Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

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

@CloudExpo: Article

Migrating Apps to the Cloud

Security trade-offs and considerations

Security professionals are constantly negotiating the tension of balancing ease-of-use with data security. Savvy security professionals know that their users will often choose a less secure technology that makes getting things done easier over a more secure technology that makes getting things done more cumbersome. The trick is in aligning the secure choice with the efficient choice - but this comes with much-needed analysis and consideration.

Increasingly, best-in-class applications are being offered in a Software as a Service (SaaS) model; just take a look at the plethora of cloud-based tools available for organizations that need a scalable way to access software across physical locations and a means of enabling their increasingly mobile users. Certainly, the SaaS model offers highly compelling advantages over traditional on-premise solutions such as:

  • Reduction and simplification of license management costs as well as infrastructure procurement and management costs
  • Increased disaster resiliency and improved business continuity driven by the remote nature of SaaS to the workplace
  • Enablement of a remote or mobile workforce

While there are several reasons why enterprises around the globe are moving toward cloud-based software solutions, there are trade-offs in moving from on-premise to hosted SaaS. Control of the infrastructure means control of the security and compliance of the systems. Giving up this control means additional due diligence is required to meet security and compliance objectives.

From full-site SSL/TLS encryption to encryption of customer data at rest, SaaS providers are incorporating best practices in an effort to ensure that the data customers entrust them with remains safe in their hands. Support for single-sign-on (SSO) authentication standards such as Security Assertion Markup Language version 2.0 (SAML 2.0) allows customers to integrate uniform authentication standards (strong passwords or multi-factor authentication (MFA)) across multiple SaaS tools.

When evaluating SaaS technologies for potential adoption by your organization, here are five key questions that you should ask any potential vendor:

  • How are you protecting my data while it's being transmitted to you and while it's stored in your systems?
  • What are you doing to protect your systems against physical threats?
  • What are you doing to defend your application from attack?
  • What are you doing to protect your users from account compromise?
  • How are you protecting the service from disaster and the data from corruption or accidental deletion?

User Management and Single Sign-On
One somewhat hidden challenge of increased reliance on SaaS applications is the potential for user management complexity. User on-boarding and off-boarding, end-user account and password management and privilege accounting are increasingly complex without a unified user management approach.

To solve for this, many SaaS providers now support one or more single sign-on (SSO) standards. Single sign-on allows for the central provisioning and de-provisioning of applications to the user, and a single source of truth for who has access to what.

Some additional benefits for SSO integrations include having a unified user authentication policy across multiple applications with fewer passwords for users to remember and keep secure. SSO also provides support for multi-factor authentication (MFA), which can be used to create a more secure but user-friendly means to log into mission-critical business software.

Whether we like it or not, keeping enterprise systems strictly on-premise isn't a viable or scalable option today. Adapting to the SaaS paradigm and understanding and quantifying both the benefits and risks have become a key skill for CIOs and security professionals. Those who can successfully negotiate this paradigm are the new heroes of IT procurement - delivering ease of use and efficiency while maintaining security and compliance best practices.

More Stories By Ken Asher

Ken Asher is a Sales Engineer, Security, at Smartsheet. He has over 11 years of experience in technical operations, security and regulatory audit controls design and implementation. He currently serves as a sales security engineer at Smartsheet, a collaborative work management tool used by millions worldwide, where he advises Smartsheet's Enterprise customers on security and compliance controls. Previously, Ken served as the director of technical operations and the director of operations at Docusign.

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
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, will discuss how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the ...
Even though you are running an agile development process, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your performance testing is being conducted in a truly agile way. Saving performance testing for a “final sprint” before release still treats it like a waterfall development step, with all the cost and risk that comes with that. In this post, we will show you how to make load testing happen early and often by putting SLAs on the agile task board.
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
It’s been proven time and time again that in tech, diversity drives greater innovation, better team productivity and greater profits and market share. So what can we do in our DevOps teams to embrace diversity and help transform the culture of development and operations into a true “DevOps” team? In her session at DevOps Summit, Stefana Muller, Director, Product Management – Continuous Delivery at CA Technologies, answered that question citing examples, showing how to create opportunities for ...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding bu...
The Internet of Things is in the early stages of mainstream deployment but it promises to unlock value and rapidly transform how organizations manage, operationalize, and monetize their assets. IoT is a complex structure of hardware, sensors, applications, analytics and devices that need to be able to communicate geographically and across all functions. Once the data is collected from numerous endpoints, the challenge then becomes converting it into actionable insight.
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
Contrary to mainstream media attention, the multiple possibilities of how consumer IoT will transform our everyday lives aren’t the only angle of this headline-gaining trend. There’s a huge opportunity for “industrial IoT” and “Smart Cities” to impact the world in the same capacity – especially during critical situations. For example, a community water dam that needs to release water can leverage embedded critical communications logic to alert the appropriate individuals, on the right device, as...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, a producer of the first smartphones and tablets, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. He will explain how M2M controllers work through wirelessly connected remote controls; and specifically delve into a retrofit option that reverse-engineers control codes of existing conventional controller systems so the...
ElasticBox, the agile application delivery manager, announced freely available public boxes for the DevOps community. ElasticBox works with enterprises to help them deploy any application to any cloud. Public boxes are curated reference boxes that represent some of the most popular applications and tools for orchestrating deployments at scale. Boxes are an adaptive way to represent reusable infrastructure as components of code. Boxes contain scripts, variables, and metadata to automate proces...
To assist customers with legacy Windows Server 2003 that is no longer supported by Microsoft, Racemi has introduced fixed price packages for upgrading and migrating Windows Server 2003 servers to either Windows 2008 R2 or Windows 2012 R2 and the choice of Amazon Web Services (AWS) or SoftLayer cloud. "We're extending a lifeline by upgrading the legacy servers to more modern Windows Server platforms while taking advantage of cloud computing," said James Strayer, vice president of product managem...
To support developers and operations professionals in their push to implement DevOps principles for their infrastructure environments, ProfitBricks, a provider of cloud infrastructure, is adding support for DevOps tools Ansible and Chef. Ansible is a platform for configuring and managing data center infrastructure that combines multi-node software deployment, ad hoc task execution, and configuration management, and is used by DevOps professionals as they use its playbooks functionality to autom...
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, discussed why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices rathe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.