Cloud Security Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Dana Gardner, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski

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
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.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Transparent Cloud Computing (T-Cloud) Consortium 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. The Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium (T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data proces...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn 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. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
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 ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Niagara Networks 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. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Embotics, the cloud automation company, 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. Embotics is the cloud automation company for IT organizations and service providers that need to improve provisioning or enable self-service capabilities. With a relentless focus on delivering a premier user experience and unmatched customer support, Embotics is the fas...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service. 

Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
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...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
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...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
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...
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.
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...
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...
The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), sponsor of the IoTivity open source project, and AllSeen Alliance, which provides the AllJoyn® open source IoT framework, today announced that the two organizations’ boards have approved a merger under the OCF name and bylaws. This merger will advance interoperability between connected devices from both groups, enabling the full operating potential of IoT and representing a significant step towards a connected ecosystem.