Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo, Rene Buest, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Guardians at the Gate: Securing Third-Party Access to Critical Systems | @CloudExpo #Cloud

Enterprises are encompassed with the challenges around managing access to clouds and their various flavors

Access is everything. It is the fundamental pillar that determines whether critical enterprise assets are safe or exposed. Knowing the answers to the questions of who is accessing what, where they are accessing that information from, why they are accessing that information and, finally, what exactly they're accessing are the basic questions that stand between a breach and brand reputation.

Today, access extends well beyond the borders of the enterprise. Global supply chains are increasingly complex. This year at RSA, Josh Douglas, CTO at Raytheon, described the global supply chain as being comprised of shared processes and shared technology that distributes products used in creating, sharing and distributing information. The global supply chain is intertwined intimately and it doesn't seem it will unravel itself anytime soon.

Enterprises are encompassed with the challenges around managing access to clouds and their various flavors, along with their network infrastructure, applications and data. In doing so, third parties become more and more critical to help deploy, control and maintain this transforming and fluid IT landscape.

This access is not only about people accessing machines to undertake their daily operational activities. This access also includes machines talking to other machines in an automated fashion and the underlying content of those interactions.

Yet for some reason, managing third-party access often comes as an afterthought in the industry's overall security strategies and postures. However, the data would suggest that this topic warrants more attention:

  • 70 percent of enterprises enter into contracts with external vendors without having conducted any security checks
  • 92 percent of enterprises don't have any supply chain risk management abilities in place.
  • 44 percent this year compared to 54 percent last year - are bothering to put in the effort to vet the security of third-party providers and others in their IT supply chain
  • 60 percent of organizations allow third-party vendors remote access to internal networks
  • 63 percent of data breaches are caused by security vulnerabilities introduced by third parties
  • 58 percent of organizations have no confidence that their third-party vendors are securing and monitoring privileged access to their network

The greater challenge in decreasing third-party risk exposure is what I call the "I got it, you take it" effect, where each party expects the other to take the primary responsibility for ensuring the security of the access. In reality, like any healthy relationship, security results from an equal continuous committed effort of both parties.

The data also suggest that solutions to this challenge are less complicated than they may appear. Basic measures put in place around people, processes and technology can help organizations decrease their risk exposure significantly.

Some basic measures include:

  • Engaging with suppliers, vendors, and service providers to create contractual obligations that ensure the vendor can control, monitor, and audit their third-party access and verify why the access is required. Taking this one step further, enterprises should be able to enforce the same upon their own third-party access to their own IT ecosystem.
  • Limiting access to on-premise and cloud infrastructures and performing inspection of encrypted traffic for both interactive and machine-to-machine connections in tandem with existing DLP, IPS and IDS toolsets available. An identifiable bridge between privileged access and data loss prevention should be traceable.
  • Building in gateway or chokepoint structures through which privileged access to critical infrastructure is channeled. VPN access followed by a jump server is not a sufficient control channel. Again: auditing, monitoring and control of privileged encrypted sessions and data transfers should be supported in tandem with two-factor authentication mechanisms.
  • Ensuring that key-based authentication for third-parties is controlled on a time basis, key usage can be monitored and that for longer term engagements keys can be rotated on a periodic basis. Be able to identify through IP source restrictions whether a key is accessing infrastructure from a non-authorized location.

With over 63 percent of data breaches being introduced by third-party access and 60 percent of enterprises permitting remote access by their third-party vendors, it is clear that dedicated mechanisms to control this form of access must be introduced at a people, process and technology level to reduce risk. The complexity of the intermeshed supply chain and the direction that third-party access will continue to grow in the years to come begs the consideration that this can no longer be considered as a footnote in enterprise security strategies. Instead, it must be considered as an integral component to the core of the strategy.

More Stories By Matthew McKenna

Matthew McKenna is Chief Strategy Officer and vice president of Key Accounts at SSH Communications Security. He brings over 15 years of high technology sales, marketing and management experience to SSH Communications Security and drives strategy, key account sales and evangelism. His expertise in strategically delivering technology solutions that anticipate the marketplace has helped the company become a market leader.

Prior to joining the company, Matthew served as a member of the executive management team of ADP Dealer Services Nordic and Automaster Oy, where he was responsible for international channel operations and manufacturer relations. In addition, he was responsible for key accounts including Mercedes Benz, General Motors, and Scania CV. Before this, he played professional soccer in Germany and Finland.

Matthew holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in German from the University of South Carolina and an MBA from the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
"We want to show that our solution is far less expensive with a much better total cost of ownership so we announced several key features. One is called geo-distributed erasure coding, another is support for KVM and we introduced a new capability called Multi-Part," explained Tim Desai, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Hitachi Data 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.
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, 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 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 w...
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...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of 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. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
"With Digital Experience Monitoring what used to be a simple visit to a web page has exploded into app on phones, data from social media feeds, competitive benchmarking - these are all components that are only available because of some type of digital asset," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
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...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of 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. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of 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. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
"Outscale was founded in 2010, is based in France, is a strategic partner to Dassault Systémes and has done quite a bit of work with divisions of Dassault," explained Jackie Funk, Digital Marketing exec at Outscale, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We focus on SAP workloads because they are among the most powerful but somewhat challenging workloads out there to take into public cloud," explained Swen Conrad, CEO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"DivvyCloud as a company set out to help customers automate solutions to the most common cloud problems," noted Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"I think DevOps is now a rambunctious teenager – it’s starting to get a mind of its own, wanting to get its own things but it still needs some adult supervision," explained Thomas Hooker, VP of marketing at CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are still a relatively small software house and we are focusing on certain industries like FinTech, med tech, energy and utilities. We help our customers with their digital transformation," noted Piotr Stawinski, Founder and CEO of EARP Integration, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We're here to tell the world about our cloud-scale infrastructure that we have at Juniper combined with the world-class security that we put into the cloud," explained Lisa Guess, VP of Systems Engineering at Juniper Networks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with...
"We were founded in 2003 and the way we were founded was about good backup and good disaster recovery for our clients, and for the last 20 years we've been pretty consistent with that," noted Marc Malafronte, Territory Manager at StorageCraft, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.