Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Xenia von Wedel, Mehdi Daoudi, James Carlini, Elizabeth White, John Walsh

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
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...