Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Kevin Benedict, Abdul Jaleel Kavungal Kunnumpurath

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

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Shifts the Burden of Security to Development

The application remains your last line of defense

The following is an excerpt from an article that Parasoft recently authored for CrossTalk, an approved Department of Defense journal...

Abstract
The move to the cloud brings a number of new security challenges, but the application remains your last line of defense. Engineers are extremely well poised to perform tasks critical for securing the application-provided that certain key obstacles are overcome.

Service Virtualization Cloud Security

Introduction
This paper explores three ways to help development bear the burden of security that the cloud places on them:

  • Use penetration testing results to help engineers determine how to effectively "harden" the most vulnerable parts of the application.

  • Apply the emerging practice of "service virtualization" to provide engineers the test environment access needed to exercise realistic security scenarios from the development environment.

  • Implement policy-driven development to help engineers understand and satisfy management's security expectations.

New Risks, Same Vulnerability
Before the move to the cloud, few organizations lost sleep over application security because they assumed their internally-controlled security infrastructure provided ample protection. With the move to cloud, security concerns are thrust into the forefront as organizations consider how much security control they are willing to relinquish to cloud service providers and what level of exposure they are willing to allow.

The fact of the matter is that with or without the cloud, failure to secure the application always is-and always has been-a dangerous proposition. Even when the bulk of the network security rested under the organization's direct control, attackers still managed to successfully launch attacks via the application layer. From the 2002 breach at the Australian Taxation office where a hacker accessed tax details on 17,000 businesses to the 2006 incident where Russian hackers stole credit card information from Rhode Island government systems, to the recent attack that brought down the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) vulnerability database, it's clear that a deficiency in the application layer can the be one and only entry point an attacker needs.

Public cloud, private cloud, or no cloud at all, the application is your last line of defense and if you don't properly secure the application, you're putting the organization at risk/ Nevertheless, the move to the cloud does bring some significant changes to the application security front:

  • Applications developed under the assumption of a bulletproof security infrastructure might need to have their strategies for authorization, encryption, message exchange, and data storage re-envisioned for cloud-based deployment.

  • The move to cloud architectures increases the attack surface area, potentially exposing more entry points for hackers. This attack surface area is compounded with more distributed computing technologies, such as mobile, web, and APIs.

  • As applications shift from monolithic architectures to composite ones, there is a high degree of interconnectedness with 3rd party services-and a poorly-engineered or malfunctioning dependency could raise the security risk of all connected components. For example, a recent attack on Yahoo exploited a vulnerability from a third-party application. The composite application is only as secure as its weakest link.

  • As organizations push more (and more critical) functionality to the cloud, the potential impact of an attack or breach escalates from embarrassing to potentially devastating-in terms of safety, reputation, and liability.

With the move to the cloud placing more at stake, it's now more critical than ever to make application security a primary concern. The industry has long recognized that development can and should play a significant role in securing the application. This is underscored by the DoD's directive for certifications in the area of software development security (e.g., via CISSP).  Select organizations that have successfully adopted a secure application development initiative have achieved promising results. However, such success stories still remain the exception rather than the rule.

Should Development Be Responsible for Application Security?
Due to software engineers' intimate familiarity with the application's architecture and functionality, they are extremely well-poised to accomplish the various tasks required to safeguard application security. Yet, a number of factors impede engineers' ability to shoulder the burden of security:

  • The organization's security objectives are not effectively communicated to the development level.

  • For engineers to determine whether a particular module they developed is secure, they need to access and configure dependent resources (e.g., partner services, mainframes, databases) for realistic security scenarios-and such access and configurability is not commonly available within the development environment.

  • Management often overlooks security when defining non-functional requirements for engineers and planning development schedules; this oversight, paired with the myopic nature of coding new functionality, commonly reduces security concerns to an afterthought.

  • Security tests are frequently started at the testing phase, when it is typically too late to make the necessary critical architectural changes.

In the following sections, we explore how strategies related to penetration testing, service virtualization, and policy-driven development can better prepare engineers to bear the heavy burden of security that accompanies the shift to the cloud.

Moving Beyond Penetration Testing: Divide and Conquer
Penetration testing is routinely used to barrage the application with attack scenarios and determine whether or not the application can fend them off. When a simulated attack succeeds, you know for a fact that the application has a vulnerability which makes you susceptible to a particular breed of attacks. It alerts you to real vulnerabilities that can be exploited by known attack patterns-essentially sitting ducks in your applications. When a penetration attack succeeds, there is little need to discuss whether it needs to be repaired. It's not a matter of "if", but rather of "how" and "when."

The common reaction to a reported penetration failure is to have engineers patch the vulnerability as soon as possible, then move on. In some situations, taking the path of least resistance to eliminating a particular known vulnerability is a necessary evil. However, relying solely on a "whack a mole" strategy for application security leaves a considerable amount of valuable information on the table-information that could be critical for averting the next security crisis.

Switching to a non-software example for a moment, consider what happened when the US Army realized how susceptible Humvees were to roadside bombs in the early 2000s. After initial ad-hoc attempts to improve security with one-off fixes (such as adding sandbags to floorboards and bolting miscellaneous metal to the sides of the vehicles), the Army devised add-on armor kits to address structural vulnerabilities and deployed them across the existing fleet . In parallel with this effort, they also took steps to ensure that additional protection was built into new vehicles that were requisitioned from that point forward.

How does such as strategy play out in terms of software? The first step is recognizing that successful attacks-actual or simulated-are a valuable weapon in determining what parts of your application are the most susceptible to attack. For example, if the penetration tests run this week succeed in an area of the application where penetration tests have failed before-and this is also an area that you've already had to patch twice in response to actual attacks-this module is clearly suffering from some underlying security issues that probably won't be solved by yet another patch...

Want to read more? You can access the complete article here.

More Stories By Cynthia Dunlop

Cynthia Dunlop, Lead Content Strategist/Writer at Tricentis, writes about software testing and the SDLC—specializing in continuous testing, functional/API testing, DevOps, Agile, and service virtualization. She has written articles for publications including SD Times, Stickyminds, InfoQ, ComputerWorld, IEEE Computer, and Dr. Dobb's Journal. She also co-authored and ghostwritten several books on software development and testing for Wiley and Wiley-IEEE Press. Dunlop holds a BA from UCLA and an MA from Washington State University.

@CloudExpo Stories
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the de...
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...
"Loom is applying artificial intelligence and machine learning into the entire log analysis process, from start to finish and at the end you will get a human touch,” explained Sabo Taylor Diab, Vice President, Marketing at Loom Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, highlighted the current challenges of these transformative technologies and shared strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” outlined the latest trends and developments i...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is ...
The financial services market is one of the most data-driven industries in the world, yet it’s bogged down by legacy CPU technologies that simply can’t keep up with the task of querying and visualizing billions of records. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Karthik Lalithraj, a Principal Solutions Architect at Kinetica, discussed how the advent of advanced in-database analytics on the GPU makes it possible to run sophisticated data science workloads on the same database that is housing the rich...
What's the role of an IT self-service portal when you get to continuous delivery and Infrastructure as Code? This general session showed how to create the continuous delivery culture and eight accelerators for leading the change. Don Demcsak is a DevOps and Cloud Native Modernization Principal for Dell EMC based out of New Jersey. He is a former, long time, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, specializing in building and architecting Application Delivery Pipelines for hybrid legacy, and cloud ...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, 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 strategy. Me...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...