|By Mark O'Neill||
|December 13, 2009 09:45 PM EST||
Risk Management at Cloud Expo
The ENISA (European Network and Information Security Agency) released the Cloud Computing Risk Assessment document.
The document does well by including a focus on SMEs (Small and Medium sized Enterprises) because, as the report says, "Given the reduced cost and flexibility it brings, a migration to cloud computing is compelling for many SMEs".
Three initial standout items for me are:
1. The document's stated Risk Number One is Lock-In. "This makes it extremely difficult for a customer to migrate from one provider to another, or to migrate data and services to or from an in-house IT environment. Furthermore, cloud providers may have an incentive to prevent (directly or indirectly) the portability of their customers services and data."
Remember that the document identified SMEs as a major market for cloud computing. What can they do about the lock-in? Let's see what the document says:
The document identifies SaaS lock-in:
Customer data is typically stored in a custom database schema designed by the SaaS provider. Most SaaS providers offer API calls to read (and thereby ‘export’) data records. However, if the provider does not offer a readymade data ‘export’ routine, the customer will need to develop a program to extract their data and write it to file ready for import to another provider. It should be noted that there are few formal agreements on the structure of business records (e.g., a customer record at one SaaS provider may have different fields than at another provider), although there are common underlying file formats for the export and import of data, e.g., XML. The new provider can normally help with this work at a negotiated cost. However, if the data is to be brought back in-house, the customer will need to write import routines that take care of any required data mapping unless the CP offers such a routine. As customers will evaluate this aspect before making important migration decisions, it is in the long-term business interest of CPs to make data portability as easy, complete and cost-effective as possible.
And what about PaaS Lock-In?:
PaaS lock-in occurs at both the API layer (ie, platform specific API calls) and at the component level. For example, the PaaS provider may offer a highly efficient back-end data store. Not only must the customer develop code using the custom APIs offered by the provider, but they must also code data access routines in a way that is compatible with the back-end data store. This code will not necessarily be portable across PaaS providers, even if a seemingly compatible API is offered, as the data access model may be different (e.g., relational v hashing).
In each case, the ENISA document says that the customer must develop code to get around the lock-in, in order to bridge APIs and to bridge data formats. However, SME's generally do not have developers on staff to write this code. "Writing code" is not usually an option for an SME. I know - I worked for an EDI service provider who serviced SMEs in Europe - we would provide the code development services for the SMEs when they needed data transformation done at the client side.
But there is another answer. This bridging is the job of a Cloud Service Broker. The Cloud Service Broker addresses the cloud lock-in problem head-on by bridging APIs and bridging data formats (which, as the ENISA document mentions, are often XML). It is unreasonable to expect an SME to write custom code to bridge together cloud APIs when an off-the-shelf Cloud Service Broker can do the job for them with no coding involved, while providing value-added services such as monitoring the cloud provider's availability, encrypting data before it goes up to the cloud provider, and scanning data for privacy leaks. Read the Cloud Service Broker White Paper here.
2. "Customers should not be tempted to use custom implementations of authentication, authorisation and accounting (AAA) as these can become weak if not properly implemented."
Yes! Totally agree. There is already a tendency to look at Amazon's HMAC-signature-over-QueryString authentication scheme and implement a similar scheme which is similar but not exactly like it. For example, an organization may decide "Let's do like Amazon do and make sure all incoming REST requests to our PaaS service are signed by a trusted client using HMAC authentication", but omit to include any timestamp in the signed data. I can certainly imagine this, because this would happen all the time in the SOA / Web Services world (an organization would decide "Let's make sure requests are signed using XML Signature by trusted clients", but leave the system open to a simple capture-replay attack). Cloud PaaS providers should not make these same mistakes.
3. STRIDE and DREAD
Lastly, the document's approach of examining the system in terms of data-at-rest and data-in-motion, identifying risks at each point (such as information disclosure, eavesdropping, or Denial-of-Service), then applying a probability and impact to the risks, is very reminiscent of the "STRIDE and DREAD" model. However I do not see the STRIDE and DREAD model mentioned anywhere in the document. I know it's a bit long in the tooth now, and finessed a bit since the initial book, but it's still a good approach. It would have been worth mentioning here, since it's clearly an inspiration.
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Oct. 26, 2016 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,038
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
Oct. 26, 2016 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,405
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
Oct. 26, 2016 05:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,555
SYS-CON Events announced today that Streamlyzer will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Streamlyzer is a powerful analytics for video streaming service that enables video streaming providers to monitor and analyze QoE (Quality-of-Experience) from end-user devices in real time.
Oct. 26, 2016 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,040
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Oct. 26, 2016 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,019
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
Oct. 26, 2016 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,578
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
Oct. 26, 2016 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,759
Cloud based infrastructure deployment is becoming more and more appealing to customers, from Fortune 500 companies to SMEs due to its pay-as-you-go model. Enterprise storage vendors are able to reach out to these customers by integrating in cloud based deployments; this needs adaptability and interoperability of the products confirming to cloud standards such as OpenStack, CloudStack, or Azure. As compared to off the shelf commodity storage, enterprise storages by its reliability, high-availabil...
Oct. 26, 2016 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,193
The IoT industry is now at a crossroads, between the fast-paced innovation of technologies and the pending mass adoption by global enterprises. The complexity of combining rapidly evolving technologies and the need to establish practices for market acceleration pose a strong challenge to global enterprises as well as IoT vendors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Smith, senior product manager for Numerex, will discuss how Numerex, as an experienced, established IoT provider, has embraced a ...
Oct. 26, 2016 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,171
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
Oct. 26, 2016 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,024
In the next forty months – just over three years – businesses will undergo extraordinary changes. The exponential growth of digitization and machine learning will see a step function change in how businesses create value, satisfy customers, and outperform their competition. In the next forty months companies will take the actions that will see them get to the next level of the game called Capitalism. Or they won’t – game over. The winners of today and tomorrow think differently, follow different...
Oct. 26, 2016 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,065
“Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CloudBerry Backup is a leading cross-platform cloud backup and disaster recovery solution integrated with major public cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
Oct. 26, 2016 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,472
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
Oct. 26, 2016 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,777
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
Oct. 26, 2016 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,127
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
Oct. 26, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,194
A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
Oct. 26, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 34,232
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
Oct. 26, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,050
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Oct. 26, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,888
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue an...
Oct. 25, 2016 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,000
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Oct. 25, 2016 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,250