Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: XebiaLabs Blog, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Sematext Blog, Pat Romanski

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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal...
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 ...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
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...
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...