|By Ed Featherston||
|October 16, 2014 02:30 PM EDT||
The Cloud, Security and Breaches – Are the Barbarians at the Gate?
Target. Home Depot. Community Health Systems. Nieman Marcus. Their names have been all in the news over the past year, though probably not in a way they would like. All have had very public data breaches affecting anywhere from 350,000 (Nieman Marcus) to 4.5 million (Community Health Systems) customers. Add the recent high-profile celebrity nude photo hacking scandal and cloud security has become the trending topic in all the news and social media. Some of the discussions reminded me of a line from a short-lived TV show called ‘Almost Human' (yes I watched it, and since it was not renewed, apparently I was part of a small group). In the opening sequence of the show was the line ‘technology has forever altered the criminal landscape.' Is that where we are? Are the barbarians at the gate? Will this, or should this, impact decisions about migrating to the cloud?
Cloud: guilt by association
Cloud has become the ubiquitous term and so overused that whenever a breach happens, it's assumed it is a cloud problem. The reality is that out of all the breaches I mentioned earlier, only one of them - the celebrity nude photo scandal - had any connection to cloud technology. In his recent article Celebrities get phished, cloud gets blamed, David Linthicum makes the point saying that "no matter if it's truly a cloud service or, in most cases, internal systems that are somehow compromised. Because no one in the general media really knows what a ‘cloud' is, it's all a cloud to them." The other breaches I listed were all internal system breaches, with various methods used to accomplish the breach. 11 Steps Attackers Took to Crack Target gives a great detailed description of the process the hackers used to breach Target's systems last year. While the first step
started with a simple email phishing campaign, it required a complex set of tasks executed over time to eventually compromise Target's Point of Sale (PoS) systems, which is where the actual breach occurred. None of that had anything to do with the cloud.
No technology negates the need for design and planning
While a majority of the highly public security breaches may not be related to the cloud, that does not mean going to the cloud has no security risks involved. Going to the cloud does not automatically give you the security you may need for your data. Like any other complex systems, the risks must be understood, analyzed and planned for. Mitigation strategies should be put in place, and test plans designed and developed to validate that the security you have put in place is working as expected. In addition, this should not be a ‘once and done' type of planning. Security risks are changing at breakneck speeds in the Social, Mobile, Analytic and Cloud (SMAC) disruptive technology landscape of today. These disruptions have altered the criminal landscape, and while the barbarians may not be literally at the gate, they will always be trying to storm the castle, testing your defenses, trying to find other ways in, and seeking the treasures behind those walls - your data.
No system is ever 100 percent safe
This is not meant to be a doom and gloom prediction, just a reality of networked systems. The only 100 percent secure system is one that has no network connects and that no one has physical access to - obviously that level of protection is not realistic or usable in any way. Going to the cloud can be just as secure (if not more so) than using internal-only systems. Whether in the cloud or not, putting security mechanisms in place is always a delicate balancing act between protection and usability of the system. Everything is a tradeoff. As technologists, it is our responsibility to identify the risks and options available with their inherent tradeoffs, and work with the business to determine the appropriate mechanisms to put in place. Ideally, the two primary goals when designing and testing your security measures should be:
- Make it so difficult and time-consuming to break through,that those trying will just move on
- Have mechanisms in place to detect attempts to get through those barriers so that countermeasures can be taken (up to and including taking the system offline if the protection of the data is critical enough)
These always need to be balanced and measured with the business to ensure everyone is making informed decisions based on the business benefits, usability and risk associated with those decisions.
Are the barbarians at the gate?
Yes, they always have been and they always will be. There will always be people out there trying to hack into systems, whether for criminal intent or just because. It doesn't mean we should avoid going to the cloud or avoid providing access to systems that have legitimate business value. It just means we should always do our due diligence, identify the risks, design and plan to deal with those risks, and work in concert with the business so that informed decisions get made and all stakeholders have the appropriate expectations. This process should be constantly in motion and evolving given how quickly technology is moving in the disruptive SMAC landscape we operate in today.
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busin...
Apr. 24, 2017 08:15 PM EDT Reads: 332
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Apr. 24, 2017 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 625
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
Apr. 24, 2017 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,114
In recent years, containers have taken the world by storm. Companies of all sizes and industries have realized the massive benefits of containers, such as unprecedented mobility, higher hardware utilization, and increased flexibility and agility; however, many containers today are non-persistent. Containers without persistence miss out on many benefits, and in many cases simply pass the responsibility of persistence onto other infrastructure, adding additional complexity.
Apr. 24, 2017 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,101
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, vice president of DevOps Product and Solutions Marketing at CA Technologies, has been named co-conference chair of DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Apr. 24, 2017 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,395
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
Apr. 24, 2017 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 711
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 will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
Apr. 24, 2017 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 558
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, 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 opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Apr. 24, 2017 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 677
@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 Analytic. 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.
Apr. 24, 2017 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 621
SYS-CON Events announced today that Twistlock, the leading provider of cloud container security solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Twistlock is the industry's first enterprise security suite for container security. Twistlock's technology addresses risks on the host and within the application of the container, enabling enterprises to consistently enforce security policies, monitor...
Apr. 24, 2017 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,415
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, pane...
Apr. 24, 2017 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,989
Quickly find the root cause of complex database problems slowing down your applications. Up to 88% of all application performance issues are related to the database. DPA’s unique response time analysis shows you exactly what needs fixing - in four clicks or less. Optimize performance anywhere. Database Performance Analyzer monitors on-premises, on VMware®, and in the Cloud, including Amazon® AWS and Azure™ virtual machines.
Apr. 24, 2017 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,639
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
Apr. 24, 2017 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 577
@ThingsExpo has been named the Most Influential ‘Smart Cities - IIoT' Account and @BigDataExpo has been named fourteenth by Right Relevance (RR), which provides curated information and intelligence on approximately 50,000 topics. In addition, Right Relevance provides an Insights offering that combines the above Topics and Influencers information with real time conversations to provide actionable intelligence with visualizations to enable decision making. The Insights service is applicable to eve...
Apr. 24, 2017 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,536
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
Apr. 24, 2017 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,880
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Apr. 24, 2017 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 611
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Apr. 24, 2017 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,111
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
Apr. 24, 2017 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 642
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place in November in Silicon Valley, California.
Apr. 24, 2017 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,146
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTred processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
Apr. 24, 2017 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,639