Click here to close now.


Cloud Security Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Cloud Best Practices Network, Teresa Schoch, Marc Crespi

Related Topics: Cloud Security, Mobile IoT, @CloudExpo

Cloud Security: Article

Top Four IT Trends to Master in 2012

Organizations that get their Windows migrations wrong, could suffer the consequences for many years to come

Last year saw some of the biggest security breaches to date, and some large organizations are feeling the heat. Anonymous and LulzSec made their presence known, taking on a large number targets. RSA suffered a massive breach, inadvertently putting the security of its many customers in jeopardy. The Sony Playstation Network had to be shut down following a breach. Even Apple cracked under an attack from malware writers.

Whether this year will be as eventful remains to be seen but what we can predict is cybercriminals will continue to look to profit from their illicit activities, albeit with evolving tactics. Rather than wait for them to strike, a little foresight can help prepare to fight back. So, with this in mind, this article draws on the author's experience of the corporate security landscape to predict four key threats he believes organizations will have to face in this Olympic year and how to mitigate them. Perhaps more important he also looks at the equally Olympic battle organizations face as they migrate away from Windows XP to Windows 7.

1. Mobile Security
The explosion of mobile computing, for example, the various tablets that stormed the enterprise during 2011, shows no sign of slowing down. However, for too long, the security of these devices has continued to lag behind that of traditional desktops and laptops. Many enterprises have struggled with pressure from the workforce to allow these technological marvels, and the precarious balancing act to do so securely.

While many argue that Microsoft has ground to catch up in the tablet market, I think 2012 could see Microsoft gaining mindshare, as Windows 8 will be more appealing to the corporate world. Expected to go into beta in 2012, it is widely anticipated to provide superior integrated security features. In combination, Microsoft is following Apple's lead of having a dedicated App Store, but it's expected to include corporate controls, which will give companies a more ‘corporate friendly' tablet. The ability to connect Windows 8 tablets to a domain will ensure that these devices can be secured just like any other Windows endpoint. For this reason I think Microsoft tablets will be viewed favorably in the corporate environment.

2. Bring Your Device to Work
But it's not just tablets - smartphones too pose a serious security concern to the enterprise, especially with the growing trend for people to use their own personal devices to improve their work life balance. Lured by aesthetics and functionality, little regard is given to their corporate security offering. Personal laptops are of even greater concern as the specification could present the organization with a rather large liability headache.

One of the major concerns is that the apps users download to these devices could introduce vulnerabilities. In addition, users, wanting to take advantage of the flexibility and freedom their device can deliver, will be looking to transfer corporate data on to them. The technology-savvy users will use external cloud storage accounts, such as Dropbox, or even email it out of the network to access it externally. The biggest risk here is data loss so, naturally, this is where we will see the big investment, as companies battle to control corporate data.

A fairly new advancement on the block that could gain traction in 2012 is the hypervisor for smartphones, which will allow a phone to be effectively split into two distinct profiles, which are securely isolated from one another. The corporate side could be managed by the enterprise, complete with enhanced security solutions and controls, with the users having a personal side for their apps, music, contacts, etc.

3. Endpoint Security
That leads us nicely to my next point. With the explosion of endpoint devices and the resultant mobility, naturally we've also seen an increased focus on endpoint security.

Solutions that are able to detect the criminals' increasingly diverse arsenal of threats will become crucial in the battle against stealthy and persistent malware. As a result, the adoption of application control and privilege management solutions within the operating system will increase in order to provide a more proactive approach to endpoint security. Many malware attacks can be mitigated, and even eliminated, with better control over application execution and user privileges. Both of these solutions will become more relevant on the server-side too, as organizations look to comply with external or internal compliance initiatives, and demonstrate that servers are secured and administrator activity is strictly controlled and monitored.

4. Cloud Security
Finally, no 2012 prediction would be complete without a look to the sky. My belief is compliance could be the key differentiator here.

While smaller organizations will continue to adopt cloud-based offerings more readily, larger organizations, especially those governed by regulatory compliance, will continue to tread more carefully and stick to more mature cloud offerings, such as CRM solutions.

That said, the security of servers in the data centers of cloud providers will drive more innovative security offerings at the hypervisor level. This in turn will allow the security software to get a complete view of the hosted servers, especially when dealing with stealthy attacks.

If cloud providers are to appeal to customers in highly regulated industries, then administrator access, and their actions on servers in the data centers, needs to be better controlled and monitored.

Whether this year will see as many high profile incidents as 2011 remains to be seen. However, we are confident that across all industries and sector, one challenge this year will be a common one: organizations looking to migrate across to Windows 7 must ‘get it right' this year or it could all be over for the next few years as they struggle to regain control, if they can manage it at all. Don't wait to see what the criminals have in store for you - act now and get ahead of the game.

More Stories By Paul Kenyon

Paul Kenyon is co-founder and Chief Operations Officer at Avecto. He is responsible for driving the revenue and growing sales globally with a focus on North America and Europe.

Paul is a successful business executive with an outstanding 15-year track record in building, growing and leading high-performing, multinational high tech companies in North America, Europe and the Pacific Rim. In 1999, he started AppSense, the global leader in User Environment Management for businesses and service providers. With the lead role on global sales, AppSense quickly grew to profitability with revenues of over $30 million.

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
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new data-driven world, marketplaces reign supreme while interoperability, APIs and applications deliver un...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, will show how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants will get the download information, scripts, and complete end-to-end walkthrough of the analysis from start to finish. Participants will also be given the pract...
Today’s connected world is moving from devices towards things, what this means is that by using increasingly low cost sensors embedded in devices we can create many new use cases. These span across use cases in cities, vehicles, home, offices, factories, retail environments, worksites, health, logistics, and health. These use cases rely on ubiquitous connectivity and generate massive amounts of data at scale. These technologies enable new business opportunities, ways to optimize and automate, along with new ways to engage with users.
The IoT market is on track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020. The reality is that only a handful of companies are ready for this massive demand. There are a lot of barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can we deal with these issues and challenges? The paradigm has changed. Old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways will certainly lead you to the dead end. What is mandatory is an overarching and adaptive approach to effectively handle the rapid changes and exponential growth.
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT.
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud without worrying about any lock-in fears. In fact by having standard APIs for IaaS would help PaaS expl...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated and cloud solutions through hybrid hosting – a sustainable solution for the data required to manage I...
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley. The program, to be aired during the peak viewership season of the year, will have a major impac...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk will be on IBM Cloudant, Apa...
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, will look at different existing uses of peer-to-peer data sharing and how it can become useful in a live session to...
As a company adopts a DevOps approach to software development, what are key things that both the Dev and Ops side of the business must keep in mind to ensure effective continuous delivery? In his session at DevOps Summit, Mark Hydar, Head of DevOps, Ericsson TV Platforms, will share best practices and provide helpful tips for Ops teams to adopt an open line of communication with the development side of the house to ensure success between the two sides.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Nowadays, a large number of sensors and devices are connected to the network. Leading-edge IoT technologies integrate various types of sensor data to create a new value for several business decision scenarios. The transparent cloud is a model of a new IoT emergence service platform. Many service providers store and access various types of sensor data in order to create and find out new business values by integrating such data.
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, focusing on how to help solve the problems that developers are continuously battling.