|By Gilad Parann-Nissany||
|January 31, 2014 11:43 AM EST||
Cloud computing changes the way companies consume IT resources. It shifts the burden of purchasing and maintaining IT infrastructure to specialized IT providers and allows the users to pay only for the resources they need, when they need them. In this new paradigm, cloud security is a top concern. Companies want to reap the benefits of cloud computing, but are often hesitant because of concerns about security and compliance. In the 21CFR11 regulation, the FDA focused on requirements for ensuring electronic record integrity, accuracy, and availability for agency review throughout the retention period. The regulation emphasizes record protection from unauthorized access and system validation. Other international agencies have similar regulations. This article captures key points from an interview with Gilad Parann-Nissany, a cloud security pioneer. He addressed some hard questions that have been the main obstacles to getting more regulated healthcare and life sciences companies to adopt cloud infrastructures.
Gilad Parann-Nissany built SaaS Clouds for medium and small enterprises and contributed to SAP products reaching more than 8 million users. He created a consumer Cloud at G.ho.st – a cloud operating system that provided browser-based and mobile access to data, people and applications. He is now CEO of Porticor, a cloud security company.
AG: We realize the benefits of public clouds, mainly our ability to use and pay for what we need at any given time and not having to deal with the hassle of buying and managing our own data centers, but is there a way we can truly trust that our systems are still compliant with FDA regulations and our data is secured in a public cloud and is protected to ensure record integrity and confidentiality?
GPN: Yes, the FUD is that public cloud seems open to hackers, corporate spies, government surveillance, and the like. When you analyze this perception, it comes down to the fact that people are used to having walls around their servers and data storage. In the cloud, you manage your servers and disks using a browser, and the concern is that the bad guys can access you servers and disks with equal convenience. It’s actually a reasonable concern.
Yet there is a serious way to replace walls. Strong data encryption, of course, is the accepted best practice. Basically you are replacing physical walls with mathematical walls. If you do it right, you end up more secure in the cloud then you would be at the typical company.
You must choose the right encryption techniques. Once your data is encrypted, the management of the encryption keys becomes critical.
If you encrypt your data and store your encryption keys in the same place, the keys become vulnerable to the same threats. If you give the keys to your cloud provider, then you have lost control of your data. People worry whether cloud provider employees are trustworthy, and of course from a regulatory point of view – you are simply not allowed to farm out ownership of your sensitive healthcare data. So the way to keep ownership and still enjoy the cloud, is to encrypt data and keep ownership of your encryption keys.
A technical solution to this need is split key encryption. It’s like the safety deposit box systems, which have two keys. Your data is encrypted, and the encryption key is split into two parts where one part is held only by you. Both parts are always required to access the data. This way, only you control your data and the public cloud becomes effectively private and confidential.
AG: Regulatory agencies require that electronic records be available for inspection throughout their retention period, which can be many years. Is it possible to ensure record availability in 15-20 years, considering technology changes and the risk that the vendor will no longer provide the service?
GPN: The possibility that technology will change or that a vendor will stop providing the service does of course need to be taken into account. The most basic answer involves ensuring ease of copying out data and meta-data from one solution and into another.
Copying out your terabyte of data to some new place may take some time, yet it’s not something you do every day. The important point is to ensure that your technology of choice, and your vendor of choice, make it possible if necessary. This should be a standard operation – for example, for copying out data, it is best to ensure that standard copying commands are available; for copying out meta-data, ensure you have standard APIs, such as RESTful APIs.
You do need to be thoughtful choose the right approach to the cloud, but for the typical small to medium company – building out such capabilities yourself is ridiculous compared with the price/performance of the cloud solution.
AG: For validated systems, will adding a security layer require revalidation of the applications? Will it modify the way our applications handle data? Will the applications require any modification?
GPN: By default, the best solutions out there will give you a transparent encryption and key management solution. They should also allow you to do something special (with an API), if that is justified by your needs – but they should not require it.
Your chosen security solution should be able to be inserted transparently between the application layer and the data layer. Deployment models could be as an agent (which you install on your servers, but does not change your application), or as a Virtual Appliance (which does not touch your servers at all, and is available as a virtual machine running independently in your cloud). Good solutions will offer both options and let you choose.
AG: Are security technologies platform independent? Will adding a security layer require us to limit our systems to certain platforms?
GPN: The good ones will work on all the major cloud platforms and with all the major operating systems (Windows, Linux, Unix, etc).
AG: Will the cost of adding a security layer negate the cost benefit of using a cloud?
GPN: Hell no. But you need to choose right. Some vendors out there are trying to sell you the old economic model even when you move to the cloud, which means in practice a high up front cost for getting a solution. You should look for a solution that is pay as you go, so that you pay only for what you use and only when you use it. That’s the cloud economic model, it should be a no brainer. If you select right – you’ll actually end up better than before.
Cloud security and Cloud encryption can protect your data in the public cloud, and meet the regulatory requirements. Bottom line, for many of the Healthcare workloads out there, it is a strong and secure contender.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th 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 devices - comp...
Aug. 29, 2016 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,727
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th 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 no time to wait for long dev...
Aug. 29, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,474
[session] Architecting for the Cloud By @RagsS | @CloudExpo @IBMBluemix #Cloud #Docker #Microservices
As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
Aug. 29, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 946
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
Aug. 29, 2016 01:01 PM EDT Reads: 200
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, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Aug. 29, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,017
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
Aug. 29, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 814
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, 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. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Aug. 29, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,185
Enterprises have forever faced challenges surrounding the sharing of their intellectual property. Emerging cloud adoption has made it more compelling for enterprises to digitize their content, making them available over a wide variety of devices across the Internet. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Santosh Ahuja, Director of Architecture at Impiger Technologies, will introduce various mechanisms provided by cloud service providers today to manage and share digital content in a secure manner....
Aug. 29, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 820
Fact: storage performance problems have only gotten more complicated, as applications not only have become largely virtualized, but also have moved to cloud-based infrastructures. Storage performance in virtualized environments isn’t just about IOPS anymore. Instead, you need to guarantee performance for individual VMs, helping applications maintain performance as the number of VMs continues to go up in real time. In his session at Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, Product and Marketing at Tintri, wil...
Aug. 29, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 854
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
Aug. 29, 2016 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 738
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
Aug. 29, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 847
Announcing @TelecomReseller Named “Media Sponsor” of @CloudExpo Silicon Valley | #IoT #Cloud #BigData
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Aug. 29, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 938
Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better. The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There w...
Aug. 29, 2016 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 818
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
Aug. 29, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,428
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
Aug. 29, 2016 02:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,837
Extreme Computing is the ability to leverage highly performant infrastructure and software to accelerate Big Data, machine learning, HPC, and Enterprise applications. High IOPS Storage, low-latency networks, in-memory databases, GPUs and other parallel accelerators are being used to achieve faster results and help businesses make better decisions. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at NVIDIA, focused on some of the unique ways extreme computing is...
Aug. 29, 2016 02:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,234
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
Aug. 29, 2016 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,201
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
Aug. 29, 2016 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,031
With over 720 million Internet users and 40–50% CAGR, the Chinese Cloud Computing market has been booming. When talking about cloud computing, what are the Chinese users of cloud thinking about? What is the most powerful force that can push them to make the buying decision? How to tap into them? In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Yu Hao, CEO and co-founder of SpeedyCloud, answered these questions and discussed the results of SpeedyCloud’s survey.
Aug. 29, 2016 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,266
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...
Aug. 29, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,919