Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, XebiaLabs Blog, Scott Allen, Pat Romanski, Dana Gardner

Blog Feed Post

Can You Trust the Cloud?

Cloud Trust Cloud Security Cloud Encryption  trust cloud hand Can You Trust the Cloud?I am often asked by skeptics, cynics, doubters, and readers of sensational journalism if they can trust the cloud.  Sure, there have been data leaks, hacker intrusions, NSA spies, but can the cloud be trusted with your data?

YES

End of article.

Not really . . . yes, the cloud can definitely be trusted, but that doesn’t allow you to be foolish.  Metaphorically, you can trust your Volvo too – but you should still fasten your seat belt.  You are still responsible to protect yourself, and in the cloud computing scenario, that means that you are ultimately responsible to protect your data.  My advice is this:

Trust the cloud.  And take security measures to protect your data.

The level of security (in the form of cloud encryption) needed will depend on what you are planning to use the cloud for.

Individuals who want to securely store files on websites such as Dropbox or Google Docs need a minimal amount of security so that their information isn’t widely available. In recent years, the developers of these services added the necessary encryption to keep the average hacker out1.  

For those who want to power applications, databases or tools on a group of computers through the cloud, extra protection is needed since there are more entry points to protect. Companies that want to secure data in the cloud should work with a qualified cloud provider or cloud security vendor who will provide data encryption options to protect against internal and external threats as well as meet industry data privacy rules (PCI, HIPPA, etc.).

If you work with sensitive information that is protected by law or industry regulations, you require the highest level of protection. For example, companies in the healthcare industry must take care to encrypt private patient data in order to comply with HIPAA regulations2. Companies that accept credit card payments must comply with PCI regulations3.  For these companies, it is important to understand what the potential risks are and how to secure the data and adhere to the regulations.

So, which security measures should you take?

The CSA (Cloud Security Alliance) has identified a number of challenges to cloud computing security4:

  1. Data breaches – If a cloud service database isn’t designed properly, a hacker could get into customers’ data.
    Solution: Choose a cloud provider that allows maximum control over encryption keys.
  2. Data loss – A careless provider could lose data due to a hacker or natural disaster. This can be problematic for compliance with regulations as well as customer relations.
    Solution: Use encrypted backup where you control the encryption keys.
  3. Account or service traffic hijacking – If credentials are stolen, a hacker could carry out actions in the name of the company.
    Solution: Use two-factor authentication techniques wherever possible.
  4. Insecure interfaces and APIs – Third parties building on to existing APIs can weaken their security, especially if they require relinquishing of credentials. Solution: Understand the implications and risks of adding layers to APIs.
  5. Malicious insiders – If credentials are available to multiple employees within an organization, the company is susceptible to malicious insider attack. Solution: Keys should be available only at data-usage time.
  6. Cloud abuse – A hacker might use the cloud service in order to break a code he couldn’t get into on a standard computer. He might use it to propagate malware or share pirated software.
    Solution: Cloud providers must define abuse and determine how to identify it.
  7. Insufficient due diligence – Companies who don’t sufficiently understand the security issues inherent in cloud computing may unwittingly harm their own security.
    Solution: Allocation of resources for education and due diligence before getting started.
  8. Shared technology vulnerabilities – Cloud providers share platforms in order to save on costs, but this means that when one component is harmed, the others are vulnerable as well.
    Solution: a defensive, in-depth strategy, as well as monitoring.

 

That’s a lot of security measures!

It may seem safer just to stay out of the cloud, but for most businesses, this is likely to be impractical.  The cloud can handle a large amount of data at lower cost and increased flexibility.  Also, I would be remiss not to note that information stored on desktops is not necessarily secure either; hackers have been known to infiltrate data stored on physical computers and mobile devices as well.

 

Is there an easy way to protect myself?

Strong cloud encryption makes the cloud a safe environment for storing data (even for the most sensitive, regulated, protected data). Make sure to choose the level of encryption necessary for your data. If your company complies with HIPAA or PCI or handles customers’ private information, pick a cloud provider which uses split-key encryption (aka Homomorphic Key Encryption). This is a system which requires two keys to access data.  One key remains under your control as the owner of the data. When this master key is in use in the cloud, it is encrypted, thus ensuring that the cloud provider doesn’t have access to your data and neither does anyone who attempts to hack in. This will ensure safety in the cloud.

This is why I say that you can completely trust the cloud.  If you take the proper steps to protect yourself (a split-key seat belt, if you will), the cloud is not a menacing, dangerous place to store data.  It is, in fact: scalable, flexible, cost-effective, and a great solution, which can (and should!) be safe and secure.

The post Can You Trust the Cloud? appeared first on Porticor Cloud Security.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Gilad Parann-Nissany

Gilad Parann-Nissany, Founder and CEO at Porticor is a pioneer of Cloud Computing. He has built SaaS Clouds for medium and small enterprises at SAP (CTO Small Business); contributing to several SAP products and reaching more than 8 million users. Recently he has created a consumer Cloud at G.ho.st - a cloud operating system that delighted hundreds of thousands of users while providing browser-based and mobile access to data, people and a variety of cloud-based applications. He is now CEO of Porticor, a leader in Virtual Privacy and Cloud Security.

@CloudExpo Stories
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, 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 world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
"This week we're really focusing on scalability, asset preservation and how do you back up to the cloud and in the cloud with object storage, which is really a new way of attacking dealing with your file, your blocked data, where you put it and how you access it," stated Jeff Greenwald, Senior Director of Market Development at HGST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices 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 business opportuni...
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
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. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps 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. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
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 effi...
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
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...
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, discussed how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved efficienc...
"When you think about the data center today, there's constant evolution, The evolution of the data center and the needs of the consumer of technology change, and they change constantly," stated Matt Kalmenson, VP of Sales, Service and Cloud Providers at Veeam Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
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 ...
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yoseph Reuveni, Director of Software Engineering at Jet.com, will discuss Jet.com's journey into containerizing Microsoft-based technologies like C# and F# into Docker. He will talk about lessons learned and challenges faced, the Mono framework tryout and how they deployed everything into Azure cloud. Yoseph Reuveni is a technology leader with unique experience developing and running high throughput (over 1M tps) distributed systems with extre...
To leverage Continuous Delivery, enterprises must consider impacts that span functional silos, as well as applications that touch older, slower moving components. Managing the many dependencies can cause slowdowns. See how to achieve continuous delivery in the enterprise.