Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Kevin Benedict, Liz McMillan, William Schmarzo, Sematext Blog

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

Containers Expo Blog: Article

It's Time to Stop Fearing Change and Learn About Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing is Scary - But the FUD Has to Stop

The Cloud Ave Blog

When headlines like “RMS hates cloud computing; says you should too”, “Cloud Computing a Trap” or “Cloud computing puts your health data at risk” show up on the Internet, it looks like the same old FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) that have been the inevitable response from the security community or from people who do not accommodate change well.

It is time to start embracing where business is going, and trying to make sure that they are doing it in the safest way possible.

It is one thing to create FUD, it is quite another to offer no solutions or pointers to the solutions for the problems we are seeing. To remain credible security professionals have to provide solutions to go along with what we are talking about.

The problem is also that we are not providing answers back to the security community that needs support and guidance. There are very few information security experts in cloud computing. It is hard to have your average IDS watcher, or network security engineer understand that cloud computing offers benefits and risks, just as much as virtualization, or even the iPhone.

What security professionals need to be doing rather than creating their own FUD is work out ways to make it safer. It is time to stop fearing change and learn about cloud computing technology and what it can and cannot do for the business. Work through a risk matrix, work through measures and counter measures, do all those good things that security engineers should be doing.

What I am seeing in the community, on blogs, and in private communications is the same earnest viewpoint of proposing a six million dollar security solution for a 15-minute wireless test by insisting that a Faraday cage had to be built around the two buildings we wanted to use in the test. That the Faraday cage would have invalidated the test because we never would have been able to go point-to-point wireless as the test protocol asked for.

While we might struggle with new technology, it is time for information security folks to step up to the plate and get smart on how the technology works, what the risks are, and how those risks can be reasonably addressed by good security solutions.

There are tricks to cloud computing that will remind you of a SAN, there are things that will annoy you like logging, there are things that will make you happy like automatically having an MD5 has on every object on the system if you use Amazon AWS or S3. Or using the power of the cloud to acquire and digest computer images for forensics. Let alone the power that the cloud represents in actually meeting C2 logging levels for databases, or the raw log crunching power of the system. Or the ability to test patching routines for systems by building instances against images and regression testing there instead of on a thrown together test bed. There is a lot of love when it comes to cloud computing.


There are things to worry about, privacy, control of objects, legal discovery, who has access to what questions that arise anyways in a corporate environment, e-mail security, database security, what about the provider going out of business, or a host of other legitimate concerns about the security, privacy, access, and availability of the data or the objects.

There is also very little usable information from the security viewpoint on these issues, some of this is addressable, some of it will mean that information security professionals learn as they go using the best practices. They will also have to fall back on what they know, what they are legally responsible for, and what the real issues are to help management make the best decision that they can. They will not make a decision that security folks will like, because many data points are going to move off the local networks, and go to reside somewhere else in the world.

There are some great resources for good information, Cloud Ave is one of them, but Trend Micro, IBM, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle and others who have all figured out that this can be a very neat technology and help companies expand and contract according to business need and market conditions.

While it is not ‘inevitable’, it is probable that companies are going to move some operations off the local network and into the cloud. The best bet right now for the security engineer is to work through the process, and get smart now so that management can benefit from what you have learned.


[This post appeared originally here and is republished in full by kind permission of the editor-in-chief of CloudAve.com.]

Creative Commons License Attribution to http://www.cloudave.com

More Stories By Dan Morrill

Dan Morrill has been blogging since 2003, writing about technology like Nutch, Hadoop, management, and the ways that people, politics, and technology intersect. He's a globally syndicated blogger across 27 major internet news sites. His focus is on information security in all its forms, needs, and educational requirements.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
We all know the latest numbers: Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from last year, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. We're rapidly approaching a data production of 40 zettabytes a day – more than we can every physically store, and exabytes and yottabytes are just around the corner. For many that’s a good sign, as data has been proven to equal money – IF it’s ingested, integrated, and analyzed fast enough. Without real-ti...
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The IoT has the potential to create a renaissance of manufacturing in the US and elsewhere. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Florent Solt, CTO and chief architect of Netvibes, discussed how the expected exponential increase in the amount of data that will be processed, transported, stored, and accessed means there will be a huge demand for smart technologies to deliver it. Florent Solt is the CTO and chief architect of Netvibes. Prior to joining Netvibes in 2007, he co-founded Rift Technologi...
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
What are the successful IoT innovations from emerging markets? What are the unique challenges and opportunities from these markets? How did the constraints in connectivity among others lead to groundbreaking insights? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Carmen Feliciano, a Principal at AMDG, will answer all these questions and share how you can apply IoT best practices and frameworks from the emerging markets to your own business.
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
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 ...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
The best-practices for building IoT applications with Go Code that attendees can use to build their own IoT applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Indraneel Mitra, Senior Solutions Architect & Technology Evangelist at Cognizant, provided valuable information and resources for both novice and experienced developers on how to get started with IoT and Golang in a day. He also provided information on how to use Intel Arduino Kit, Go Robotics API and AWS IoT stack to build an application tha...
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. 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 and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, discussed the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filterin...
Early adopters of IoT viewed it mainly as a different term for machine-to-machine connectivity or M2M. This is understandable since a prerequisite for any IoT solution is the ability to collect and aggregate device data, which is most often presented in a dashboard. The problem is that viewing data in a dashboard requires a human to interpret the results and take manual action, which doesn’t scale to the needs of IoT.
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, provided tips on how to be successful in large scale machine learning...
What does it look like when you have access to cloud infrastructure and platform under the same roof? Let’s talk about the different layers of Technology as a Service: who cares, what runs where, and how does it all fit together. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer, an IBM company, spoke about the picture being painted by IBM Cloud and how the tools being crafted can help fill the gaps in your IT infrastructure.
"C2M is our digital transformation and IoT platform. We've had C2M on the market for almost three years now and it has a comprehensive set of functionalities that it brings to the market," explained Mahesh Ramu, Vice President, IoT Strategy and Operations at Plasma, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.