Welcome!

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Agile Computing, Cloud Security, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Computing: How Can Companies Reduce the Security Risk?

A three-step approach to navigating compliance complexities

In the last five years, organizations have increasingly embraced cloud applications to help them innovate and transform their business. Applications that automate sales processes, HR management, collaboration, email and file sharing are growing fast and enabling organizations to meet their needs in a shorter timeframe than ever before.

Cloud applications are ubiquitously employed across all industries. However, there are increased concerns about security and compliance of sensitive information, particularly in banking, insurance and in the public sector. A wide range of regulations and privacy laws make organizations directly responsible for protecting regulated information, but when this data is stored in the cloud, they have less direct control over leaks, theft or forced legal disclosure.

At the same time, leaks and thefts are occurring with increased frequency. The 2013 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report revealed a total of 621 confirmed data breaches and over 47,000 security incidents in the last year, and a 2012 Ernst & Young survey found that only 38% of organizations implement an adequate security strategy.

A Three-Step Approach to Navigating Compliance Complexities
Though the risks - from malicious hacks to insider threats - can seem high, a holistic approach to cloud information protection can help companies reduce the risks of adopting the cloud.

First is the discovery stage. Before you can protect information in the cloud, you need to know where it is and who has access to it:

  • Who should have access to certain information and who should not?
  • What content is sensitive, proprietary, or regulated and how can it be identified?
  • Where will this data reside in the cloud, and what range of regional privacy, disclosure and other laws might apply?

Then, you need to protect the information using the correct tools:

  • Encrypt: As a baseline, unbreakable code - like military grade 256-bit AES - can scramble sensitive information into undecipherable gibberish to protect it from unauthorized viewers. Installing a cloud information protection platform at the network's edge ensures any data moving to the cloud is fully protected before it leaves the organization.
  • Retain keys: Keep the keys that encrypt and decipher information under the control of the user organization. This ensures that all information requests must involve the owner, even if information is stored on a third-party cloud.
  • Cloud data loss prevention: Customize policies on this to scan, detect and take action to protect information according to its level of sensitivity. This provides an additional level of security and control.
  • Cloud malware detection: Screen information exchanges, including external and internal user uploaded attachments, in cloud applications in real-time for virus, malware and other embedded threats.

Finally, a recent breakthrough - operations-preserving encryption - has solved encryption's longstanding problem of breaking cloud application functions. This advancement enables users to search, sort and report on encrypted data in the cloud. In addition, an open platform capable of supporting all cloud applications and integrating third-party tools provides a stable foundation for protection.

The popularity of the cloud has driven privacy laws and data residency restrictions around the world. Businesses and chief information officers need to collaborate in finding new security models to use the cloud while ensuring sensitive information is fully protected. By embracing a new ecosystem of cloud-based security solutions, businesses can safely extend their virtual security perimeter while still complying with privacy regulations.

More Stories By Pravin Kothari

Pravin Kothari is the founder and CEO of CipherCloud. He founded CipherCloud in 2010 when he recognized that while the cloud was disrupting enterprise IT with explosive growth, the security technologies had not kept pace and enterprises were losing control over their sensitive data.

Pravin is driving the rapid growth of CipherCloud by managing its business, strategy, and operations. He is a security visionary with more than 20 years of experience building industry-leading companies and bringing innovative products to market.

Pravin was the Founder & CTO of Agiliance, a leading Security Risk Management company, and Co-founder & VP Engineering of ArcSight, a leading security company, which was acquired by HP for $1.6 billion. Previously, he was Co-founder & Chief Architect at Impresse Corporation and also held technical leadership positions at Verity, Attachmate, and Tata Consultancy Services.

Pravin holds over a dozen patents in security technologies and is the inventor behind CipherCloud’s groundbreaking cloud encryption technology.

Comments (1)

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.


Latest Stories
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Redis is not only the fastest database, but it is the most popular among the new wave of databases running in containers. Redis speeds up just about every data interaction between your users or operational systems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Dave Nielsen, Developer Advocate, Redis Labs, will share the functions and data structures used to solve everyday use cases that are driving Redis' popularity.
UpGuard has become a member of the Center for Internet Security (CIS), and will continue to help businesses expand visibility into their cyber risk by providing hardening benchmarks to all customers. By incorporating these benchmarks, UpGuard's CSTAR solution builds on its lead in providing the most complete assessment of both internal and external cyber risk. CIS benchmarks are a widely accepted set of hardening guidelines that have been publicly available for years. Numerous solutions exist t...
"We're bringing out a new application monitoring system to the DevOps space. It manages large enterprise applications that are distributed throughout a node in many enterprises and we manage them as one collective," explained Kevin Barnes, President of eCube Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Choosing the right cloud for your workloads is a balancing act that can cost your organization time, money and aggravation - unless you get it right the first time. Economics, speed, performance, accessibility, administrative needs and security all play a vital role in dictating your approach to the cloud. Without knowing the right questions to ask, you could wind up paying for capacity you'll never need or underestimating the resources required to run your applications.
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
The competitive landscape of the global cloud computing market in the healthcare industry is crowded due to the presence of a large number of players. The large number of participants has led to the fragmented nature of the market. Some of the major players operating in the global cloud computing market in the healthcare industry are Cisco Systems Inc., Carestream Health Inc., Carecloud Corp., AGFA Healthcare, IBM Corp., Cleardata Networks, Merge Healthcare Inc., Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp., an...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Kubernetes and Google Container Engine Workshop, being held November 3, 2016, in conjunction with @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele introduces participants to Kubernetes and Google Container Engine (GKE). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, students learn the key concepts and practices for deploying and maintainin...
StackIQ has announced the release of Stacki 3.2. Stacki is an easy-to-use Linux server provisioning tool. Stacki 3.2 delivers new capabilities that simplify the automation and integration of site-specific requirements. StackIQ is the commercial entity behind this open source bare metal provisioning tool. Since the release of Stacki in June of 2015, the Stacki core team has been focused on making the Community Edition meet the needs of members of the community, adding features and value, while ...
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addres...
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
Ovum, a leading technology analyst firm, has published an in-depth report, Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a DevOps Release Management Solution, 2016–17. The report focuses on the automation aspects of DevOps, Release Management and compares solutions from the leading vendors.
Continuous testing helps bridge the gap between developing quickly and maintaining high quality products. But to implement continuous testing, CTOs must take a strategic approach to building a testing infrastructure and toolset that empowers their team to move fast. Download our guide to laying the groundwork for a scalable continuous testing strategy.