Welcome!

Virtualization Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Skytap Blog, AppDynamics Blog, Pete Pickerill, Charles Jolley

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Security

Cloud Expo: Blog Feed Post

Getting at the Heart of Security in the Cloud

CloudPassage digs a bit deeper into the issue of security and public cloud computing and finds some interesting results

Security is a pretty big word. It’s used to represent everything from attack prevention to authentication and authorization to securing transport protocols. It’s used as an umbrella term for such a wide variety of concerns that it has become virtually meaningless when applied to technology.

security-umbrellaFor some time, purveyors of security studies have asked the market, “What’s stopping you from adopting cloud?” Invariably one of the most often cited show-stoppers is “security.” Pundits raced to tell us this, but in no wise did they offer deeper insight into what, exactly, security meant.

So it was nice to see CloudPassage dig deeper into “security in the cloud” with a recent survey it conducted. You may recall that CloudPassage has a more than passing interest in cloud-based security, as its focus is on cloud-based security with an emphasis on host-based firewalls. Published in February 2012, it sheds some light on what IT professionals consider most important with respect to public cloud security.

Not unsurprisingly, “lack of perimeter defenses and/or network control” was the most often cited concern with respect to security in public cloud environments with 25% of respondents indicating it was troubling. This response would appear to go hand in hand with the 12% who cited an inability to leverage “enterprise security tools” in public cloud environments. It is no secret that duplicating security architectures and processes in the cloud is not something we seen done at this juncture. When you combine an inability to replicate security policy and process in the cloud due to incompatibilities of infrastructure and software with a less than robust security service offering in public cloud environments, the “lack of perimeter defenses and/or network control” answer being top of the list makes a lot of sense.

cloudpassage-concerns

WHERE ARE WE GOING?

There are myriad surveys that indicate organizations are moving to use public cloud computing, despite these concerns, and one assumes that this means they are finding ways to resolve these issues. Many organizations are turning back the clock and taking advantage of agent-based (host deployed) solutions to secure their assets in public cloud environments, which affords much better protection than nothing at all, and others still are leveraging the tried-and-true “checklist” method: manually securing servers based on best-practices and corporate policy.

Neither is optimal from an operational perspective. Neither is the use of cloud provider offered services such as Amazon security groups because the result is a disjointed set of security policies across multiple environments. Policy languages and implementation – not to mention capabilities – vary widely from service to service. While the most basic of protections – firewalling – is more compatible from the perspective of ability to codify, still the actual policy language will differ. These disconnects can lead to gaps in security policies that leave open to attack the organization’s assets. Inconsistent management and deployment processes spanning multiple environments leave open the possibility of human error and misconfiguration, an often cited cause of outages and breaches in general.

cloudpassage-securetoday

Where we are today is sitting with a disjointed set of options from which to choose, and the need to somehow cobble together these disparate tools and services into a comprehensive security strategy capable of consistently securing servers, applications, and other resources from attack, exploitation, and breach.

It is not really an inspiring view at the moment.

Vendors and providers need to work toward some common language and services that enable consistent replication – and thus enforcement - of the policies that govern access and protection of all corporate resources, regardless of location. Whether through standards initiatives or brokerage of APIs or better ability of organizations to deploy security solutions in both the data center and public cloud environments is not necessarily the question. The question is how can enterprises better address the specific security-related concerns they have regarding public cloud deployments in a way that minimizes risk of misconfiguration or gaps in policy enforcement while providing for operationally consistent processes that ensure the benefits of public cloud computing are not lost.

REVERSE INTEGRATION

One of the interesting trends that we’re seeing is around the demand for consistency in infrastructure across environments, and this will eventually drive demand for integration of what are today “cloud only” solutions back into data center components. Folks like CloudPassage and other cloud-focused systems that deliver host-based security coupled with a SaaS management model will eventually need to consider integration with “traditional” enterprise solutions as a means to deliver the consistency necessary to maintain cloud-related operational benefits.

Right now we’re seeing a move toward preserving operational consistency through replication of policy from within the data center out, to the cloud. But as cloud-hosted solutions continue to mature and evolve, one would expect to see the ability to replicate policy in the other direction – from the cloud back into the data center. This is no trivial task, as it requires the SaaS management component of such solutions to become what might be considered a policy broker; that is, their system becomes the point of policy creation and management and it is through integration with both cloud and data center infrastructure that such policies are deployed, updated, and managed.

This is why the notion of API-enabled infrastructure, a.k.a. Infrastructure 2.0, is so important. It’s not just about creating a vibrant and healthy ecosystem of solutions within the data center, but in the cloud and in between, as well. It is the glue that will integrate disparate systems and normalize policies across environments, and ultimately provide the market with a broader set of choices that can more efficiently and effectively address the specific security (and other operational) concerns that may be preventing organizations from fully embracing cloud computing.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. 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 development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...