Welcome!

Virtualization Authors: Elizabeth White, Roger Strukhoff, Pat Romanski, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Lori MacVittie

Blog Feed Post

Top 5 Best Practices for Cloud Security

cloud security best practices Cloud Security Cloud Encryption  security daily Top 5 Best Practices for Cloud SecurityCloud computing security issues are constantly a top concern for IT leaders migrating to the cloud. There are many issues related to data security in the cloud and more than one approach to cloud security. Focusing on Infrastructure as a Service cloud security, there are five issues that repeatedly concern customers that are resolved by implementing the best practices discussed at a high level below. Cloud security best practices are technology related, but also focuses on P3: Process, People, Products.

1.     Choose your cloud wisely


Infrastructure clouds come in many variations. Some are big (like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google, or HP) and some are smaller but more focused on specific needs such as addressing compliance (Firehost and Layered Technologies are two examples, but there are many more).

A cross-platform concern in every Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) deployment is that data security is a shared responsibility. When shortlisting cloud providers, make sure specific certification such as ISO 27001 or SOC3 are in place. If you have specific regulatory concerns such as HIPAA safe harbor or PCI DSS compliance, ensure your cloud provider can support these specific requirements. Ask to speak with customers with a similar use case and similar size (or bigger). Learn from their lessons and make a decision accordingly.

2.     Encrypt your data

As we’ve written before, encryption becomes your virtual walls in a cloud deployment. In your datacenter, your physical servers are protected by the 4 walls and the tight access security policy. In a shared cloud infrastructure, those measures are basically nonexistent.

This is where data encryption steps in. Data encryption allows you to segregate and isolate your environment from other companies (or adversaries) running on the same infrastructure. Data encryption in the cloud takes multiple forms: some more secure than others.

Freeware encryption tools might seem attractive at first, but they have two major issues:

  1. They don’t scale well
  2. In many cases, the encryption key is stored on the virtual disk along with the encrypted data, which renders the entire solution useless.

In a compliance use case, these drawbacks might pose serious issues.

Research and test more than one encryption solution, and learn carefully about the security posture of the encryption provider.

3.     Focus on encryption keys

Although it sounds strange at first, cloud encryption can be easily achieved. The challenge lies=s not with the actual encryption, but with the encryption keys.

The Heartbleed bug, discovered a few weeks ago, exposed a weakness in Open SSL’s SSL/TLS protocol, allowing anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. As a result, many encrypted servers in the cloud unknowingly exposed their encryption key, which resided in memory of a server impacted by heartbleed.

To mitigate with such sophisticated attack vectors, the encryption keys should be secured throughout their life cycle: while in the key management system and while in use in the cloud. Emerging technologies such as split-key encryption and homomorphic key management can be used to avoid such attacks.

When researching encryption and key management technologies, look for cloud-enabled innovative technologies, and verify how encryption keys are managed and secure throughout the life cycle of the key usage.

4.     Automate cloud security as much as possible

One of the clouds’ most important benefits is its ability to automatically scale an infrastructure environment up or down, in a single geography or across multiple geographies. When it comes to cloud security, the paradigm shifts. You’ll hear experts telling you about the need to “keep security under your control,” and that security automation means sacrificing trust.

While true for traditional security systems, new – cloud based – security solutions do enable automation using secure, RESTful API tools.

Automating data security actually reduces risk and configuration mistakes. Assuming the software vendor can prove automation is done securely, it is a best practice for IaaS cloud security.

5.     Train your employees

Implementing the latest and greatest security toys is fun. Training employees may not seem as exciting. Yet, in many cases, a trained employee will be more efficient in stopping an attack than most technologies. (Art Gilliland gave a great pitch on “defense in depth” during RSA 2014 – see the video here).

A common modern attack pattern would start by identifying and infiltrating privileged users’ accounts (such as database administrator, or system administrators), and once access is gained, getting to end user data stored on those databases becomes a much simpler task for the attacker.

By educating users on risks and security best practices, the access of the attacker can be avoided. In addition, the cloud brings additional potential attack vectors, such as disk snapshots, or identity theft to the online portal, managing all servers. When training employees, always keep cloud in mind, together with your business tools and processes.

Cloud Security Best Practices Lead to Successful Deployments
There are many considerations surrounding cloud security. These best practices do not eliminate the risks or remove the need to always be kept abreast of the latest development. They do, however, ensure that your cloud will be more secure and enable you to comply with laws and industry regulations while taking advantage of the many business benefits of the cloud. Much of this, when explored from such a high level seems like common sense, and yet, the news is filled with stories of companies large and small who failed to properly manage their encryption keys or permitted their employees or vendors to enable access by attackers (a la recent breaches at Ebay and Target). Implementing these best practices will ensure that yours isn’t listed among the news-making breaches.

cloud security best practices Cloud Security Cloud Encryption  333333 Top 5 Best Practices for Cloud Security

The post Top 5 Best Practices for Cloud Security 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
There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immediate and actionable interpretation of events as they happen. Another aspect concerns how to deliver ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps 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., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and easy to use. MangoApps has been named a "Market Leader" by Ovum Research and a "Cool Vendor" by Gartner...
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on Twitter at @MicroservicesE
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
So I guess we’ve officially entered a new era of lean and mean. I say this with the announcement of Ubuntu Snappy Core, “designed for lightweight cloud container hosts running Docker and for smart devices,” according to Canonical. “Snappy Ubuntu Core is the smallest Ubuntu available, designed for security and efficiency in devices or on the cloud.” This first version of Snappy Ubuntu Core features secure app containment and Docker 1.6 (1.5 in main release), is available on public clouds, and for ARM and x86 devices on several IoT boards. It’s a Trend! This announcement comes just as...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
The WebRTC Summit 2015 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
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...
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark and Intel Edison. You will also get an overview of cloud technologies s...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
In his session at WebRTC Summit, Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, will look at creating interactive communications via the web by adding messaging, file transfer, and group communication (group chat and audio/video conferencing) into the web experience. He will also discuss potential applications of this technology in areas including B2B, B2C, P2P, and gaming. Peter Dunkley is Technical Director at Acision. He graduated from The University of Edinburgh in 2000 with a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science. After graduation Peter worked on a PSTN switch developing signalling stacks for SS...
It's time to put the "Thing" back in IoT. Whether it’s drones, robots, self-driving cars, ... There are multiple incredible examples of the power of IoT nowadays that are shadowed by announcements of yet another twist on statistics, databases, .... Sorry, I meant, Big Data(TM), tiered storage(TM), complex systems(TM), smart nations(TM), .... In his session at WebRTC Summit, Dr Alex Gouaillard, CTO and Co-Founder of Temasys, will discuss the concrete, cool, examples of IoT already happening today, and how mixing all those different sources of visual and audio input can make your life happier ...
What exactly is a cognitive application? In her session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ashley Hathaway, Product Manager at IBM Watson, will look at the services being offered by the IBM Watson Developer Cloud and what that means for developers and Big Data. She'll explore how IBM Watson and its partnerships will continue to grow and help define what it means to be a cognitive service, as well as take a look at the offerings on Bluemix. She will also check out how Watson and the Alchemy API team up to offer disruptive APIs to developers.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Site24x7, the cloud infrastructure monitoring service, 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. Site24x7 is a cloud infrastructure monitoring service that helps monitor the uptime and performance of websites, online applications, servers, mobile websites and custom APIs. The monitoring is done from 50+ locations across the world and from various wireless carriers, thus providing a global perspective of the end-user experience. Site24x7 supports monitoring H...
Chuck Piluso will present a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Speaker Bio: Prior to Data Storage Corporation (DSC), Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of International Telecommunications Corporation, a facilities-based international carrier licensed by t...
We heard for many years how developing nations would be able to develop mobile-phone networks quickly, perhaps even leapfrog developed nations, because their lack of traditional, wired networks would not inhibit them from deploying the new technology. Now there is talk of history repeating itself with the Industrial Internet--a key aspect of the emerging Internet of Things. For example, Guo Ping, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Chinese electronics giant Huawei, said in a recent report from the World Economic Forum, "The Industrial Internet will afford emerging markets a unique opportunity ...
Recent technology advances in miniaturization has positioned the wearables as the pinnacle of technology convergence with the human body. We inquire if wearables are mere standard miniaturized devices extended with the connectivity and present our views on considerations like design, applications, performance, efficiency, interoperability, usage scenarios, human device interaction and consequent trade-offs enabling wearables to impart optimal value.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in 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 change in personal an...