Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Maria C. Horton

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

Microservices Expo: Article

Cloud Storage and Security Not a New Concept

Everybody Talks About It, But Is It Really All That Different?

Articles and blog posts associated with security and cloud computing are a daily occurrence, unless some well-publicized breach occurs in the cloud.  At that point the number of commentaries and discussions will increase exponentially, and then, over the following week, return to normal frequency. 

I decided to focus on security as it relates to cloud storage, to see if something really new and different is occurring, and if overall changes need to be contemplated, as it comes to classic data security activities.  When I focused in this way, I quickly discovered that not much has changed, and security of data in the cloud is highly dependent on the same precautions and understandings as security of your data in a private data center.

In this recent article, it was suggested that files of one owner residing on a physical device with the files of others could somehow result in unauthorized access. It could, and the answer to this and a myriad of concerns fits within traditional approaches and understandings of security.  

For example, Mezeo encrypts all files prior to storage.  So, even if you somehow got access to another's file, it would do you no good.  My point is that the cloud introduces a few additional complications, but it is not a problem that the current level of speculation seems to portray it as.  An extension to typical security practices, diligence, effective execution and audit of your current practices is what is required.

With this underlying theme, we look at how best we can ensure the security of the data in the cloud. Let's look at five areas that you should consider in regards to storing data in the cloud.

1. Physical Security: First, understand some things about the data center that is hosting the cloud where your data is stored:

  • Is the data center physically secure? 
  • What about it's ability to withstand power outages? 
  • For how long? 
  • Are there multiple, independent (on different grids) electrical power paths? 
  • How are communications facilities enabled and where does the fiber enter the facility?
  • How many communications providers have a POP (point of presence) at the facility? 
  • How is the data center certified (SAS 70 Type II)?

World class data centers are expensive, and they are also well understood.  What is the tier rating of the data center? (Tier IV is best). Make sure you do business with a cloud storage service provider who makes use of such facilities.

2. Data encryption:
Encryption is a key technology for data security.  Understand data in motion and data at rest encryption.  Remember, security can range from simple (easy to manage, low cost and quite frankly, not very secure) all the way to highly secure (very complex, expensive to manage, and quite limiting in terms of access).  You and the provider of your Cloud Storage solution have many decisions and options to consider.  For example, do the Web services APIs that you use to access the cloud, either programmatically, or with clients written to those APIs, provide SSL encryption for access, this is generally considered to be a standard.  Once the object arrives at the cloud, it is decrypted, and stored.  Is there an option to encrypt it prior to storing?  Do you want to worry about encryption before you upload the file for cloud storage or do you prefer that the cloud storage service  automatically do it for you? These are options, understand your cloud storage solution and make your decisions based on desired levels of security.

3. Access Controls: Authentication and identity management is more important than ever.  And, it is not really all that different.  What level of enforcement of password strength and change frequency does the service provider invoke? What is the recovery methodology for password and account name?  How are passwords delivered to users upon a change?  What about logs and the ability to audit access?  This is not all that different from how you secure your internal systems and data, and it works the same way, if you use strong passwords, changed frequently, with typical IT security processes, you will protect that element of access.

In addition, you'll need to examine:

4. Service Level Agreements (SLA): What kind of service commitment is your provider willing to offer you?

and, finally, there's the notion of

5. The Trusted Service Provider.

For more details and analysis on these last two areas, visit my Cloud Storage Strategy blog.

More Stories By Steve Lesem

Steve Lesem is President/CEO of Mezeo Software. Previously, He was Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of the managed hosting provider VeriCenter. He has also served in leadership positions at SafeNet, BMC Software and IBM. Steve holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas at Austin. He is the primary author of the Cloud Storage Strategy Blog (www.cloudstoragestrategy.com), which frequently sees posts picked up by publications in the IT services and Web hosting spaces.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...