Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Dennis Griffin, Liz McMillan, Greg O'Connor, Wesley Coelho, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Interview

Cloud Computing Security and the Role of Trust

Securing the cloud is a multidisciplinary challenge

In the fall of 2010, Trusted Computing Group announced the Trusted Multi-tenant Infrastructure (TMI) Work Group to address cloud computing security and the role of trust in that security. Last week, the work group released the first in a series of use cases (http://www.trustedcomputinggroup.org/developers/trusted_multitenant_infr...) and plans to deliver a reference framework later in 2011. With so much hype and confusion around the topic of cloud computing, we thought it might be useful to ask the co-chairs - Michael Donovan, HP, and Erik Visnyak, BAE Systems - of the TMI Work Group a few questions about their group's efforts.

Q. What role does Trusted Computing Group have in helping secure cloud services?

Michael Donovan & Erik Visnyak: Securing the cloud is a multidisciplinary challenge, as cloud computing can be thought of as a different way to deliver and use all of the same types of information technology we use today. The TCG was established to define standards and practices for building trusted infrastructure that will consistently behave in specific ways, and those behaviors will be enforced by hardware and software when the owner of those systems enables these technologies. The ability of trusted infrastructures to provide integrity measurements and attest to their state provides a key foundation for enabling trust in infrastructure platforms in the cloud, where the consumer does not have direct physical access to those resources. The ability to design, build and consume services delivered from a trustworthy infrastructure where providers and consumers of services can measure and attest to the configuration, state and behavior of platforms is the value of the TCG standards within the cloud ecosystem.

Q. Your work group has a long name. What does it mean?

Donovan & Visnyak: TMI stands for Trusted Multi-Tenant Infrastructure.  We wanted to select a name that properly represents delivering trusted operations and configuration/state validation to a multi-tenant infrastructure such as Cloud Computing.

Trust is the degree to which one party will rely on the assertions or information provided by another. Without the ability for an infrastructure consumer to rely on the information and services from a provider, there is likely to be little market for outsourcing of IT platforms and services. Establishing a trusted context for the providers and consumers of shared infrastructure is a key component of the reference framework under development by TMI.

Multi-tenancy is the ability for multiple unrelated consumers to share infrastructure from a common provider. If consumers were not able to share infrastructure within reasonable constraints, the cost of outsourced services would not be competitive with traditional models. This ability to provision as much or as little of a resource as a consumer needs at a fair price is at the heart of cloud computing.

Infrastructure defines the scope of work for the TMI work group. While the principles and reference model may have applicability to other parts of the cloud ecosystem, the TMI focus is clearly focused on developing reference models and best practices for design, build and consume trusted multi-tenant infrastructure platforms.

Q. How is what you are doing different from what CSA and other orgs have done or are doing?

Donovan & Visnyak: Many traditional IT standards bodies are working to apply their existent standards efforts to the cloud computing ecosystem. Some, such as DMTF, are focused on systems management and definition of physical and virtual resources, such as the Open Virtual Machine (OVF) definition for virtual machines. Newly formed organizations, such as CSA, focus on mitigating threats and risks within cloud computing by proposing best practices and link to specific security requirements for public and private sectors. As cloud potentially encompasses much of the existing IT landscape, each of these organizations has a valid role to play.

The TCG TMI work group is focused on standards-based approaches to trusted infrastructure. We intend to iteratively publish a library of use cases, deployment patterns, best practices and compliance testing to support the ability of infrastructure providers and consumers to make effective use of shared multitenant infrastructures.

TMI is identifying how standards can be used to implement trusted infrastructures as well as identifying any potential gaps. TMI will provide implementation guidance to both consumers and providers as to how standards address concerns within cloud computing and how they may be leveraged to create a trusted shared infrastructure environment.

Q. Your use cases mention "trust" a number of times. What exactly does "trust" mean for multi-tenant infrastructure?

Donovan & Visnyak: Trust is the degree to which one party will rely on the assertions or information provided by another. Without the ability for an infrastructure consumer to rely on the information and services from a provider, there is likely to be little market for outsourcing of IT platforms and services. Establishing a trusted context for the providers and consumers of shared infrastructure is a key component of the reference framework under development by TMI.

Trust enables the ability to apply policy and to guarantee that access controls within policies are adhered to in order to supply reliable logical isolation, guaranteed compliance, and continuous policy compliance monitoring within a multi-tenant environment. This allows the various consumers to trust that providers are meeting their concerns and housing their resources in a trusted fashion.

Q. Do you see other TCG specifications such as the TPM or TNC playing a role in a "trusted" cloud? If we have a bunch of PCs with TPMs, for example, can they be used in a multi-tenant infrastructure?

Donovan & Visnyak: The existing TCG standards provide a critical set of foundational services for establishing trust, exchanging information in a trusted context, enforcing policy, binding together and verifying the trusted state of infrastructure components. Without these core standards, it is unlikely we would be able to achieve the level of trust and compliance we see as critical to the ability of consumers to trust and effectively use cloud computing for core business functions.

TPM provides the ability to attest to a secure state that moves beyond software into the hardware of the infrastructure providing another level of security to assure that integrity and confidentiality of resources within the TMI are maintained.  TNC delivers monitoring of the secure state of TMI resources and utilizes policy enforcement to monitor data exchanges between resources within the TMI to ensure policy compliance.

The TMI working group intends to work with these key TCG standards working groups as well as those from other standards bodies to ensure that the business and mission goals of cloud consumers can be met in a secure trusted context.

Q. Why are you publishing use cases and what are they for?

Donovan & Visnyak: We are utilizing these use cases to describe the context and relationships between components in a trusted infrastructure. The first set of use cases are very narrow in scope and cover some of the key relationships necessary to establish and manage a trusted multi-tenant, multi-provider environment. Later use cases and scenarios will expand on this work and include scenarios putting these lower level use cases into business context.

The use cases are utilized to derive the elements of the reference framework and other downstream specifications. They define the parties, interface interactions and relationships between them to assist in scoping and validating the usage patterns and requirements included in the reference framework. The use cases allow the TMI to begin identifying various security requirements necessary for a TMI and begin the process of identifying standards within industry that map directly to use cases and implementation patterns.

Q. What else will you be doing?

Donovan & Visnyak: The next things you should see from TMI are aligned to the following path (in addition to presentations and white papers):

  • Use cases (initial set delivered)
  • Reference framework (high-level requirements and usage pattern library derived from initial use cases)
    • Patterns describe re-usable approaches to meeting the requirements derived from the use cases
    • Patterns are aligned to implementation standards for evaluation of tools and services
  • Implementation guidance (core guidance on how to use the patterns to build a trusted multi-tenant infrastructure)
    • Includes variants based upon general levels of trust, separation and security
  • Framework compliance test suite (guidance and (possibly) test harnesses for verification of compliance to TMI implementation patterns and standards)
  • Specification development strategy (if gaps are identified in the standards ecosystem necessary to achieve TMI compliance, a plan to address with the relevant bodies)
  • Industry profiles (implementation guidance, test suites and standards alignment targeted at specific industry solutions i.e. defense, PCI-DSS, HIPAA and others)

We plan to continue iterative development of our reference implementation patterns that are repeatable interactions and behaviors that can be implemented by utilizing industry standards that allow for TMI.  As patterns are developed we will engage appropriate standards bodies to see how the technology can apply to the implementation standards as well as its corresponding use cases.

•   •   •

Updates to the TMI Work Group will be available online at TCG's website, www.trustedcomputinggroup.org.

More Stories By Michael Donovan

Michael Donovan is the Chief Technologist for Strategic Capabilities with HP Enterprise Services, responsible for framework implementation to support capabilities and offering development for clients across the U.S. Public Sector. His responsibilities include harvesting existing solutions for re-use and developing new capabilities to meet the complex needs of federal, state and local governments, leveraging the best of our current account and corporate capabilities and those supported by our partner ecosystem and HP Labs. He also co-chairs the Trusted Multi-Tenant Infrastructure Work Group of the Trusted Computing Group.

More Stories By Erik Visnyak

Erik Visnyak, CISSP, is principle information assurance architect at BAE Systems, where he works on enterprise solution programs, research and development activities and proposal captures. He is co-chair of Trusted Computing Group’s Trusted Multi-tenant Infrastructure Work Group, which is working to drive the concepts of trust into cloud computing. He holds a masters degree in network security from DePaul University and a bachelors in information systems from Purdue 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.


@CloudExpo Stories
Moving an existing on-premise infrastructure into the cloud can be a complex and daunting proposition. It is critical to understand the benefits as well as the challenges associated with either a full or hybrid approach. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Richard Weiss, Principal Consultant at Pythian, will present a roadmap that can be leveraged by any organization to plan, analyze, evaluate and execute on a cloud migration solution. He will review the five major cloud transformation phases a...
Mobile, social, Big Data, and cloud have fundamentally changed the way we live. “Anytime, anywhere” access to data and information is no longer a luxury; it’s a requirement, in both our personal and professional lives. For IT organizations, this means pressure has never been greater to deliver meaningful services to the business and customers.
Amazon and Google have built software-defined data centers (SDDCs) that deliver massively scalable services with great efficiency. Yet, building SDDCs has proven to be a near impossibility for ‘normal’ companies without hyper-scale resources. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, David Cauthron, founder and chief executive officer of Nimboxx, will discuss the evolution of virtualization (hardware, application, memory, storage) and how commodity / open source hyper converged infrastructure (HCI) so...
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device acce...
This Enterprise Strategy Group lab validation report of the NEC Express5800/R320 server with Intel® Xeon® processor presents the benefits of 99.999% uptime NEC fault-tolerant servers that lower overall virtualized server total cost of ownership. This report also includes survey data on the significant costs associated with system outages impacting enterprise and web applications. Click Here to Download Report Now!
The web app is agile. The REST API is agile. The testing and planning are agile. But alas, data infrastructures certainly are not. Once an application matures, changing the shape or indexing scheme of data often forces at best a top down planning exercise and at worst includes schema changes that force downtime. The time has come for a new approach that fundamentally advances the agility of distributed data infrastructures. Come learn about a new solution to the problems faced by software organ...
Enterprises can achieve rigorous IT security as well as improved DevOps practices and Cloud economics by taking a new, cloud-native approach to application delivery. Because the attack surface for cloud applications is dramatically different than for highly controlled data centers, a disciplined and multi-layered approach that spans all of your processes, staff, vendors and technologies is required. This may sound expensive and time consuming to achieve as you plan how to move selected applicati...
Containers are not new, but renewed commitments to performance, flexibility, and agility have propelled them to the top of the agenda today. By working without the need for virtualization and its overhead, containers are seen as the perfect way to deploy apps and services across multiple clouds. Containers can handle anything from file types to operating systems and services, including microservices. What are microservices? Unlike what the name implies, microservices are not necessarily small,...
Red Hat is investing in Tesora, the number one contributor to OpenStack Trove Database as a Service (DBaaS) also ranked among the top 20 companies contributing to OpenStack overall. Tesora, the company bringing OpenStack Trove Database as a Service (DBaaS) to the enterprise, has announced that Red Hat and others have invested in the company as a part of Tesora's latest funding round. The funding agreement expands on the ongoing collaboration between Tesora and Red Hat, which dates back to Febr...
Advances in technology and ubiquitous connectivity have made the utilization of a dispersed workforce more common. Whether that remote team is located across the street or country, management styles/ approaches will have to be adjusted to accommodate this new dynamic. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., will focus on the challenges of managing remote teams, providing real-world examples that demonstrate what works and what...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading in...
Puppet Labs is pleased to share the findings from our 2015 State of DevOps Survey. We have deepened our understanding of how DevOps enables IT performance and organizational performance, based on responses from more than 20,000 technical professionals we’ve surveyed over the past four years. The 2015 State of DevOps Report reveals high-performing IT organizations deploy 30x more frequently with 200x shorter lead times. They have 60x fewer failures and recover 168x faster
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes ab...
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, 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 ...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps 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 bu...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, a producer of the first smartphones and tablets, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. He will explain how M2M controllers work through wirelessly connected remote controls; and specifically delve into a retrofit option that reverse-engineers control codes of existing conventional controller systems so the...
The 3rd International WebRTC Summit, to be held Nov. 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 15th International Cloud Expo, 6th International Big Data Expo, 3rd International DevOps Summit and 2nd Internet of @ThingsExpo. WebRTC (Web-based Real-Time Com...
IBM’s Blue Box Cloud, powered by OpenStack, is now available in any of IBM’s globally integrated cloud data centers running SoftLayer infrastructure. Less than 90 days after its acquisition of Blue Box, IBM has integrated its Blue Box Cloud Dedicated private-cloud-as-a-service into its broader portfolio of OpenStack® based solutions. The announcement, made today at the OpenStack Silicon Valley event, further highlights IBM’s continued support to deliver OpenStack solutions across all cloud depl...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advance...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface