The secure hybrid cloud encompasses a complex environment with a complex set of security requirements spanning the data center (or data closet), end user computing devices, and various cloud services. The entry point to the entire hybrid cloud is some form of End User Computing device whether that is a smart phone, tablet, laptop, or even a desktop computer. Once you enter the hybrid cloud, you may be taken to a cloud service or to your data center. The goal is to understand how the data flows through out this environment in order to properly secure it and therefore secure the hybrid cloud, but since it is a complex environment, we need a simpler way to view this environment.
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As I met with people at RSA Conference last week, the common question was: What was interesting and new? My view was from the world of virtualization and cloud security, which often differs from general or mobile security. This show was more about general and mobile security than it was about virtualization and cloud security due to the confluence of VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) and RSA Conference. There were quite a few things that were new from the show floor, RSA Innovation Sandbox, and other conversations.
A major aspect of virtualizing any business critical application is data protection which encompasses not only backup, but disaster recovery, and business continuity. It is imperative that our data be protected. While this is true of all workloads, it becomes a bigger concern when virtualizing business critical applications. Not only do we need backups, but we need to protect the business, which is where business continuity comes into play.
As I shoveled even more snow, I was starting to think about automation, as in how could I get something to shovel the snow for me, which lead to thinking about automation within the cloud. I see lots of discussion about automation in the cloud. Many of my friends and colleagues are developing code using Puppet, Chef, vCenter Orchestrator, etc. This development is about producing the software defined datacenter (SDDC). However, I see very little in the way of security automation associated with SDDC.
Project Virtual Reality Check (ProjectVRC) have finally released their ‘Phase V’ white paper which provides an independent insight into the impact and best practices of various antivirus (AV) solutions on VDI performance.
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?