Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Victoria Livschitz

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Security, Big Data Journal, OpenStack Journal

Cloud Expo: Article

Governance Must Drive All Security Initiatives... Even Cloud

Risk is not unique to the cloud and transcends technology

“The ‘how’ may change, but the ‘what’ is fundamental to risk management.”

I heard these sage words at a recent ISSA (Information Systems Security Association) meeting from a CIO speaking about security from the cloud.

He continued, “Risk is not unique to the cloud. It experiences the same issues that affect any outsourcing or third party deliverable. It is bounded by the same concerns regarding governance—does it meet the requirements of my industry? Is my data free from co-mingling? Are the proper notification protocols in place?”

Do a Google search on “cloud security” and the first entry is “How secure is the cloud?” True professionals know the argument is not about technology or how security is delivered, but rather one of governance. You need to know exactly who HAS access to what resources and if these levels of access are appropriate. You need to know who IS accessing resources, and if they don’t have the proper credentials, you need to be notified immediately to take further preventive action. You need know that protocols for compliance are in place and routinely and successfully generate the reporting for periodic audits. You need to know your rights, liabilities (SLA) for any application or service acquired and that they conform to your risk management practices.

The key asset in all this is data. Data is stored in many forms, via many servers and applications across the enterprise and it is processed and accessed in just as many ways. Effective governance is the ability to have a centralized map of all these information roads and create certain controlled access points, road blocks (encryption), privileged private lanes/public highways…in short, governance is about accountability.

This then becomes an internal process; making sure you have the identity management rules and capabilities in place, making sure the access management provisioning is set. Ensuring you employ the means to view it under a single pane of glass (unified security) in order to make the necessary decisions to better secure the data. You must have context and historical perspective.  The chief component to governance is visibility. And any first course of action would be to enhance existing visibility.

Governance is a critical challenge. Not every “whizz bang” development (be it cloud application or nifty BYOD device) will be able to meet a particular organization’s governance standards. It is up to the CIO or CSO’s due diligence to understand all the implications on how the deployment will affect the holistic enterprise. What liabilities are exposed? What vulnerability gaps does it close? How could it impact user productivity versus potential risks? The answer will not be the same for every company. However, dismissing cloud out of hand is not only faulty and outdated logic, but can restrict the organization from responsible growth.

“When cloud computing is treated as a governance initiative, with broad stakeholder engagement and well-planned risk management activities, it can bring tremendous value to an enterprise," said Emil D'Angelo, CISA, CISM, international president of ISACA and founding member of the Cloud Security Alliance.

This extends to the functions and capabilities of managing security from the cloud (cloud-based security) as well. When due diligence is done, a CIO will have a clear idea of an initiative’s risk versus return and whether a cloud security deployment meets the individual requirements of the company. And, with all things being equal in terms of control, compliance and reach, then the significant benefits of the cloud and its affordability, scalability and agility make it a wise investment. But cost savings should not be the first line of acceptance (although he TCO and ROI are considerable). Any security solution must first prove it is up to the task of preserving IP, upholding all aspects of regulatory compliance and keeping sensitive data sacrosanct.

To gain this level of governance visibility, it potentially incorporates several solution sets that need to work in harmony and do so in real time. It needs to connect (and put into proper context) certification, policies, roles and requests. For example, seeing who has accessed a certain application gives you historical perspective, but, what if it is a retired account or tries using a decommissioned password? If you know within moments of its occurrence, you can trace the attempt and prevent further breaches. Or if a partner accesses certain parts of your database to which they are entitled, but quadruples their order in the dead of night to be shipped to Phnom Penh? Or through an open back door, a “customer” can see and download other clients Tax ID numbers. There are literally thousands of scenarios by which leveraging the cooperative functionality of IDM, AM, SIEM and Log Management creates not only the holistic visibility to drive governance policies, but offers significant barriers to keep the IT enterprise safer.

Security is just as much about weighing the risk/return scenarios as it is bolting the castle door against the enemy.  Cloud security (and to a greater extent, a unified security initiative from the cloud) can be the effective, flexible and strong enterprise balance for prevention and audit. The challenge facing most security teams, therefore, is to provide line-of-business users with the access they need while ensuring that the access is appropriate and does not expose the enterprise to unnecessary business risk. But first you must ensure visibility--and when you know where all your data is and all the multiple ways that it is available, then you can best manage the policies, roles, and security functions that best connects your requirements.

 

Kevin Nikkhoo
Governor of the Cloud!
www.cloudaccess.com

More Stories By Kevin Nikkhoo

With more than 32 years of experience in information technology, and an extensive and successful entrepreneurial background, Kevin Nikkhoo is the CEO of the dynamic security-as-a-service startup Cloud Access. CloudAccess is at the forefront of the latest evolution of IT asset protection--the cloud.

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from McGill University, Master of Computer Engineering at California State University, Los Angeles, and an MBA from the University of Southern California with emphasis in entrepreneurial studies.

@CloudExpo Stories
15th Cloud Expo, which took place Nov. 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, expanded the conference content of @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit to include two developer events. IBM held a Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held a Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo floor. The Bluemix Developer Playground, for developers of all levels, highlighted the ease of use of Bluemix, its services and functionalit...
Some developers believe that monitoring is a function of the operations team. Some operations teams firmly believe that monitoring the systems they maintain is sufficient to run the business successfully. Most of them are wrong. The complexity of today's applications have gone far and beyond the capabilities of "traditional" system-level monitoring tools and approaches and requires much broader knowledge of business and applications as a whole. The goal of DevOps is to connect all aspects of app...
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now 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 large...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
When an enterprise builds a hybrid IaaS cloud connecting its data center to one or more public clouds, security is often a major topic along with the other challenges involved. Security is closely intertwined with the networking choices made for the hybrid cloud. Traditional networking approaches for building a hybrid cloud try to kludge together the enterprise infrastructure with the public cloud. Consequently this approach requires risky, deep "surgery" including changes to firewalls, subnets...
Want to enable self-service provisioning of application environments in minutes that mirror production? Can you automatically provide rich data with code-level detail back to the developers when issues occur in production? In his session at DevOps Summit, David Tesar, Microsoft Technical Evangelist on Microsoft Azure and DevOps, will discuss how to accomplish this and more utilizing technologies such as Microsoft Azure, Visual Studio online, and Application Insights in this demo-heavy session.
DevOps is all about agility. However, you don't want to be on a high-speed bus to nowhere. The right DevOps approach controls velocity with a tight feedback loop that not only consists of operational data but also incorporates business context. With a business context in the decision making, the right business priorities are incorporated, which results in a higher value creation. In his session at DevOps Summit, Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, discussed key monitoring techniques...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water,...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, a...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happe...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
SYS-CON Media announced that Centrify, a provider of unified identity management across cloud, mobile and data center environments that delivers single sign-on (SSO) for users and a simplified identity infrastructure for IT, has launched an ad campaign on Cloud Computing Journal. The ads focus on security: how an organization can successfully control privilege for all of the organization’s identities to mitigate identity-related risk without slowing down the business, and how Centrify provides ...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrateg...
"We help companies that are using a lot of Software as a Service. We help companies manage and gain visibility into what people are using inside the company and decide to secure them or use standards to lock down or to embrace the adoption of SaaS inside the company," explained Scott Kriz, Co-founder and CEO of Bitium, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device exp...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps,...