Welcome!

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Agile Computing, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Security Myths: Busted

In many cases, the average enterprise or SME can't keep up with all of the security controls necessary to protect data in-house

In a Feb 2014 survey, 94 percent of organizations surveyed reported running applications or experimenting with infrastructure-as-a-service.[1] According to research firm Nasumi, there is over one exabyte currently stored in the cloud. An exabyte is over a billion GB.[2] Considering the amount of data in the cloud and the growing rate of adoption for sensitive use cases, it is natural that securing our data in the cloud is a concern. But, cloud security, though rightfully a central concern, should not be a hindrance to aggressively moving workloads and applications to the cloud.

In fact, there are some misconceptions about cloud security that need to be laid to rest.

Myth #1: A cloud provider's customers can attack each other
The multi-tenant environment of cloud computing has given rise to a misconception that the provider's many customers can access each other's data and accounts with little effort. This is tantamount to saying that your neighbors can break into your home easier than a thief from across town.

The truth is that virtual walls segregate you from other customers. Your hypervisor is the primary separator and is extremely difficult to hack. If you add other safeguards like VLAN isolation and proper data encryption and key management, your data is completely safe from other cloud customers.

The Alert Logic State of Cloud Security Report concludes "It's not that the cloud is inherently secure or insecure. It's really about the quality of management applied to any IT environment."

Myth #2: Data in the cloud in more susceptible to risk than data in the datacenter
In survey after survey, we find that the reason that cloud computing isn't growing even faster than its staggering CAGR is companies' security fears. But, like many fears, this one mixes legitimate concerns with ignorance. Depending on the details, data in the cloud may actually be safer than data in the datacenter.

In fact, a 2014 study found that once businesses learn about and experience cloud computing, concerns about security vanish. Close to one-third of executives and professionals who have not yet implemented cloud say security is their top concern, a number that diminishes to 13 percent of seasoned, heavy users of cloud services (and is only the fifth-ranked concern on their list).[3]

Arthur W. Coviello, Jr., Executive Chairman for RSA, puts it simply, "security concerns are really independent of the cloud. They're just an extension of what is being dealt with in the physical infrastructure."[4]

In many cases, the average enterprise or SME can't keep up with all of the security controls necessary to protect data in-house. For a cloud provider, conversely, it is a core business function. They typically invest in the strongest forms of network security and detection and attain compliance certifications that reduce the risk for the data they're tasked to protect.

If your core business isn't preparing tax returns, you hire someone who can do it for you: someone with the right background, experience, and tools. Someone who does a better job than you could do yourself. The same applies when it comes to protecting your data: using a provider who specializes in doing so will create better results than doing it yourself.

Myth #3: Using a trusted cloud provider guarantees protection of data
The internet is filled with comparisons of the trustworthiness of cloud providers. Those researching a cloud solution are often tasked with ensuring the cloud provider conducts audits, provides certifications, complies with industry regulations, properly screens their employees, etc. While all of these elements have their place in assessing the trustworthiness of a cloud provider, they don't completely protect your data because it is not just the cloud provider's responsibility to protect your data.

The truth is this: whether you build your own private cloud, store your data in a public cloud, or keep your sensitive business information under your mattress, the duty to protect your data is yours alone.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) accounted for 37% of the $9 billion infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market in 2013, according to analysts from equity research firm Evercore. The IaaS market is growing by 45%, but Amazon Web Services has a growth rate of 60%.[5] AWS is currently the biggest public cloud provider. And yet, in the AWS Security Center, they clearly state "AWS has secured the underlying infrastructure and you must secure anything you put on the infrastructure."

Because you control the security of your accounts and data, you can ensure that you still own your data - even though you are housing it in public infrastructure.

The way to ensure your data is safe in the cloud is by encryption. Encryption, and the management of encryption keys, is not just about safety, it is also about ownership. If you encrypt properly, you will own your data even though you are renting infrastructure form a cloud provider.

To simply and effectively achieve encryption key management, the best practice is coupling the innovative techniques of split key encryption and homomorphic key management. They will be the assurance that no one (not even your cloud provider) can access data you store in the cloud and that everything you store in the cloud is completely safe, segregated, and protected in a way that is scalable, automated, and cost-effective.

Resources

  1. http://www.rightscale.com/blog/cloud-industry-insights/cloud-computing-trends-2014-state-cloud-survey
  2. https://www.nasuni.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/nasuni_infographic_the_state_of_cloud_storage_in_2013-4.jpg
  3. http://www.forbes.com/sites/joemckendrick/2014/04/03/cloud-security-fears-diminish-with-experience-survey-shows/
  4. http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/VMware-Cloud-Security-Myths-Strategies-Uncovered-White-Paper.pdf
  5. http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-web-services-market-share-2014-6

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.

Comments (0)

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
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busin...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
Most organizations prioritize data security only after their data has already been compromised. Proactive prevention is important, but how can you accomplish that on a small budget? Learn how the cloud, combined with a defense and in-depth approach, creates efficiencies by transferring and assigning risk. Security requires a multi-defense approach, and an in-house team may only be able to cherry pick from the essential components. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Vlad Friedman, CEO/Founder o...
"We host and fully manage cloud data services, whether we store, the data, move the data, or run analytics on the data," stated Kamal Shannak, Senior Development Manager, Cloud Data Services, IBM, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
"We view the cloud not really as a specific technology but as a way of doing business and that way of doing business is transforming the way software, infrastructure and services are being delivered to business," explained Matthew Rosen, CEO and Director at Fusion, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps 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. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
"This week we're really focusing on scalability, asset preservation and how do you back up to the cloud and in the cloud with object storage, which is really a new way of attacking dealing with your file, your blocked data, where you put it and how you access it," stated Jeff Greenwald, Senior Director of Market Development at HGST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.