Welcome!

Related Topics: Cloud Security, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, @DXWorldExpo, SDN Journal

Cloud Security: Blog Feed Post

HTTP 2.0 Changes Everything

HTTP 2.0 will mean giving more than just lip service to security

Despite the hype and drama surrounding the HTTP 2.0 effort, the latest version of the ubiquitous HTTP protocol is not just a marketing term. It's a real, live IETF standard that is scheduled to "go live" in November (2014).

And it changes everything.

There are a lot of performance enhancing related changes in the HTTP 2.0 specification including multiplexing and header compression. These are not to be overlooked as minimal updates as they significantly improve performance, particularly for clients connecting over a mobile network. Header compression, for example, minimizes the requirement to transport HTTP headers with each and every request - and response. HTTP headers can become quite the overhead, particularly for those requests comprised simply of a URL or a few bytes of data.

Multiplexing has traditionally been a server-side technology, designated as an offload capability that optimizes both server resources and, in turn, performance. Enabling multiplexing on the client side, a la SPDY (which is the actually the basis for HTTP 2.0 and is supported by 65% of browsers today) and MPTCP protocols, enables the same benefits in terms of reducing resource consumption. It has the added benefit of improving performance by eliminating overhead associated with not just opening a new connection, but maintaining the state of each of them.

These are not what changes everything, however. While these are needed improvements and will certainly benefit clients and applications that can take advantage of them (either natively or by employing an HTTP gateway) the real game changer with HTTP 2.0 is the mandatory use of SSL.

Yes, that's right. SSL is mandatory.

What does that mean?
For everyone on the data center side of this equation - whether that data center is a cloud or a traditional one - mandating SSL or TLS for HTTP will effectively blind most of the application data path.

http20 challengesThis has always been true; enabling end-to-end SSL for web applications (which Our (that's F5) data shows is 64% of all applications being delivered) has always meant restricting visibility into web traffic. After all, the purpose of transport layer security protocols like SSL and TLS is to protect data in flight from prying eyes. Those eyes include benevolent services like performance monitoring, IDS, IPS, DLP, web acceleration and any other service which relies on the ability to inspect data in flight.

This requirement for SSL or TLS means there's going to have to be some changes in the network architecture if you're going to move to HTTP 2.0 to take advantage of its performance benefits. Somehow you're going to have to figure out how to support a MUST use TLS/SSL requirement while still enabling monitoring, acceleration and security services - hopefully without requiring that every service  in the application service conga line decrypt and re-encrypt the data.

While marketing made much of the "SSL Everywhere" movement and many organizations did, in fact, move to complying with the notion that every web interaction should be secured with SSL or TLS, not everyone was as dedicated to enforcing it on consumers and employees. Non-secured HTTP was still often allowed, despite the risks associated with it.

HTTP 2.0 will mean giving more than just lip service to security by requiring that organizations adopting the new protocol utterly and completely embrace it.

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.

Latest Stories
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
"We work around really protecting the confidentiality of information, and by doing so we've developed implementations of encryption through a patented process that is known as superencipherment," explained Richard Blech, CEO of Secure Channels Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
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.
"We were founded in 2003 and the way we were founded was about good backup and good disaster recovery for our clients, and for the last 20 years we've been pretty consistent with that," noted Marc Malafronte, Territory Manager at StorageCraft, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Effectively SMBs and government programs must address compounded regulatory compliance requirements. The most recent are Controlled Unclassified Information and the EU's GDPR have Board Level implications. Managing sensitive data protection will likely result in acquisition criteria, demonstration requests and new requirements. Developers, as part of the pre-planning process and the associated supply chain, could benefit from updating their code libraries and design by incorporating changes. In...
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 sessio...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, is an accomplished digital business executive with extensive global expertise as a strategist, technologist, innovator, marketer, and communicator. For over 30 years across five continents, he has built success with Fortune 500 corporations, vendors, governments, and as a leading research analyst and consultant.
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Announcing Poland #DigitalTransformation Pavilion
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...