On the 11/29 Virtualization Security Podcast Omar Khawaja the global managing principle at Verizon Terremark Security Solutions joined us to discuss Verizon’s 12 step program for entering the cloud (found on slideshare). This 12 step program concentrates on the IT and Security admins working together with the business to identify all types of data that could be placed into the cloud, and to classify that data. Once this is complete, the next steps are to understand the compliance and security required to protect the data and to access the data. It is a Data Centric approach to moving to the cloud. Continue reading 12 Step Program to Enter the Cloud
There are threats to the cloud and there are risks within the cloud. A recent article from Tech Target Search Security blog spurred several thoughts. The main claim here is that there are not enough people who can differentiate threats and risks enough to talk to business leaders who may know very little about security, but do know the business. I have been known to state that there are prominent threats to my data once stored in the cloud and that we should plan to alleviate those threats to reduce our overall risk. But what is the risk?
An analogy comes to mind. Many years ago I ripped my Achilles tendon, and while talking with the doctors they all said that without surgery there was a 50% more likely chance that the Achilles tendon would rip again. So this got me thinking about what they really meant, 50% of what? My next question to the doctors was “how likely is it to fail if I do not have surgery?” Their response was enlightening, there is a 2% failure rate for naturally healed Achilles tendons. Because of that number, I realized that the failure rate for those tendons that undergo surgery is really only 1% vs 2% without. Well that put a different picture on everything. I went without surgery as that particular area of the body has very thin skin, not as much blood flow, and would take a long time to heal from surgery and there was always the risk of picking up something in the hospital, however remote at the time.
So the real question is what is the true risk to an environment if the threat becomes a reality? Continue reading Threats and Risks in the Cloud
VMware vCenter 5.1 implemented a new security feature, Single Sign-On (SSO), that uses the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) to exchange security tokens. This combats an extremely well-known and prevalent attack within the virtualization management trust zones: SSL Man-in-the-Middle (MiTM) attacks. However, vCenter still supports the old SSL methods as well to maintain backwards compatibility and to allow management when SSO is not in use. Does this new feature change how we look at virtualization and cloud management security best practices? Is it a launch point for implementing other authentication techniques? Continue reading SAML to the Rescue: vCenter Single Sign On
Is it possible to use a cloud framework to better secure your datacenter? Do cloud technologies provide a secure framework for building more than just clouds? We all know that virtualization is a building block to the cloud, but there may be a way to use cloud frameworks to first secure your datacenter before you launch a private, public, or hybrid cloud. In essence, we can use tools like vCloud Director to provide a more secure environment that properly segregates trust zones from one another while allowing specific accesses.
A typo report on twitter has lead me to a set of thoughts with respect to data. Where are your Datasores? What is a datasore? Unlike a Data Store which holds data, a datasore is a place where data becomes either painful to manage or protect. Or where the data exceeds your capability to handle it. A data sore should never happen, but with the explosion of data being moved, protected, managed, and mined we have exceeded certain limits of our existing set of tools. How do we find data sores and alleviate them? Does alleviating them require us to re-architect our entire data usage and storage mechanisms? Continue reading Datasores: Where are yours?
At a dinner party recently, I was asked “does information want to be free?” This question is based on information that exists within the cloud today or tomorrow: Data in the Cloud. It is an interesting question with a fairly ready answer. Information is Power, it is people not information that controls information. Granted we have a massive abundance of information within the cloud today, is it trying to be free, or are people trying to make it free to everyone? In addition, is all this information even true or accurate? Continue reading Data in the Cloud: Does Information want to be Free?
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