected] can login to the CSA with his existing AD credentials).

There are a couple of simple steps to enable this integration point. The first requires an administrator for your CSA to define the hostname and port for your primary and backup AD domain controllers. The next step entails mapping an AD user or group to a CloudSwitch role which ties into our Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) model.  We use our RBAC mechanism to define and control different levels of access to the CloudSwitch system for each user. Each object and action in CloudSwitch can be assigned to an access control list so that an administrator can enforce policies for cloud usage, cloud control, and local resource control.

Mapping an AD User or Group to a CloudSwitch Role

AD users and groups

Cloud Access Resource Control

A typical scenario is one where you want specific groups of developers to access CloudSwitch by logging into the CSA with their AD credentials, but to be limited by CloudSwitch’s RBAC model once they’re logged in – for example, you may want a model where developers are only authorized to start, stop and clone a server in the cloud. It is important to note that your AD administrators have complete control over which AD users and groups can access the CSA. This provides an additional layer of security by preventing unauthorized access to the CSA. CloudSwitch will continue to leverage your existing AD security policies (e.g., password policy) to authenticate users.

One final point on the AD integration – if you have applications running in the cloud that need to authenticate back to the AD domain controller those scenarios will work as they always have in the past. This is because CloudSwitch does not make any changes to your applications when migrating to the cloud and maintains connectivity back to the data center. All your existing data center services such as identity management, single sign-on solutions, DNS etc. will continue working as they always did.

We understand that security and data integrity are important considerations for enterprises that are looking to build their hybrid cloud models.  CloudSwitch’s security strategy is a key part of our vision to make the cloud a secure, seamless extension of your data center. It is with this security context in mind that we have integrated with Microsoft AD and we expect to have many more integration points in the near future.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Ellen Rubin

Ellen Rubin is the CEO and co-founder of ClearSky Data, an enterprise storage company that recently raised $27 million in a Series B investment round. She is an experienced entrepreneur with a record in leading strategy, market positioning and go-to- market efforts for fast-growing companies. Most recently, she was co-founder of CloudSwitch, a cloud enablement software company, acquired by Verizon in 2011. Prior to founding CloudSwitch, Ellen was the vice president of marketing at Netezza, where as a member of the early management team, she helped grow the company to more than $130 million in revenues and a successful IPO in 2007. Ellen holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Harvard University.

@CloudExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, 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.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
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...
"Infoblox does DNS, DHCP and IP address management for not only enterprise networks but cloud networks as well. Customers are looking for a single platform that can extend not only in their private enterprise environment but private cloud, public cloud, tracking all the IP space and everything that is going on in that environment," explained Steve Salo, Principal Systems Engineer at Infoblox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventio...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, James Henry, Co-CEO/CTO of Calgary Scientific Inc., introduced you to the challenges, solutions and benefits of training AI systems to solve visual problems with an emphasis on improving AIs with continuous training in the field. He explored applications in several industries and discussed technologies that allow the deployment of advanced visualization solutions to the cloud.
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, provided a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to oper...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo 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 ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...