Click here to close now.


Containers Expo Blog Authors: Elizabeth White, Anders Wallgren, Greg O'Connor, Dana Gardner, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Cloud Security, @BigDataExpo, OpenStack Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Governance Must Drive All Security Initiatives... Even Cloud

Risk is not unique to the cloud and transcends technology

“The ‘how’ may change, but the ‘what’ is fundamental to risk management.”

I heard these sage words at a recent ISSA (Information Systems Security Association) meeting from a CIO speaking about security from the cloud.

He continued, “Risk is not unique to the cloud. It experiences the same issues that affect any outsourcing or third party deliverable. It is bounded by the same concerns regarding governance—does it meet the requirements of my industry? Is my data free from co-mingling? Are the proper notification protocols in place?”

Do a Google search on “cloud security” and the first entry is “How secure is the cloud?” True professionals know the argument is not about technology or how security is delivered, but rather one of governance. You need to know exactly who HAS access to what resources and if these levels of access are appropriate. You need to know who IS accessing resources, and if they don’t have the proper credentials, you need to be notified immediately to take further preventive action. You need know that protocols for compliance are in place and routinely and successfully generate the reporting for periodic audits. You need to know your rights, liabilities (SLA) for any application or service acquired and that they conform to your risk management practices.

The key asset in all this is data. Data is stored in many forms, via many servers and applications across the enterprise and it is processed and accessed in just as many ways. Effective governance is the ability to have a centralized map of all these information roads and create certain controlled access points, road blocks (encryption), privileged private lanes/public highways…in short, governance is about accountability.

This then becomes an internal process; making sure you have the identity management rules and capabilities in place, making sure the access management provisioning is set. Ensuring you employ the means to view it under a single pane of glass (unified security) in order to make the necessary decisions to better secure the data. You must have context and historical perspective.  The chief component to governance is visibility. And any first course of action would be to enhance existing visibility.

Governance is a critical challenge. Not every “whizz bang” development (be it cloud application or nifty BYOD device) will be able to meet a particular organization’s governance standards. It is up to the CIO or CSO’s due diligence to understand all the implications on how the deployment will affect the holistic enterprise. What liabilities are exposed? What vulnerability gaps does it close? How could it impact user productivity versus potential risks? The answer will not be the same for every company. However, dismissing cloud out of hand is not only faulty and outdated logic, but can restrict the organization from responsible growth.

“When cloud computing is treated as a governance initiative, with broad stakeholder engagement and well-planned risk management activities, it can bring tremendous value to an enterprise," said Emil D'Angelo, CISA, CISM, international president of ISACA and founding member of the Cloud Security Alliance.

This extends to the functions and capabilities of managing security from the cloud (cloud-based security) as well. When due diligence is done, a CIO will have a clear idea of an initiative’s risk versus return and whether a cloud security deployment meets the individual requirements of the company. And, with all things being equal in terms of control, compliance and reach, then the significant benefits of the cloud and its affordability, scalability and agility make it a wise investment. But cost savings should not be the first line of acceptance (although he TCO and ROI are considerable). Any security solution must first prove it is up to the task of preserving IP, upholding all aspects of regulatory compliance and keeping sensitive data sacrosanct.

To gain this level of governance visibility, it potentially incorporates several solution sets that need to work in harmony and do so in real time. It needs to connect (and put into proper context) certification, policies, roles and requests. For example, seeing who has accessed a certain application gives you historical perspective, but, what if it is a retired account or tries using a decommissioned password? If you know within moments of its occurrence, you can trace the attempt and prevent further breaches. Or if a partner accesses certain parts of your database to which they are entitled, but quadruples their order in the dead of night to be shipped to Phnom Penh? Or through an open back door, a “customer” can see and download other clients Tax ID numbers. There are literally thousands of scenarios by which leveraging the cooperative functionality of IDM, AM, SIEM and Log Management creates not only the holistic visibility to drive governance policies, but offers significant barriers to keep the IT enterprise safer.

Security is just as much about weighing the risk/return scenarios as it is bolting the castle door against the enemy.  Cloud security (and to a greater extent, a unified security initiative from the cloud) can be the effective, flexible and strong enterprise balance for prevention and audit. The challenge facing most security teams, therefore, is to provide line-of-business users with the access they need while ensuring that the access is appropriate and does not expose the enterprise to unnecessary business risk. But first you must ensure visibility--and when you know where all your data is and all the multiple ways that it is available, then you can best manage the policies, roles, and security functions that best connects your requirements.


Kevin Nikkhoo
Governor of the Cloud!

More Stories By Kevin Nikkhoo

With more than 32 years of experience in information technology, and an extensive and successful entrepreneurial background, Kevin Nikkhoo is the CEO of the dynamic security-as-a-service startup Cloud Access. CloudAccess is at the forefront of the latest evolution of IT asset protection--the cloud.

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from McGill University, Master of Computer Engineering at California State University, Los Angeles, and an MBA from the University of Southern California with emphasis in entrepreneurial studies.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. 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 Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th 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 cha...
We are rapidly moving to a brave new world of interconnected smart homes, cars, offices and factories known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Sensors and monitoring devices will touch every part of our lives. Let's take a closer look at the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is a worldwide network of objects and devices connected to the Internet. They are electronics, sensors, software and more. These objects connect to the Internet and can be controlled remotely via apps and programs. Because they can be accessed via the Internet, these devices create a tremendous opportunity to inte...
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context with p...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...