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
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, discussed recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model for s...
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2017 New York. The 20th Cloud Expo and 7th @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "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 Internet to enable us all to im...
"We are the public cloud providers. We are currently providing 50% of the resources they need for doing e-commerce business in China and we are hosting about 60% of mobile gaming in China," explained Yi Zheng, CPO and VP of Engineering at CDS Global Cloud, 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.
"We are a custom software development, engineering firm. We specialize in cloud applications from helping customers that have on-premise applications migrating to the cloud, to helping customers design brand new apps in the cloud. And we specialize in mobile apps," explained Peter Di Stefano, Vice President of Marketing at Impiger Technologies, 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.
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...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
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...
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 ...
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.
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 and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
"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.
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of Soli...