The premise of security is confidentiality, integrity, and availability. The premise of data protection is integrity and availability. The two go hand in hand. However, it is often the case that certain groups within organizations handle data protection (disaster recovery, business continuity, and backup) while other groups handle security. As security moves closer and closer to the data, could it perhaps be time for these two disciplines to become one? The security of data protection is becoming just as important as the security of the data within use. The management of the security of in-use data and protected data, regardless of location, is paramount. This means data stored on-premises, in the cloud, and remotely. Continue reading Cloud Dependency: Data Protection and Security
It is that time of year again, when we see all the new toys, tools, ideas, and processes that make up the show called VMworld. This year, quite a few changes in virtualization security will be discussed by VMware and other organizations that work with virtual and cloud environments. One of the key messages will be that everyone needs to stop treating virtualization security as something unique and different. Instead of this type of treatment, we have been seeing the extension of existing tools and techniques into virtual and cloud environments. Virtualization and cloud security is a natural progression of all organizational security.
Continue reading Virtualization Security at VMworld
There has been quite a bit written about Code Spaces and how unauthorized access to its ITaaS console granted enough permissions to delete everything out of Amazon, including backups. There are lessons here not only for tenants, but also for those vendors who create ITaaS consoles, such as VMware (vCHS, vCD, vCAC, vCenter, Orchestrator, etc.), Virtustream (xStream), OpenStack, and many others. These consoles need better controls and security so that such behavior is prevented, logged, and monitored, and the proper authorities are informed. Now, we may think this is a cloud-only attack, but we use these tools within our own environments day in and day out. For anyone using virtualization, private, or hybrid cloud consoles and automation tools, it is time to take a good long look at role-based access controls (RBAC). The steps we discussed at the end of my other lessons article still apply. Continue reading Protecting ITaaS Consoles
As your software-defined data center (SDDC) grows, so does the quantity of privileged accounts. This was the discussion on the Virtualization Security Podcast of February 13, 2014, where we were joined by Thycotic Software. Privileged accounts are used by administrators and others to fix issues, set up new users, add new workloads, move workloads around your SDDC, harden those workloads, and perhaps even log in to just pull down logs for further use. The list of reasons to use privileged accounts is as endless as your system administrator’s stack of work. Yet today, almost always, access to these accounts is made by those who know the password. Continue reading Privileged Accounts within SDDC
Recently I have had the pleasure of discussing security with a number of cloud providers. Specifically, we talked about what security they implement and how they inform their tenants of security-related issues. In other words, do they provide transparency? I have come to an early conclusion that there are two types of clouds out there: those that provide additional security measures and work with their tenants to improve security, and those who do not. On the Virtualization Security podcast we have discussed this many times, with the conclusion being drawn that many clouds do a better job at security than the average organization does, but that there is no way to know what is implemented, as there is no transparency. Continue reading A Tale of Two Clouds
The hybrid cloud has 100s if not 1000s of APIs in use at any time. API security therefore becomes a crucial part of any hybrid cloud environment. There are only so many ways to secure an API: we can limit its access, check the commands, encrypt the data transfer, employ API-level role-based access controls, ensure we use strong authentication, etc. However, it mostly boils down to depending on the API itself to be secure, because while we can do many things on the front end, there is a chance that once the commands and actions reach the other end (cloud or datacenter), the security could be suspect. So how do we implement API security within the hybrid cloud today? Continue reading API Security within the Hybrid Cloud