Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Scott Millis, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Getting at the Heart of Security in the Cloud

CloudPassage digs a bit deeper into the issue of security and public cloud computing and finds some interesting results

Security is a pretty big word. It’s used to represent everything from attack prevention to authentication and authorization to securing transport protocols. It’s used as an umbrella term for such a wide variety of concerns that it has become virtually meaningless when applied to technology.

security-umbrellaFor some time, purveyors of security studies have asked the market, “What’s stopping you from adopting cloud?” Invariably one of the most often cited show-stoppers is “security.” Pundits raced to tell us this, but in no wise did they offer deeper insight into what, exactly, security meant.

So it was nice to see CloudPassage dig deeper into “security in the cloud” with a recent survey it conducted. You may recall that CloudPassage has a more than passing interest in cloud-based security, as its focus is on cloud-based security with an emphasis on host-based firewalls. Published in February 2012, it sheds some light on what IT professionals consider most important with respect to public cloud security.

Not unsurprisingly, “lack of perimeter defenses and/or network control” was the most often cited concern with respect to security in public cloud environments with 25% of respondents indicating it was troubling. This response would appear to go hand in hand with the 12% who cited an inability to leverage “enterprise security tools” in public cloud environments. It is no secret that duplicating security architectures and processes in the cloud is not something we seen done at this juncture. When you combine an inability to replicate security policy and process in the cloud due to incompatibilities of infrastructure and software with a less than robust security service offering in public cloud environments, the “lack of perimeter defenses and/or network control” answer being top of the list makes a lot of sense.

cloudpassage-concerns

WHERE ARE WE GOING?

There are myriad surveys that indicate organizations are moving to use public cloud computing, despite these concerns, and one assumes that this means they are finding ways to resolve these issues. Many organizations are turning back the clock and taking advantage of agent-based (host deployed) solutions to secure their assets in public cloud environments, which affords much better protection than nothing at all, and others still are leveraging the tried-and-true “checklist” method: manually securing servers based on best-practices and corporate policy.

Neither is optimal from an operational perspective. Neither is the use of cloud provider offered services such as Amazon security groups because the result is a disjointed set of security policies across multiple environments. Policy languages and implementation – not to mention capabilities – vary widely from service to service. While the most basic of protections – firewalling – is more compatible from the perspective of ability to codify, still the actual policy language will differ. These disconnects can lead to gaps in security policies that leave open to attack the organization’s assets. Inconsistent management and deployment processes spanning multiple environments leave open the possibility of human error and misconfiguration, an often cited cause of outages and breaches in general.

cloudpassage-securetoday

Where we are today is sitting with a disjointed set of options from which to choose, and the need to somehow cobble together these disparate tools and services into a comprehensive security strategy capable of consistently securing servers, applications, and other resources from attack, exploitation, and breach.

It is not really an inspiring view at the moment.

Vendors and providers need to work toward some common language and services that enable consistent replication – and thus enforcement - of the policies that govern access and protection of all corporate resources, regardless of location. Whether through standards initiatives or brokerage of APIs or better ability of organizations to deploy security solutions in both the data center and public cloud environments is not necessarily the question. The question is how can enterprises better address the specific security-related concerns they have regarding public cloud deployments in a way that minimizes risk of misconfiguration or gaps in policy enforcement while providing for operationally consistent processes that ensure the benefits of public cloud computing are not lost.

REVERSE INTEGRATION

One of the interesting trends that we’re seeing is around the demand for consistency in infrastructure across environments, and this will eventually drive demand for integration of what are today “cloud only” solutions back into data center components. Folks like CloudPassage and other cloud-focused systems that deliver host-based security coupled with a SaaS management model will eventually need to consider integration with “traditional” enterprise solutions as a means to deliver the consistency necessary to maintain cloud-related operational benefits.

Right now we’re seeing a move toward preserving operational consistency through replication of policy from within the data center out, to the cloud. But as cloud-hosted solutions continue to mature and evolve, one would expect to see the ability to replicate policy in the other direction – from the cloud back into the data center. This is no trivial task, as it requires the SaaS management component of such solutions to become what might be considered a policy broker; that is, their system becomes the point of policy creation and management and it is through integration with both cloud and data center infrastructure that such policies are deployed, updated, and managed.

This is why the notion of API-enabled infrastructure, a.k.a. Infrastructure 2.0, is so important. It’s not just about creating a vibrant and healthy ecosystem of solutions within the data center, but in the cloud and in between, as well. It is the glue that will integrate disparate systems and normalize policies across environments, and ultimately provide the market with a broader set of choices that can more efficiently and effectively address the specific security (and other operational) concerns that may be preventing organizations from fully embracing cloud computing.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@CloudExpo Stories
Between 2005 and 2020, data volumes will grow by a factor of 300 – enough data to stack CDs from the earth to the moon 162 times. This has come to be known as the ‘big data’ phenomenon. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to handling, storing and analyzing data aren’t adequate at this scale: they’re too costly, slow and physically cumbersome to keep up. Fortunately, in response a new breed of technology has emerged that is cheaper, faster and more scalable. Yet, in meeting these new needs they...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busin...
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
SaaS companies can greatly expand revenue potential by pushing beyond their own borders. The challenge is how to do this without degrading service quality. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Adam Rogers, Managing Director at Anexia, discussed how IaaS providers with a global presence and both virtual and dedicated infrastructure can help companies expand their service footprint with low “go-to-market” costs.
Get deep visibility into the performance of your databases and expert advice for performance optimization and tuning. You can't get application performance without database performance. Give everyone on the team a comprehensive view of how every aspect of the system affects performance across SQL database operations, host server and OS, virtualization resources and storage I/O. Quickly find bottlenecks and troubleshoot complex problems.
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We are the public cloud providers. We are currently providing 50% of the resources they need for doing e-commerce business in China and we are hosting about 60% of mobile gaming in China," explained Yi Zheng, CPO and VP of Engineering at CDS Global Cloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Predictive analytics tools monitor, report, and troubleshoot in order to make proactive decisions about the health, performance, and utilization of storage. Most enterprises combine cloud and on-premise storage, resulting in blended environments of physical, virtual, cloud, and other platforms, which justifies more sophisticated storage analytics. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Peter McCallum, Vice President of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor, discussed using predictive analytics to mon...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effici...
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Claude Remillard, Principal Program Manager in Developer Division at Microsoft, contrasted how his team used config as code and immutable patterns for continuous delivery of microservices and apps to the cloud. He showed how the immutable patterns helps developers do away with most of the complexity of config as code-enabling scenarios such as rollback, zero downtime upgrades with far greater simplicity. He also demoed building immutable pipelines in the cloud ...
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of Soli...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.